The Immigrants’ Council (IC) is an advisory body that was set up in Stavanger already in 1986, under the aegis of the Mayor. Its main objective was to ensure a more active involvement of the immigrant population in local public life, on an equal footing, and to engage migrants in addressing problems affecting the community as a whole. The IC was also due to co-operate very closely with the local politicians (town councillors) and with the regional authorities responsible for addressing those issues. Ultimately, the IC was meant to improve the daily lives of foreign nationals in Stavanger.
Since its setting up, the IC has actively and constructively worked at addressing a whole range of issues, in particular employment, housing, urban planning, health, education, recognition of skills and qualifications, teaching and learning of both mother tongue and Norwegian. It has built bridges between the immigrant communities and the locals, and has encouraged mutual understanding and interfaith dialogue. In terms of procedure, the City Council appoints half of the members of the IC, while the other half is elected by representatives of the migrant communities (appointed by the City Council). The Chair has a 4 year mandate and is also responsible of a budget allocated by the City Council. The IC meets ten times a year and submits an annual report at a City Council meeting.