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Council of Europe Anti-Racism Commission to prepare report on Denmark

Strasbourg, 17.10.2011 - A delegation of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) visited Denmark from 19 to 23 September 2011 as the first step in the preparation of a monitoring report. During its visit, ECRI’s delegation gathered information on the implementation of the recommendations it made to the authorities in its previous report of 2006 and discussed new issues that had emerged since.

The delegation held meetings in Copenhagen with representatives of all relevant ministries, other competent authorities and human rights NGOs. It also visited the Sandholm Centre for Asylum Seekers where it met with representatives from the Danish Red Cross and the Danish Immigration Service.

Following this visit, ECRI will adopt a report in which it will make a fresh set of recommendations on measures to be taken by the authorities to address racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance in the country. Among these, three will be revisited two years after the publication of the report as part of an interim follow-up procedure.

In its 2006 report, ECRI expressed concern about: the rules concerning spousal and family reunification; mother-tongue education which should be provided to all children in Denmark in a non-discriminatory manner; and the negative rhetoric against Muslims.

In the same report, ECRI further noted that asylum seekers pending their status determination did not have the right to work or study outside the asylum centres and that NGOs and other specialised bodies were not provided with sufficient funds to assist minority groups adequately. ECRI recommended that the “start allowance” be scrapped since this provision amounts to indirect discrimination against newly arrived migrants and refugees.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, citizenship, colour, religion and language, as well as xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States. For more information on ECRI: www.coe.int/ecri

Link to the 2006 report on Denmark

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28, stefano.valenti@coe.int
Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 39 11