Revidert Statsbudsjett: Regjeringens kutt til menneskerettighetsarbeid skaper bekymring

May 13, 2022

Regjeringen møter ikke situasjonen verden står i

I forslag til revidert statsbudsjett 2022, som ble lagt frem på torsdag, foreslår regjeringen å kutte støtten til satsinger på menneskerettigheter, menneskerettighetsforsvarere, kvinners rettigheter, arbeidstakerrettigheter, ytringsfrihet, rettsstat og demokrati med 136 millioner kroner. Daglig leder i Safemuse, Jan Lothe Eriksen, er dypt bekymret for det foreslåtte kuttet på over 20 prosent i en urolig tid hvor behovet for å prioritere menneskerettighetsarbeid er større enn på lenge:

– Det er dypt foruroligende og meget overraskende at regjeringen velger å foreslå å kutte i budsjettposten som er satt av til arbeid for menneskerettigheter og menneskerettighetsforkjempere. I en tid med økende press mot ytringsfrihet og menneskerettighetsforkjempere, inkludert kunstnere, i Europa er dette området viktigere enn noen gang. Det foreslåtte kuttet er i sterk motsetning til hva regjeringen har signalisert så langt. Utenriksdepartementets egen strategi på dette området er krystallklar, og den løfter frem kunstnere som viktige menneskerettighetsforkjempere og demokratibyggere. Og Kulturminister Anette Trettebergstuen fremholdt under åpningen av Fri Kunst-konferansen 4. mars at dette område er noe av det viktigste man kan arbeide for, nettopp med henvisning til krigen i Ukraina og den urolige tiden vi lever i. Sist under Europakonferansen i Kristiansand 5. mai, hvor vel rammene for budsjettet var lagt, gjentok statssekretær i Kulturdepartementet Odin Adelsten Aunan Bohmann, viktigheten av å beskytte ytringsfrihet og kulturelle rettigheter, og påpekte kunstnernes viktige rolle som demokratiforkjempere.

Med Hurdalplattformens klare formulering på dette området blir budsjettforslaget helt uforståelig. I denne tiden er det snarere behov for en opptrapping og styrking av dette arbeidet, og ikke å foreta dramatiske budsjettkutt! 

 

The government does not heed to the situation in the world

In the proposal for the revised state budget 2022, which was presented on Thursday, the Norwegian government proposes to cut the support for work related to human rights, human rights defenders, women’s rights, labor rights, freedom of expression, the rule of law and democracy by NOK 136 million. Safemuse’s general manager, Jan Lothe Eriksen, is deeply concerned that a more-than-20 percent-cut is proposed in these turbulent times when the need for these funds is acute: 

– It is deeply disturbing and very surprising that the government chooses to propose cuts in the effort for human rights and human rights defenders. In times of increasing pressure on freedom of expression and human rights defenders, including artists, in Europe, this area is more important than ever. The proposed cut is in stark contrast to what the government has signaled so far. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ own strategy in this area is crystal clear, and it highlights artists as important human rights defenders and democracy-builders. At the opening of the Artistic Freedom Conference on March 4th, the Minister of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen, emphasised that this area is one of the most important areas to work for, particularly with reference to the war in Ukraine and the turbulent times we live in. Most recently during the European Conference in Kristiansand on May 5th, State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Odin Adelsten Aunan Bohmann, reiterated the importance of protecting freedom of expression and cultural rights, and highlighted the important role of artists as pro-democracy activists.

With a national political platform that clearly states the importance of human rights efforts, the budget proposal becomes completely incomprehensible. This is the time to escalate and strengthen this work, rather than to make a dramatic budget cut!

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