Media visits to asylum reception centres

Information for journalists who wish to visit an asylum reception centre and interview residents and staff 

We want the Norwegian immigration administration to be as transparent as possible, and this includes the living conditions at and running of reception centres. When it comes to the newly opened reception centres and newly arrived asylum seekers, we are more restrictive. This is to ensure the necessary calm for the reception centres to do their job and to care for the newly arrived asylum seekers.

If you wish to make a news story from an asylum reception centre, please contact UDI's press contacts by email or phone (+47) 23 35 17 00.

Duty of confidentiality

UDI is bound by a duty of confidentiality regarding who applies for asylum in Norway and other personal information about asylum seekers. This means, among other things, that residents in asylum reception centres must not be filmed or photographed at the reception centre without having given their consent.

The press must therefore not interview, film, photograph or otherwise subject to public exposure persons who have not given their express and informed consent.

Personal data

Personal data and sensitive information relating to an asylum case must be treated with caution.

Information and/or pictures must not be used for purposes other than those originally agreed upon. Everyone who allows themselves to be interviewed or filmed should be given the opportunity to see their own statements and correct any factual errors.

The reception centre's consent is required

The reception centre's consent is required for recordings on reception centre premises, but the centres will in principle facilitate meetings between the press and people who wish to talk to journalists.

Minors in reception centres

Media exposure of minors is an area that requires the press to show consideration. According to the press's own guidelines, the Ethical Code of Practice for the Norwegian Press, Article 4.8 (external website), the potential consequences of media exposure must be taken into consideration.

UDI works on the principle that minors should be protected against unnecessary and untoward media exposure.

It is also the case that minors cannot be expected to be fully aware of the effects of their own participation in a media story. The Ethical Code of Practice for the Norwegian Press, Article 3.9 (external website) emphasises that journalists must show particular consideration in relation to persons who cannot be expected to be aware of the effects of their own statements.

Children have freedom of expression, including the right to talk to the media, but only if they so wish. For minors, formal consent to media exposure must be obtained from by their parents (or, if relevant, their representative).

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