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‘War children’ can apply for compensation

The Storting has resolved that ‘war children’ can be granted an ex gratia compensation.

About the Storting’s ex gratia compensation scheme
Financial compensation under the Storting’s ex gratia compensation is granted on the basis of a reasonableness evaluation. This means that no one is entitled to the ex gratia payment. Current practice is to disburse ex gratia payments to individuals who have found themselves in a particularly disadvantageous position, and who have incurred a loss that is not covered by ordinary compensation rules or through national or private insurance schemes. The evaluation will pay particular attention to the loss suffered in conjunction with reprehensible behaviour on the part of public authorities.

The ex gratia compensation has now been expanded so that factors that particularly affected ‘war children’ are now encompassed by the scheme. ‘War children’ can, of course, also apply for ex gratia compensation for factors that were covered by the ex gratia compensation scheme as it was practiced before the extension. Such factors may include inadequate schooling, inadequate follow-up from the child protection or health services, sexual abuse suffered before the victims-of-violence compensation scheme came into force on 1 January 1975 and so on. If ex gratia compensation had been granted earlier, no new ex gratia compensation will be awarded for the same factors.

Who can apply
The ex gratia compensation may be awarded to individuals born in the years 1940-1946, with a Norwegian mother and a father who was a soldier for the German occupying power in Norway. It is not a criterion that the applicant is a Norwegian citizen.

What factors can justify an application for ex gratia compensation 
Individuals who have incurred particular suffering, loss and unreasonable treatment in consequence of being ‘war children’ may apply for ex gratia compensation under the extended scheme. Typical factors affecting ‘war children’, and which can form the grounds for an application for ex gratia compensation, are:
• being sent back and forth between Norway and Germany
• wrongful adoption
• bullying
This list is not exhaustive. The decisive factor will be whether the factors alleged in the application are, after a concrete discretionary assessment, adjudged to represent such suffering, loss and unreasonable treatment that it seems reasonable that ex gratia compensation is awarded. 

How much can be applied for
Ex gratia compensation can be granted in the sum of up to NOK 200,000. The usual level of compensation is currently running at between NOK 60,000 and 120,000. 

Individuals who have been bullied are often unable to document what they have suffered. For ‘war children’ a special scheme has been instituted, whereby on the basis of a credible declaration from the person concerned, ex gratia compensation of up to NOK 20,000 can be paid. If there exists documentation of serious damage in consequence of bullying, the ex gratia compensation can be much greater.

Processing of applications
An application for ex gratia compensation is decided by the Storting’s Ex Gratia Compensation Committee, and the preparatory processing is done by the Committee’s secretariat, part of the Justice Secretariats. This secretariat sees to the collection of information from other government agencies if this is necessary. If the application is defective, the secretariat will draw the applicant’s attention to this. The secretariat will also be able to assist the applicant with general advice about the processing of the applications.

The processing will take place in Norwegian, and decisions in the case will be written in Norwegian. An English summary of the decision will also be enclosed when it is sent to the applicant. 

How to apply
A separate application form has been prepared, which is appended to this facts-sheet. 

If the form is not used, the application must contain: 

The applicant’s full name (and former names if any), address, phone number, date and place of birth. A copy of the birth certificate and/or registration card from the Lebensborn Archive (contact the National Archives of Norway for this) should be appended if possible.

The application must also contain information on the applicant’s father, primarily full name, date of birth, citizenship and father’s affiliation to the occupying power, and information on where in Norway the father was stationed in the period in question.

In addition, the application must contain information on the applicant’s mother, including full name, date and place of birth, and nationality.

The application must include a description of what the applicant has suffered and what consequences this has had for him or her subsequently.

The applicant must state to what bank or postal giro account the payment shall be made. 

Application deadline:
The extended ex gratia compensation scheme for ‘war children’ is time-limited for two years. This mean that an application for ex gratia compensation must be filed with the Justice Secretariats within 1 July 2007.

The application form should be sent to:
Justissekretariatene, Postboks 8027 Dep,
0030 Oslo, Norway

For an application form, please click here.

More information about the application form:
Contact the Justice Secretariats:
Tel.: +47 22 99 13 25
Fax: +4722 99 13 26
e-post post@justissekretariatene.no
www.justissekretariatene.no

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