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. The Committee considered
the fourteenth periodic report of Denmark (CERD/C/362/Add.1) at its
1377th and 1378th meetings on 8 and 9 March 2000 (CERD/C/SR.1377 and
1378) and at its 1397th meeting, on 23 March 2000, adopted the following
2. The Committee welcomes
the detailed report presented by the Government of Denmark, which
contains relevant information about changes and developments that
have occurred since the consideration of the previous periodic report,
including in Greenland. The Committee also welcomes the detailed answers
to questions raised and concerns expressed during the consideration
of the report. It expresses its appreciation for the frank dialogue
with the delegation, which represented a very wide range of ministries,
and for the comprehensive and thorough answers given orally to the
wide range of questions asked by members.
B. Positive aspects
3. The fact that Denmark
submits its periodic reports under the Convention within the established
timetable is welcomed.
4. The Committee notes
that the State party has enacted the Act on Integration of Aliens
(1998), which entered into force on 1 January 1999. The new Act on
the Board for Ethnic Equality, enacted in 1997, is welcomed.
5. The Committee notes
with interest the establishment in 1999 of a new Committee of Ministers
to prepare an inter-ministerial and comprehensive report on existing
integration problems and a plan of action to improve the integration
of aliens. In this regard, it noted that the report and action plan
were launched in February 2000 and contain over 75 concrete initiatives
6. The Committee notes
with satisfaction that, following the case of the Iraqi woman referred
to during the oral presentation of the State party's report, the Danish
Immigration Service decided to make slight adjustments to its practice
by which it assigns refugees to municipalities in Denmark.
C. Concerns and recommendations
7. The Committee notes
that the new Act on Integration of Aliens transfers the responsibility
for integration from the central to the local authorities. The Committee
recommends to the State party to monitor closely the implementation
of the new Act with a view to ensuring that the geographical distribution
of aliens within the State party is made according to the principle
of equity and does not lead to violation of their rights recognized
under the Convention.
8. In light of article
4 of the Convention, the Committee is concerned about activities of
organizations which promote racial hatred and discrimination. It is
especially concerned about the influence of Radio Oasen, owned by
a neo-Nazi association, whose licence was renewed in 1997 by the Ministry
of Culture and which receives financial support from the Government.
The Committee recommends to the State party to declare illegal and
prohibit any organization which promotes and incites racial discrimination
and calls attention to its General Recommendation No. XV in this regard.
9. With regard to the
right to housing, the Committee is concerned that decisions regarding
quotas for newly arrived refugees and/or asylum-seekers can be arbitrary
in their effects. The Committee recommends to the State party to adopt
rules of procedure regarding the right to housing of refugees and/or
asylum-seekers which are in line with the principles and provisions
of the Convention.
10. The Committee notes
that some individuals have been convicted for violating section 266
(b) of the Criminal Code and suggests that sanctions pronounced under
the Criminal Code be commensurate with the nature of the related crime.
11. The Committee is concerned
that equal attention be paid to the economic, social and cultural
rights listed in article 5. It is particularly concerned by the level
of unemployment among foreigners and the difficult access to employment
of members of ethnic minorities. In particular, the Committee draws
the attention of the State party to the fact that, although the State
party is not obliged to provide work permits to foreign residents,
it has to guarantee that foreigners who have obtained a work permit
are not discriminated against in their access to employment.
12. The Committee recommends
to the State party to take all effective measures to reduce unemployment
among foreigners and facilitate the professional integration of all
persons belonging to ethnic minorities in the public administration.
13. Though efforts in
this sense have been initiated, the Committee notes that the Convention
has not yet been translated into the Greenlandic language. It therefore
recommends to the State party rapidly to facilitate this process and
provide means for the dissemination of the Greenlandic version of
14. The Committee reiterates
its suggestion that even further action be taken to ensure that the
provisions of the Convention are more widely disseminated, particularly
among minority groups, government officials, employers and trade unions.
The public should be better informed about the remedy available under
article 14 of the Convention.
15. The Committee recommends
that the State party's next periodic report, due on 8 January 2001,
be an updating report and that it address all the points raised in
the present observations.