Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombud


The Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombud shall combat discrimination and promote equality in all areas in society, regarding the following discrimination grounds; gender, ethnicity, language, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender Identity and gender Expression, and age in work life. The Ombud handles individual discrimination cases, gives statements whether discrimination has happened. The Ombud gives legal guidance to individuals experiencing discrimination, companies and Public agencies about their duties to work for equality. The Ombud has a certain role monitoring the Government’s compliance With the UN convetions, CEDAW, CERD and CRPD.

Brief history

The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud was established by an act of Parliament, the 1. January 2006. The Ombud is a result of a merge between the former Gender Equality Ombud, the Gender Equality Center and the Center for combating ethnic discrimination. The intention was to establish one, strong Equality Body, working with all protected grounds, in all areas in society, also multiple discrimination.
The Ombud’s mandate has been increased througout the years, now including a wide range of discrimination grounds, latest from 1. January 2014; sexual orientation, gender Identity and gender expression in all areas of society.
The Ombud is a Public agency, organised and financed under the Ministry of Children and equality. The Ombud is free from instructions from the Government.

Mandate Type

Combined tribunal-type and promotion-type

Litigation power:

  • Intervening before the court
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) Not legally binding


2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)
Recommendations on discrimination issues
Publications and reports
Research projects (including surveys)

Our institution has a mandate to deal with:

  • Violence against women
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Hate speech
  • CERD and CEDAW

Other statistics:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)165717441706163217211974
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)318247176186217225
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media400020001900


  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)

Management details

The Ombudsperson is appointed by the Government, for a periode of six years, without reappointment. The management of the Office is led by the Ombud and five leaders; heads of the five departments.

Additional details

The Ombud’s Office is organised with four departments; Guidance, monitoring, communication and administration. Several projects are organised in cooperation between the various departments.

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Ombud nominates and appoints her or his own staff;including the management. The staff and management are public servants. Their appointment cannot be terminated when a new Ombud has been appointed.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body

Grounds / Fields Employment Education Housing Social Protection & Healthcare Goods and Services Other
Gender Identity
Race and Ethnic Origin
Sexual Orientation
Religion & Belief

Mandate covers:

  • Public sector
  • Private sector

Operating budget in euros

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Operating budget in euros for the parts of the organisation dealing with equality issues (all types of functions)

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

We are accountable to

  • National Ministry