1. The Committee considered
the third periodic report of Denmark (CCPR/C/64/Add.11) at its 1533rd
and 1534th meetings, held on 22 October 1996 and adopted at its 1556th
meeting (fifty-eighth session) held on 6 November 1996 the following comments:
2. The Committee expresses
its appreciation to the State party for its elaborate and comprehensive
report, which has eventually been prepared in accordance with the Committee's
guidelines, and for engaging through a delegation with first-hand knowledge
of the different subjects under discussion, in an extremely constructive
dialogue with the Committee.
3. It notes with satisfaction
that the information submitted in the report and that provided by the
delegation in reply to both written and oral questions, enabled the Committee
to obtain a thorough view of Denmark's actual compliance with the obligations
undertaken under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
and the improvements implemented since the consideration of the second
periodic report. The Committee regrets, however, that the third periodic
report, which was due in 1990, was considerably delayed in its submission.
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee notes, with
appreciation, the high level of achievement in the respect for human rights
in Denmark. Among the positive developments that have been realized since
the consideration of the second periodic report in 1987, the Committee
notes the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant
on the abolition of the death penalty, the revision of various legislative
texts, the increased jurisdiction recently granted to the Ombudsman and
the establishment at a national level of a number of human rights institutions
- namely the Danish Centre for Human Rights, the Equal Status Council
and the Racial Equality Board - with a view to reinforcing protection
of civil and political rights and to promoting greater public awareness
of the provisions of the Covenant and the Optional Protocols.
5. The publication by the
Ministry of Justice of a new periodical on EU law and human rights with
a view to ensure a wider knowledge of the interpretation and application
of human rights provisions of international treaties in the Danish courts
is welcomed. The organization, on a standing basis, of human rights training
courses for members of the police and other law enforcement officials
is also a positive development.
6. The Committee notes with
satisfaction the measures adopted by the Danish Government in order to
ensure that ethnic and linguistic minorities enjoy the rights set forth
in the Covenant without discrimination.
7. The Committee commends
the introduction of a new system to investigate complaints against the
police and the increased funding for its operation. It looks forward to
receiving the results of the new jurisdiction.
8. The Committee takes note
of the declaration by the delegation to the effect that the text of the
Covenant would be shortly translated into Greenlandic.
9. The Committee commends
the legal and administrative measures taken to promote equal enjoyment
of women's rights.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the application of the Covenant
10. The Committee finds that
there are no particular factors or difficulties which may impede the effective
implementation of the Covenant's provisions by the Kingdom of Denmark,
except for the continued maintenance of Denmark's reservations to certain
provisions of the Covenant.
D. Principal subjects of concern
11. The Committee is concerned
at the fact that the Covenant, unlike the European Convention on Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, has not yet been given the status of
domestic legislation, considering in particular that the Covenant guarantees
a number of human rights which are not protected under the European Convention
and that permissible restrictions are less broadly based.
12. The Committee notes that
the reservations entered by Denmark upon ratification of the Covenant
with respect to a number of provisions have an adverse effect on the full
implementation of the Covenant. Consideration ought to be given to the
withdrawal of some, or all, of these reservations.
13. The Committee further
notes that the requirements referred to in article 9, paragraph 3, of
the Covenant, are not fully met.
14. The Committee also expresses
its concern with the methods of crowd control employed by the police forces,
including the use of dogs, against participants in various demonstrations
or gatherings which, on certain occasions, have resulted in the serious
injuries to persons in the crowds, including bystanders.
15. The Committee is concerned
at the long delay in resolving the dispute arising from the claim for
compensation by the members of the indigenous minority of Greenland in
respect of their displacement from their lands and loss of traditional
hunting rights on account of the construction of the military base at
Thule. It is also concerned that the people of Greenland are not able
to enjoy fully certain Covenant rights and freedoms, including those provided
for in article 12.
16. The Committee regrets
the paucity of information about the Covenant and its implementation in
the Faroe Islands.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
17. The Committee recommends
that the State party take appropriate measures to ensure the direct application
of the provisions of the Covenant into domestic law.
18. The Committee also recommends
that the Government review the continuing need for any reservation, with
a view to withdrawing them.
19. The Committee suggests
that further consideration and amendments be made to the regulations,
last reviewed in 1992, concerning residence and other conditions for reunification
of families both of alien immigrants and refugees so as more fully to
give effect to articles 23 and 24 of the Covenant.
20. The Committee further
recommends that consideration be given to the revision of the existing
regulations concerning the length of the pre-trial detention and that
of solitary confinement in accordance with the Committee's General Comment
No. 8 (16) and its jurisprudence.
21. The Committee urges the
Government of the State party to further the training of the police forces
in methods of crowd control and of handling offenders, including those
suffering from mental disorder; and to keep these issues constantly under
review. The Committee recommends that the authorities reconsider the use
of dogs in crowd control.
22. The Committee emphasizes
that further measures should be taken to ensure that the provisions of
the Covenant are more widely disseminated, particularly among the legal
profession and members of the judiciary.
23. The Committee strongly
recommends that the reporting obligations of the State party under article
40 of the Covenant be strictly observed and that the fourth periodic report
be submitted within the time-limit to be determined by the Committee.