Report on education in social cultural field in Norway.
Immigration to Norway:
Immigrants in Norway come from 213 different countries. They have come as refugees, work immigrants, for education/study or for family reunification.
Total population: 4.808.266 (feb.16.2009). Immigrants: 460.000 which is 9,7 % of total population.
Immigrants come from:
Europe: 203.000, Asia: 174.000, Africa: 56.000, South America: 16.000 and North America and Australia/New Zealand: 9.000.
Poland, Sweden, Iraq and Denmark are the countries with the biggest number of immigrants.
38 % have a Norwegian citizenship and the number of immigrants has increased during the last 50 years.
Immigrants from Nordic and Baltic countries (2007):
Sweden: 6.300, Denmark 2.956, Lithuania: 2.356, Latvia: 466, Estonia: 410 and Iceland: 337.
Laws and education plans:
Integration and social inclusion:
Policy goals and guidelines
The clearly stated goal of the Norwegian government is that Norway should be an
inclusive society in the sense that all inhabitants, regardless of their background,
should have equal opportunities to contribute and participate actively in the Norwegian
society. Immigrants and their descendants should be able to achieve equal living
conditions compared to the rest of the population.
To achieve this goal government policies and measures are formulated with the aim that immigrants and refugees can contribute and use their resources in the labour market and in society at large. The evolution of a divided society where persons with an immigrant background have poorer living conditions and lower social and political participation than the rest of the population should be prevented. Participation in the
labour market is regarded as the most important tool to fight poverty and exclusion.
Mainstreaming is an important principle for government policies. The needs of immigrants, refugees and their descendants are included in broad general programmes or policies at the various administrative levels (state, regional, and local). Public administration must recognise and respect diversity by ensuring that different needs in the population are reflected in the design of public services and general social systems. Ensuring equal access to public services constitutes recognition in practice of the diversity in the Norwegian society. Dialogue and contact with civil society are important elements of the policy-making process.
Some special measures for newly arrived immigrants are deemed to be necessary to ensure equal opportunities, for example the Introduction Programme. Strengthened language and job training are of utmost importance in this respect. Both with regard to objectives and means, a distinction is made between immigrants and their children. An important objective is to secure that descendants of immigrants have the same opportunities as others when they reach adulthood, first of all in education and participation in the labour market.
A coherent policy is sought by giving the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion responsibility for co-ordination of the policies on social inclusion and integration of immigrants, refugees and their descendants as well as the policies concerning the indigenous population and national minorities. From October 2007, following a reorganisation within the government ministries, the Ministry of Children and Equality, was given the coordinating responsibility for all forms of discrimination. The ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion will continue to co-ordinate policies relating to integration and inclusion of immigrants and descendants.
Plan of action for integration and social inclusion
This plan of action is the response of the government to the challenges in the area of labour, welfare and social inclusion linked to some sections of the immigrant population. Higher unemployment levels, higher welfare dependency, less civic participation and school dropout among some groups are documented.
The plan emphasises the importance of participation in working life, knowledge of the Norwegian language and culture, equality of opportunities for immigrants and their descendants, participation in society at large and gender equality. The plan is divided into four areas: Employment, Childhood, Education and Language; Gender Equality and Participation. Combating racism and discrimination should be an integral perspective of all measures.