Last Updated: Friday, 11 July 2014, 13:14 GMT

Trafficking in Persons Report 2009 - Norway

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 16 June 2009
Cite as United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2009 - Norway, 16 June 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a42149c28.html [accessed 13 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

NORWAY (Tier 1)

Norway is a destination country for women and girls trafficked from Nigeria, Bulgaria, Brazil, Estonia, Ghana, Eritrea, Cameroon, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Victims from Africa and Brazil are frequently trafficked through Italy, Spain, Morocco, and the Balkans. Men and children are trafficked from Thailand, the United Kingdom, India, Sri Lanka, Romania, and Bulgaria to Norway for the purposes of domestic servitude and forced labor in the construction industry. Children in Norwegian refugee centers are vulnerable to human trafficking.

The Government of Norway fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the reporting period, Norway continued to fund anti-trafficking programs in key source countries with grants totaling $7.4 million including $600,000 to anti-trafficking programs in Nigeria. The government also improved its victim identification system by publishing new victim identification guidelines in May 2008 and distributing them to all government agencies that may come in contact with potential victims of trafficking; this effort may have led to a 26 percent increase in the number of victims identified. In November 2008, the government amended its immigration law to prohibit the deportation of any victim who testifies in court against a trafficker.

Recommendations for Norway: Continue efforts to vigorously prosecute and convict both sex and labor trafficking offenders; continue to seek appropriate prison sentences for convicted trafficking offenders; and maintain efforts to reduce the domestic demand for commercial sexual exploitation in Norway.

Prosecution

The Norwegian government increased its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Norway prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through its Crimes Against Personal Freedom Law of 2004, which prescribes a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment – a penalty that is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments for other grave offenses, such as rape. In 2008, police significantly increased the number of trafficking investigations from 19 in 2007 to 45 in 2008 – including 41 sex trafficking and four labor trafficking investigations. Norwegian authorities prosecuted five people for sex trafficking and one person for labor trafficking in 2008, compared to a total of six prosecutions in 2007. Six people were convicted of trafficking during the reporting period, compared to six convictions in 2007. All six traffickers were sentenced to some time in prison; no traffickers were given suspended sentences. Sentences imposed on the five convicted sex traffickers ranged from 18 to 36 months' imprisonment. One person convicted of labor trafficking was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment. In 2007, six traffickers were sentenced to 18 to 30 months' imprisonment. Throughout the year, Norwegian law enforcement personnel collaborated on trafficking investigations with counterparts from numerous countries including the Czech Republic, Albania, Italy, Nigeria, Spain, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Brazil, and all of the Nordic-Baltic countries.

Protection

The government continued to improve its impressive efforts to identify and protect victims of trafficking during the year. The government identified 256 victims in 2008, an increase from 190 victims identified in 2007. Law enforcement and other government officials referred at least 118 victims for assistance in 2008. Forty-four victims were assisted in 2008, up from 37 victims in 2007. The government provided direct social assistance services to victims as well as funding for assistance provided by anti-trafficking NGOs. In 2008, trafficking victims in Norway had access to shelter, medical care, vocational training, and legal assistance; however, many female victims of forced prostitution were provided shelter in domestic violence shelters rather than in trafficking-specific shelters. Victims are permitted to stay in Norway without conditions during a six-month reflection period in order to receive assistance; 40 victims benefited from the reflection period in 2008 compared to 30 in 2007. After the reflection period, victims can apply for one-year residency permits; in 2008, 15 victims received one-year residency permits. The government encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. Trafficking victims were not penalized during the reporting period for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention

The government continued its trafficking prevention outreach in key source countries while improving awareness efforts in Norway during the reporting period. The government conducted two campaigns aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts; these campaigns were advertised on the internet and in Norwegian airports. Norway criminalized the purchase of sexual services in January 2009, which may have an impact on the demand for commercial sex within Norway. The government briefed all Norwegian troops on human trafficking prior to deployment overseas on international peacekeeping missions and monitored immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking.

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