COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. At its 1220th and 1221st
meetings, held on 6 and 7 August 1997, the Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination considered the thirteenth periodic report of
Denmark (CERD/C/319/Add.1) and adopted, at its 1230th meeting, held
on 13 August 1997, the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee notes with
appreciation the State Party's readiness to continue the dialogue with
it by sending a highly specialized delegation to present the thirteenth
periodic report, which is an indication of the importance attached by
the Government of Denmark to its obligations under the Convention. The
Committee appreciates the frankness and the comprehensiveness of the
updated report, which in general complies with the reporting guidelines
and which contains detailed supplementary information in response to
most of the suggestions and recommendations adopted by the Committee
during its consideration of the previous periodic report. The Committee
also welcomes the additional written and oral information provided by
the State party's delegation, which enabled it to establish a very constructive
and fruitful dialogue with the Committee.
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
3. It is noted that there
are no significant factors or difficulties that prevent the effective
implementation of the Convention in Denmark.
C. Positive aspects
4. It is noted with appreciation
that the State party has ensured a wide dissemination of its reports
under the Convention in the national language, to members of the Parliament,
to non-governmental organizations and to the public at large, and on
the Internet, together with the concluding observations of the Committee.
5. The Committee welcomes
the several positive legislative measures taken to combat ethnic discrimination,
in particular on the labour market. The Act on Prohibition against Differential
Treatment on the Labour Market, which came into effect on 1 July 1996,
is noted with interest, as well as the "Icebreaker arrangement", which
aims at providing financial assistance, under certain conditions, to
enterprises of up to 250 employees which hire highly educated immigrants
or refugees. Furthermore, programmes initiated in the field of placement
services and vocational training courses for immigrants and refugees,
to improve their entry into the labour market, are noted with interest.
6. Efforts made by the State
party to facilitate the integration of refugees and immigrants, including
the draft bill on integration of refugees and immigrants prepared by
the Integration Committee, are noted with satisfaction.
7. Efforts made by the State
party to ensure that the composition of the police service reflects
that of the population by including persons of non-Danish ethnic origin
are noted with satisfaction. Improvements in the human rights training
of the police, designed to combat negative attitudes towards minorities
and to promote good relationship with ethnic minorities, are welcomed.
8. The allocation of special
funds for assistance to the operation of ethnic associations, to cultural
and information activities for and about immigrants and refugees, as
well as to the development of integration projects, is welcomed as a
step forward in the implementation of integration policy.
9. It is noted with appreciation
that Denmark has ratified the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6,
of the Convention.
10. The active participation
of the State party in international efforts to combat racism is welcomed.
D. Principal subjects of concern
11. The Committee regrets
that the thirteenth periodic report does not provide sufficient information
previously requested on the implementation of article 3 of the Convention,
with particular reference to the allocation of housing and requirements
to attend special schools.
12. Although the amendment
of section 266 b of the Penal Code assists the more effective implementation
of obligations deriving from article 4 of the Convention, two concerns
remain: firstly, that prosecuting practice is focusing too much on propaganda
activities while other means of disseminating racist ideas are treated
as minor offences; this gives a restrictive interpretation to the provisions
of this article. Secondly, the Committee expresses particular concern
at the lenient attitude towards the dissemination of racist ideas over
the radio. It is also noted that organizations using racist propaganda
to incite racial discrimination are not declared illegal and not prohibited.
13. Concern is expressed
over reports of discriminatory practices affecting residents of non-Danish
ethnic or national origin, especially in respect of employment, housing
and bank loans.
14. Concern is expressed
that a rigid implementation of the law of 1981 on names has a discriminatory
effect on residents of non-Danish ethnic or national origin.
15. The Committee notes
with concern that the State party did not provide information on the
implementation of article 6 of the Convention on effective protection
and remedies, and on the right to seek just and adequate reparation
16. Concern is also expressed
over the insufficiency of the information on the relocation of seal
hunters' villages in Thule in 1953 and, in particular, about the persistent
long delay in resolving the compensation claim of the population of
Thule, displaced from their traditional hunting grounds and places of
E. Suggestions and
17. The Committee recommends
that the State party provide detailed information in its next periodic
report on the implementation of article 3 of the Convention, in the
light of the Committee's General Recommendation XIX.
18. The Committee reaffirms
that the provisions of article 4 of the Convention are of a mandatory
character and recommends that the State party introduce measures that
fully implement this provision. It is recommended that the procedure
and practice of licensing radio transmissions be reconsidered.
19. The Committee encourages
the State party to transmit in its next periodic report up-to-date information
concerning judgements on cases falling under article 4 of the Convention
and under section 266 b of the Danish Penal Code.
20. The Committee recommends
that the State party review its measures for guaranteeing, in accordance
with article 5 of the Convention, the economic and social rights of
residents of non-Danish ethnic or national origin with particular reference
to the rights to work and to housing. The attention of the State party
is drawn to the Committee's General Recommendation XI.
21. The Committee recommends
that the State party include information in its next periodic report
on the implementation of article 6 of the Convention. This information
should also pertain to Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
22. The Committee reiterates
its previous recommendation regarding information on compensation for
the population of Thule, Greenland, who have been displaced from their
traditional hunting grounds and places of settlement. The Committee
recommends that the State party inform it of the latest developments
concerning the agreement concerning assistance between the Danish authorities
and the Greenland Home Rule Government.
23. The Committee recommends
that the State party's next periodic report contain specific information
regarding the status and implementation of the Convention in Greenland
and the Faroe Islands, and address all the concerns expressed by the