Agreement on international cooperation on behalf of minorities

Villa GrandeOslo.Villa Grande. HL Centre.Photo: wikimedia.org

The Foreign Ministry has made a three-year’s deal with the Norwegian Centre for Studies on Holocaust and Religious Minorities for work helping minorities.

– The centre’s expertise is important in a time when human rights have come under increased pressure and both ethnic and religious minorities are being persecuted and harassed throughout the world, Foreign Minister Børge Brende said.

The Foreign Minister visited the HL Centre yesterday, where he and director Guri Hjeltnes signed a framework agreement of up to NOK 8.3 million for the period 2017-2019. The aim is to help improve the conditions for religious and ethnic minorities in conflict- and otherwise vulnerable areas, including the Middle East and Myanmar.

– About 70 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where there are restrictions on religion and freedom of speech. Especially in areas of war and conflict, the religious and ethnic minorities receive neither protection by law or by practice. Instead minorities are suppressed, imprisoned, banished or killed because of their faith or affiliation. Therefore the Foreign Ministry wish to help strengthen the protection of minority rights, says Minister Brende.

The funds will be used to investigate mechanisms for monitoring, alerting and prevention of violations of the human rights of minorities. The transfer of knowledge and capacity building in developing countries directly aimed at minorities are an important part of this task.

The Norwegian Centre for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities (HL) is a research, documentation and dissemination centre with focus on the Holocaust and other forms of genocides as well as the situation for minorities in modern society. The centre, established by Parliament in 2001, collaborates with institutions in many countries.

 

Source: government.no / Norway Today

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