Denmark Human Rights

Torture and other ill-treatment

Although amendments to the Civil and Military Criminal Codes had introduced torture as an aggravating circumstance for various criminal offences in 2008, and the Danish Criminal Code contains provisions punishing acts that amount to torture, Danish criminal law continued to omit torture as a specific crime in its own right.

The UN Special Rapporteur on torture expressed concern at, among other things, the extensive use of solitary confinement, particularly of pre-trial detainees.

Minors held on remand were regularly detained in the same facilities as adult inmates.

Refugees and asylum-seekers

In August, in the middle of the night, police raided a church in Copenhagen, and detained a number of Iraqi asylum-seekers who had sheltered there for months. There were complaints that the police used excessive force to remove people who were demonstrating in solidarity with the asylum-seekers.

During the year, 38 Iraqi asylum-seekers were forcibly returned to Iraq, including at least 25 to central and southern Iraq contrary to the advice of UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.

Newly arrived refugees and other aliens were still only entitled to between 45 and 65 per cent of regular welfare benefits, giving rise to concern that this would lead to their being destitute.

Violence against women and girls

In February, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture expressed concern at the high incidence of assault and sexual offences against women in Greenland. In August, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) expressed concern at the increase in the total number of women subjected to physical violence between 2000 and 2005, and that immigrant women were most affected. The CEDAW Committee noted that foreign married women, whose immigration status depended on that of their spouses, were particularly vulnerable as victims of domestic violence. The strict seven-year residence requirement for permanent residency gave rise to concern that it may prevent women from leaving abusive relationships and seeking assistance.

The CEDAW Committee concurred with the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, that the government's emphasis on the repatriation of trafficking victims to their country of origin, rather than on their recovery and rehabilitation, was a matter of concern.

The authorities failed to address the lack of legal protection and redress for rape survivors. However, in November the government commissioned an expert committee to examine existing rape legislation and make recommendations.

Denmark Newsroom

March 4, 2019 • Report

Give us respect and justice! Overcoming barriers to justice for women rape survivors in Denmark

Denmark’s reputation for gender equality masks a society with one of Europe’s highest levels of rape, where flawed legislation and widespread harmful myths and gender stereotypes have resulted in endemic impunity for rapists, Amnesty International …

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 17, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Denmark 2013

KINGDOM OF DENMARK Head of state Queen Margrethe II Head of government Helle Thorning-Schmidt A European Parliament report recommended that Denmark conduct an independent investigation into its involvement in the …

March 26, 2011 • Report

Europe: Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention

Europe: Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention Available in PDF only.

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Denmark 2010

Head of state Queen Margrethe II Head of government Lars Løkke Rasmussen (replaced Anders Fogh Rasmussen in April) Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes Population 5.5 million Life expectancy 78.2 …

August 1, 2018 • Press Release

Denmark: Face veil ban a discriminatory violation of women’s rights

As a new law banning the wearing of face coverings in public comes into force in Denmark, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director Fotis Filippou said: “All women should be free …

November 19, 2017 • Press Release

Amnesty reveals alarming impact of online abuse against women

New research by Amnesty International has revealed the alarming impact that abuse and harassment on social media are having on women, with women around the world reporting stress, anxiety, or panic attacks as a result of these harmful online experiences.

March 10, 2016 • Press Release

Ai Weiwei, Snowden, Pussy Riot take place of online ads to protest censorship

Messages from Edward Snowden, Ai Weiwei and Pussy Riot will be broadcast across the internet by AdBlock and Amnesty International on the World Day against Cyber Censorship, 12 March 2016.

February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.