A new study conducted by research firm MMI for the government agency in charge of integration (IMDi) indicates that a considerable portion of non-western immigrants have experienced discrimination based on their ethnic background.
MMI's survey, reports newspaper Aften, showed that six of 10 African immigrants questioned said they've experienced discrimination. Most try to just brush it off.
"When I don't get enough help at the doctor's office, or when folks are unpleasant on the bus, I have to wonder whether it's because of my background," Catalina Tetlie, originally from the Dominican Republic, told Aften. "Or maybe it happens to everyone. I try to just block it out."
Williams Tamba from Liberia said he encounters discrimination most often when trying to enter nightclubs or popular bars. Doormen often keep him out, he claims. "They always find a reason not to let me in," Tamba said.
He's also experienced discrimination on the job. "When I was working for a building firm, a Norwegian was hired after me," Tamba told
Aften. "He had less experience than I did, and I trained him, but he was paid more than I was."
Such discrimination is illegal in Norway, but difficult for officials to crack down on. "Nightclubs or discos risk losing their liquor licenses if they discriminate," Osmund Kaldheim of IMDi. "It's surprising that we're still hearing about so many incidents."
All told, nearly 19 percent of immigrants questioned said they'd faced job discrimination and discriminatory behaviour on public transport.
More than 15 percent had experienced discrimination at bars or restaurants.
Many, though, say they've never suffered discrimination. Omar Ibrahim Hasji, age 51 from Somalia, has lived in Oslo since 1986 and claims he's never encountered such trouble. "I have children in school, and it's never been a problem for them, either," he said.
Source: Aftenposten (English)