Learn more about specific causes in Norway that you can get involved in.
EnvironmentThe Norwegian Environment Agency released a report that cites increased road traffic as a source of pollution. The report also linked air contamination to cardiovascular diseases and cancer. It is common for local air pollution caps to be exceeded, especially in small, rural communities.1 There are a variety of issues with pollution of waterways, especially with contamination of the Oslo fjord from sewage that was incorrectly managed. The use of hydroelectric power also raises similar issues with contamination and disruption of natural habitats.2
Family26.8% of women in Norway reported experiencing domestic abuse, which contrasts Norway’s ranking as one of the top five best countries for gender equality.1 Norway has a Directorate of Children, Youth, and Family Affairs that is tasked with the development and implementation of family policies. This department is also in charge of adoptions, and the distribution of state-funded child welfare.2
Human RightsOne of the main human rights concerns in Norway is violence against women and children. The Norwegian business sector is praised internationally for gender equality, but at home women and girls suffer from domestic violence. Amnesty International calls the state response to rape “inadequate”. Refugees and asylum seekers’ rights were heavily restricted by the government, and it has become increasingly difficult for those seeking refuge in the country to gain legal residency.1 In 2014 Norway transferred the responsibility of asylum-seeking children from immigration offices to Child Welfare services.2 The government has also been criticized for rejecting asylum seekers and returning them to unfamiliar regions of their home countries.3
EducationTeachers in Norway are continuously working towards making their education system the most accomplished in the international community.1 School in Norway is a basic right and is mandatory and free from age six to 15. From ages one to five and the final years of high school, education is free but not required.2 Norway’s education system is decentralized and autonomous. Primary and secondary education schools are run by the individual 430 municipalities in which they operate. In 2004, Norway instituted a quality assessment system in order to regulate the quality of education throughout the country.3
PovertyOverall, Norway has very low rates of poverty.1 A study conducted by the Borgen Project revealed that financial inequality is a larger issue than poverty in Norway. The wealthy continue to receive tax cuts, while four of every 10 immigrant children live in poverty.2
Religion72% of Norwegians are Evangelical Lutheran, while 4% are Christian, 2.8% are Muslim, 2.8% are Roman Catholic and the rest are unspecified.1 The government provides for the freedom of religion. In 2012, Norway abolished the practice of an official state religion.2
Clean WaterAll Norwegian citizens have access to clean water, and 98% have access to improved sanitation facilities.1 The Norwegian Energy and Environment Consortium is responsible for the coordination of the water treatment plants and companies in Norway.2 Norway also supports the efforts of the UN and other international aid organizations in the quest to provide clean water in developing countries.3
EconomyNorway is ranked 23rd out of the 180 countries included in the Economic Freedom Index. The economy of Norway is focused on competitive markets with flexibility and openness. There is a remarkable attitude of transparency within commercial operations.1 The country’s main exports are petroleum and related products, as well as machinery and metals. Imports consist of machinery, chemicals, and food products. Norway trades mostly with the UK, Germany, China, and Sweden.2
GovernmentThe Kingdom of Norway is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy located in the western region of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The king is the chief of state and the prime minister is the head of government. The State Council is appointed by the monarch, but has to be approved by the Parliament as well. Norway is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the European Economic Area (EEA), and is not a member of the European Union.1 With well-implemented anti-corruption measures and legal proceedings, Norway has earned a reputation as being one of the least corrupt countries in the world.2
HealthNorway has an extremely efficient and effective health care system. The country has free hospital care, cash benefits for pregnancy and illnesses, and compensation for physicians.1 Of all the countries in the OECD, Norway has the highest rates of sickness, disability, and mental health issues.2 The national maternal and infant mortality rates are among the lowest in the world. The average life expectancy is 82 years. 9.7% of Norway’s GDP is spent on healthcare.3
ChildrenMuch like its fellow Nordic counterparts, Norway is a leader in children’s rights and protections. It has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and all other amendments to it. The Ministry of Children and Family Affairs is responsible for the coordination of all agencies and social services that deal with children. The ministry is in charge of the provision of welfare and the investigations of abuse and neglect.1 The Norwegian Child Welfare Service has faced major accusations about being overactive in removing children from potentially abusive situations. There are accusations about the program targeting culturally different families in their cases; 424 children out of 1,664 removed were from families with one or more parent born in a foreign country.2
AnimalsThe diverse landscape in Norway is comprised of arctic tundra, as well as coastal regions combined with Boreal forests. Notable species include the polar bear, walrus, Eurasian lynx, the brown bear, and the arctic fox.1 The country became the first to completely ban deforestation in 2016 in an effort to protect Norway’s dwindling forests.2
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