Norway To Tighten Rules on Au Pairs

The Norwegian government is planning to tighten rules on who can become an Au pair in Norway. Among others, those with children be banned from getting these jobs.
The tighter rules are intended to stop women being exploited as cheap labour, the politicians say. Norway currently has about 3000 Au Pairs; many are from the Philippines, a recent survey shows.
Whilst the government’s intentions may be good, however, the move has sparked opposition.
“Why should you block opportunities for people who want to experience the Norwegian culture? It would be better for us Au Pairs if we had equal rights,” 29-year-old Philippine Au Pair Vita Jane Decatoria, who does not have children, tells NRK.
Lene Løvdal from JURK, a legal advice project for women, also disagrees with the government’s proposal. Claiming the new rules breach “rights to a family life and privacy”, she declares, “You should both be able to have children and be entitled to travel, not least support them and go on cultural exchanges. What we risk is people will now go underground, with worse rights for mothers and children.”
Member of Parliament for the Labour Party, Helga Pedersen, says:
“I think there are very few young women who travel abroad for cultural exchanges with a newborn baby. Therefore, I don’t believe this [proposal] is unreasonable discrimination. On the contrary, it is an important measure to prevent women being exploited.”
Norway’s Ministry of Justice want the new rules to come into force as soon as possible. They will be enforced by the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) if passed.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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