The Norwegian Red Cross has reported that since March, it has been unable to access Norway’s sole long-term detention facility, the Trandum Detention Centre. Although the organisation has remained in close contact with the facility’s staff during the pandemic, it has been unable to physically enter the facility and its volunteers have only been able to speak with two detainees via video call. The organisation has frequently raised the need for access with the immigration police, but as of 29 September, access continued to be denied. Prior to the pandemic, the Red Cross ran an active volunteer visitor programme in the facility providing support and assistance to detainees.
As of 8 September, there were 36 detainees in Norway’s Trandum detention facility—three of whom are women—and no detainees have been held in the facility’s separate family unit since March. One Red Cross representative told the GDP that because as the numbers of detainees at the Trandum have fallen since the onset of the pandemic, this has presented new opportunities for the humanitarian group to dialogue with officials about implementing new development projects at the centre. Among the items they have proposed has been boosting “internet access through digital equipment procured by the Red Cross.”
As the GDP previously reported on this platform (see 24 July update), some people have been released from detention due to the pandemic. According to the Norwegian Red Cross, although the exact number who were released remains unclear, it is generally thought that persons who were released (mainly from Ethiopia and Iraq) were selected because they had a network/family in the country who could provide them with accommodation. Those who were released have been required to report regularly to immigration police.
- Norwegian Red Cross (Elise Kaurin), Email Communication with Global Detention Project (Michael Flynn), 28 September 2020.
- Norwegian Red Cross (Karin Afeef), Email Communication with Global Detention Project (Michael Flynn), 12 October 2020.
- Norwegian Red Cross, “Hver uke besøker frivillige fra Røde Kors insatte på Trandum utlendingsinternat,” 24 March 2017, Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz3CHow3Pss
- Global Detention Project, “Immigration Detention in Norway – 2018 Update,” February 2018, https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/europe/norway#country-report