SENKU-seminar med Peter Dawson
A Human Rights Based Approach to Sámi Statistics in Norway
The collection and disaggregation of statistical data on indigenous peoples has long been regarded as an important component of the fulfilment of States’ human rights obligations. Despite this, Norway does not currently disaggregate statistical data by ethnicity or indigenous status due to difficulties in quantifying ethnic group representation, concerns over privacy and data protection and the potential for misuse of data. The few Sámi-specific data sources that are available in Norway are fragmented and do not provide an adequate empirical basis for human rights monitoring, for preventing discrimination or for improving policy and service delivery on issues of importance to Sámi communities.
This presentation will focus on the human rights-based approach to indigenous statistics and clarify how this applies to Sámi statistics in Norway. It will include a discussion of relevant recommendations from international human rights bodies, explaining why disaggregated data is essential for the implementation of indigenous rights, but also why appropriate safeguards must be in place to protect indigenous peoples’ data. The presentation will then examine the difficult history of research and data collection on the Sámi people and how this has shaped the approach to Sámi statistics in Norway today. Examples of indigenous statistics programmes in comparable countries will also be provided.
Peter Dawson works as an Advisor at the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution (NIM), specialising in Sámi rights and international engagement with indigenous rights. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (Politics & International Relations) from the University of Notre Dame Australia and a Master of Public International Law from the University of Oslo.