The 48th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
13 September to 8 October 2021
Item 6: Adoption of the Universal Periodic Review of Denmark – 1 October
Oral Statement of Meezaan Center for Human Rights
Delivered by: Beatrice Serra
Thank you, President.
We would like to commend the efforts of Denmark in fighting racism and discrimination. It is regrettable, however, that xenophobia, discrimination and hate speech, particularly anti-Muslim hatred, continues to be a widespread threat in the country. Denmark’s negative political discourse on migrants, including refugees and minority Muslims, has been exacerbated by the actions of some political parties adopting an open anti-Islam stance and by the Danish Government through targeted laws and policies.We want to thank Denmark for its participation in the Universal Periodic Review and its commitment to implementing the recommendations in close cooperation with all stakeholders.
Meezan Center for Human Rights and Geneva International Center for Justice encourage Denmark to strengthening its efforts in developing and implementing a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, as well as repealing provisions that have direct and indirect discriminatory effects on refugees and migrants.
To comply with the responsibility to protect all those within its borders, we urge Denmark:
- to repeal the law prohibiting the face veil which is a clear violation of the right to freedom of religion;
- to develop adequate law and policy to identify and facilitate stateless persons’ and refugees’ access to naturalization;
- to repeal the laws enabling collective punishment and doubling the sentences for crimes committed in the so-called “ghettos” recalling that penalties must correspond with the crime committed, not be excessive or discriminatory in nature.
- Cease and prohibit the use of discriminatory terms and rhetoric, especially by politicians;
To conclude, we urge Denmark to make progress to harmonize its domestic legislation with international human rights instruments and standards. In particular, Denmark should reconsider about not to sign the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.