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Committee on the Rights of the Child examines the situation of children in Denmark

Committee on the Rights of the Child                                                                         

15 September 2017

The Committee on the Rights of the Child today concluded its consideration of the fifth periodic report of Denmark on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Introducing the report, Carsten Staur, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that since the last dialogue, Denmark had ratified the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure, established the special Office for Children as a part of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, and reinforced the advocacy function of the National Council for Children.  The Parliament had passed a legislative package against all forms of violence and sexual abuse and five special Children’s Houses had been established covering all the municipalities.  A new national action plan on preventing and countering extremism and radicalization had been adopted and the protection of victims of criminal act was strengthened by expanding the scope for video questioning.

Margretha Nonklett, representing the Government of the Faroe Islands, said that the Faroes had acceded to the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and was assessing the ratification of the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure.  In the future, the Faroes would have the legislative and administrative power over family law, a task currently performed by the Danish authorities. 

Kirsten Olesen, representing the Government of Greenland (Naalakkersuisut), said that Greenland had gained self-rule in 2009 which had allowed further transfer of competences from the Danish authorities.  The June 2017 Act on Child Support effectively ensured the implementation of the Convention, and the Act on Children’s Spokesman and Children’s Council adopted in 2011 gave the power to the Children’s Spokesman to monitor the legislation and practice and ensure the compliance with the Convention.

In the ensuing dialogue, Committee Experts noted the cuts in public spending and social expenditure and raised concern about the negative impact of austerity measures on children, particularly those from vulnerable groups.  They asked about specific measures taken to counter child poverty, including in the Faroe Islands and Greenland.  Another key concern was discrimination - against children with disabilities, Roma children, and on the grounds of sexual orientation - as it was not legally prohibited.  Experts urged the deinstitutionalization of the system of care for children with disabilities in Greenland, and also urged Denmark to improve disaggregated data collection in the areas of poverty, violence against children and child abuse.  The Committee noted with satisfaction the setting up of the National Cyber Crime centre in 2014 and asked about the state of affairs concerning the development of guidelines on prevention of sexual abuse of children and young people.  It was worried about the reports it had received alleging high prevalence of sexual abuse of children in Greenland.  Experts were concerned about the lack of protection of refugee and asylum-seeking children, including the non-respect of the principle of non-refoulement in some cases, and about the use of force in the asylum centres.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Staur said that due to its robust system of social services, welfare state and good systematic solutions, Denmark was providing all conditions for the realization of rights prescribed by the Convention.

Bernard Gastaud, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, strongly urged Denmark to assess the impact of austerity measures on the realization of the rights of the child and implement the relevant mitigating measures.  The proposed legislation on disability-based discrimination should include accessibility and reasonable accommodation as prohibited grounds for discrimination.

The delegation of Denmark included representatives of the Ministry for Children and Social Affairs, Ministry of Justice, National Agency for Education and Quality, Ministry of Education, Danish Immigration Service, and Ministry of Immigration and Integration of Denmark; representatives of the Greenlandic Ministry of Social Affairs, Family, Gender Equality and Justice; representatives of the Faroese Foreign Service and Faroese Ministry of Social Affairs; and representatives of the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The States’ reports and other documentation can be found on the session’s webpage.

Live webcast of the Committee’s public meetings is available at http://webtv.un.org/

The next public meeting of the Committee will be on Monday, 18 September at 3 p.m. when it will review the combined fourth to fifth periodic report of the Republic of Moldova (CRC/C/MDA/4-5).

Report

The fifth periodic report of Denmark is available here: CRC/C/DNK/5

Presentation of the Report

CARSTEN STAUR, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that since the last dialogue Denmark had ratified the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure and was disseminating it in a child-friendly manner through a manual and a YouTube video on the website “Children’s portal”.  A special Office for Children, a part of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, had been established in 2012 in order to protect and enhance children’s rights, and the advocacy function of the National Council for Children had been reinforced with the additional funding for the establishment of toll-free telephone line which offered advice to children.  The Danish Parliament had passed a legislative package against all forms of violence and sexual abuse, and five special Children’s Houses - which covered all Danish municipalities - had been established to deliver coordinated professional help to children victims of abuse. 

Public consultations had been launched in June 2017 on a draft bill which proposed to abolish the statute of limitation where the authorities neglected their statutory duties in cases of neglect or abuse of children.  Denmark had adopted a new national action plan on preventing and countering extremism and radicalization, strengthened the protection of victims of criminal acts in February 2016, and amended the Criminal Code to raise the sentencing level for rape and sexual activity with a child under the age of consent when the use was made of psychical or psychological superiority.  In the area of immigration, the Government had launched a number initiatives and had amended the Nationality Act to ensure equal access to the Danish citizenship.  The Danish Act on Marriage had been amended, abolishing the possibility to grant an exemption from the age requirement for entering a marriage.

MARGRETHA NONKLETT, representing the Government of the Faroe Islands, noted that children’s rights in the Faroe Islands had been strengthened since the Convention came into force in 1993.  A Children’s House had been established in 2013 where victims of abuse received health services and the Children’s Ombudsman existed.  The Faroe Islands had acceded to the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and was currently assessing a possibility of ratifying the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure.  Special emphasis was placed on increasing the allocations for children at risk of poverty in the form of student grants for single parents, child benefits, and tax reductions for low-income households.  The planned building of 400 new rental apartments would further improve affordable housing.  The Faroes Island would have the legislative and administrative power over family law in the future, a task currently performed by the Danish authorities, concluded Ms. Nonklett.

KIRSTEN OLESEN, representing the Government of Greenland (Naalakkersuisut), said that since 1979, Greenland had held independent competencies within the Realm of Denmark in social affairs, education and healthcare.  In 2009, it had gained self-rule, allowing it to make decisions on further transfer of competences from the Danish authorities.  Preventive and holistic measures had been adopted involving the entire family, which aimed to reduce the number of children placed outside the home.  The Parliament of Greenland had passed the Act on Child Support in June 2017 thus effectively implementing the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The Act on Children’s Spokesman and Children’s Council had been adopted in 2011, said Ms. Olesen, explaining that the Children’s Spokesman monitored legislation and practice and ensured the compliance with the Convention.

Questions from the Experts

HATEM KOTRANE, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, welcomed the decision of Denmark to withdraw its 2003 declaration and the territorial reservation to the application of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in the territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland.  Did Denmark consider withdrawing the reservation to article 40 concerning the right to appeal court decisions, asked Mr. Kotrane, noting the provisions of the Administration of Justice Act which limited the possibility of appealing a court decision.

In terms of the application of the provisions of the Convention, the Rapporteur noted that it was hardly ever applied by courts as it had not been fully incorporated into the Danish law.  Which measures were being taken to rectify this and to adopt a harmonized plan of action for the implementation of the Convention in all sectors?

A question was raised on dissemination and trainings.  Acknowledging trainings for the police officers and the 2015 information campaigns, Mr. Kotrane asked about measures taken in schools to raise children’s knowledge about their rights.

What were the intentions concerning the establishment of a central inter-ministerial body that would be in charge for defining global strategy and policy?

The Committee noted the five per cent reduction in social expenditure and asked whether Denmark envisaged carrying out studies on the impact of austerity measures on children?  Were additional measures being planned to address child poverty, including in Greenland and the Faroe Islands?

The Rapporteur remarked the lack of progress in disaggregated data collection in the areas of poverty, violence and child abuse and asked about steps taken to improve the situation.

BERNARD GASTAUD, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, took up the issue of discrimination and asked if Denmark was planning on introducing non-discrimination measures in all areas and also asked about the evaluation of the National Integration Barometer and its nine indicators.  Discrimination against children with disabilities and Roma children was prominent, but it was not legally prohibited, he said.

It seemed that the scope of the implementation of the principle of the best interest of the child was very limited and did not seem to go beyond the application in social services.  Mr. Gastaud asked whether the children’s views were taken into account and from what age; if the access of children to information was guaranteed in administrative units; and whether the religious teaching of the Lutheran evangelical church was mandatory for all children.

MIKIKO OTANI, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, turned her attention to the extraterritorial obligations of Denmark in regards to the business sector and asked whether the reporting obligations of businesses included their operations abroad and whether those obligations applied to multinational companies headquartered in Denmark.  Could the conduct of Danish multinationals abroad be examined by the national conduct authorities under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development standards?

Concerning the abuse and neglect of children, Ms. Otani asked if the obligation to notify the authorities of child abuse applied to the private persons as well; the number of reported cases of child abuse disaggregated by the municipality; and about gaps in the capacity of the municipalities to identify the abuse of children and adequately protect the victims.  The Rapporteur asked for the additional information on the commendable initiative that had seen the establishment of five special Children’s Houses and asked whether additional houses would be set up. 

Ms. Otani took positive note of the efforts to protect children from harmful traditional practices including child marriage, and also noted that a hotline had been set up for the parents – was there one of the children forced into early marriage?  

On the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of children, the Committee noted with satisfaction the setting up of the National Cyber Crime centre in 2014 and asked about the state of affairs concerning the development of guidelines on prevention of sexual abuse of children and young people.  The delegation was asked to provide the data on sexual abuse, particularly since 2016, and to assess whether the initiatives recently taken had a positive impact, including on the prevention of online sexual abuse.  The Committee had received worrying information about the high prevalence rate of sexual abuse of children in Greenland.

The delegation was asked about the plans to completely abolish solitary confinement and whether corporal punishment was explicitly prohibited in all settings.

The rate of violence against women was higher than the European Union average - what measures were being taken to address this concern?

Were the helplines for children available 24 hours a day and was the sufficient funding provided?

CEPHAS LUMINA, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, addressed the cuts in public funding and asked whether an impact assessment had been made on their impact on vulnerable children, including children with disabilities and asylum-seeking children.   What plan was in place to mitigate such negative impacts?  How was the 2015 national action plan for the prevention and countering of trafficking in persons funded?

Replies of the Delegation

In response to the question on the status of the reservation to article 40 regarding the right to appeal, the delegation explained that the restriction applied only to minor and less serious cases which involved smaller fines.  Denmark did not consider the withdrawal of this reservation.

Denmark had decided not to incorporate into the national law the Convention on the Rights of the Child and a number of other United Nations human rights instruments as it could shift the legislative power from the Parliament to the courts.  The Government deemed it important to maintain the elected representatives’ responsibility for compliance with international obligations.  Still, the international conventions ratified by Denmark could be invoked before the court.

The Government and the civil society employed systematic efforts to raise awareness about the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  To date, over 100 consultations on this subject had been held, and the Save the Children was often involved in campaigns as well as the National Council on Children, whose main role was to advise the Parliament and draw attention to areas in which children’s rights were not sufficiently protected in the legislation and administrative practice.  Online learning portal was developed to be used in all municipalities.  The Ministry of Education planned a thematic campaign in 2018 with a focus on democracy and rights. 

There was no plan to establish a central coordination body, said a delegate, explaining that all ministries were involved in the protection of children’s rights and the principle of sector accountability applied, meaning that the implementation of children’s rights was the responsibility of every relevant State body.  This allowed for children’s rights to be implemented in a comprehensive, coherent and consistent manner throughout the public sector and in all aspects of the society.

Denmark understood child poverty as a complex multidimensional issue which demanded a systematic answer.  Day-care facilities, free public schools, and social assistance were provided to low income families.  Ten targets had been developed on social mobility, including on education and on employment of vulnerable groups and people with disabilities, and were being used as a basis for social interventions in the municipalities.  Annual reporting and assessment mechanism for those targets was in place.

Regarding children with disabilities, support was being provided pursuant to the Act on Social Services; it included financial support and municipalities were in charge of its provision.  A complaint service was in place if persons were not satisfied with the assistance provided.

To understand why Denmark had no specific action plan on children’s rights, it was important to keep in mind the context.  As a strong welfare state, with a robust network of social services, health care and education, promotion of children rights was an integral part of all Danish policies and the Government was fully committed to this objective.  The principle of sector accountability applied to children’s rights.

On the austerity measures, the new draft bill prepared in this area included a section on human rights, including children’s rights.

Regarding discrimination, draft law was being prepared; it would be discussed in the Parliament by the end of the year and was expected to enter into force in January 2018. The bill was prepared through a cross-sectoral approach and it was prohibiting discrimination, making it possible persons for disabilities and other persons experiencing discrimination to file a complaint.

The National Integration Barometer had been launched in 2012 to measure the success of integration on nine different parameters including on discrimination and equal treatment.  Some amendments had been recently made to make it more user-friendly and efficient.  The Barometer showed that nine out of ten migrants were generally satisfied with their life in Denmark.  A number of activities to promote tolerance and combat discrimination were being implemented under the Action Plan on Ethnic Equal Treatment and Respect for the Individual.

The application of the principle of the best interest of the child meant that a child was consulted throughout the process in social services and that the importance was attributed to the views of the child.  Adoption was regulated by the Danish Adoption Act which allowed the adoption only if the assessment showed that it would be in child’s best interest; children above the age of 12 had to express their consent for the adoption.

Numerous online initiatives had been launched to counter online sexual abuse.  Social media campaigns were planned, as well as the education of police officers on this subject.

Religious teaching in schools was mandatory; the children did not learn about Christianity but were rather offered a possibility to learn about all the world’s religions.  Parents could exempt their children from those classes.

On the issue of corporate social responsibility, companies were obliged to report on their environmental policies, measures to fight bribery, and the measures to promote human rights including the rights of women and children.

All citizens had an obligation to report violence against children to the municipal authorities, explained the delegation and added that the legislative package to reinforce the prevention of violence had been introduced in 2011.  The National Board of Social Services ensured good coordination among institutions which provided assistance to victims of violence.  Data collection was conducted in shelters, and those data provided a basis for the reports by the National Board of Social Services.  The Government provided funding for the civil society dialogue against violence and for the therapeutic treatment of perpetrators. 

The data on the abuse of children demonstrated equal participation of sexes among the victims.  Permanent funding was provided for hotlines offering advice to children on all relevant topics, including violence and abuse.  Lines operated every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and since recently, thanks to the increased funding, they started working during the night. 

The delegation clarified that two separate hotlines existed in the framework of the fight against harmful traditional practices and honour crimes, an ethnic young hotline for children and youth, and an ethnic parent hotline.

The protection of victims of criminal acts had been strengthened in 2016 by expanding the scope for video questioning so processing times had been shortened.  Before undergoing video questioning, children were first visited by a police officer in order to ensure that they better understood the procedure.

The use of solitary confinement had been reduced by 93 per cent during the 2001 to 2016 period.  Two cases of solitary confinement included grave crimes of terrorism and the attempted murder;  the Director of Public Prosecution monitored the use of solitary confinement and the reports on its use were being regularly sent to the Parliament.

The corporal punishment was prohibited in all settings in Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands; the corporal punishment was considered violence and could be sanctioned as such under the Criminal Code.

Questions from the Experts

In the next round of questions, Committee Experts noted the slow progress in the dissemination of the provisions of the Convention, as only 31 per cent of the children had a good understanding of their rights.  Could the topic of children’s rights be taught in schools?

How was the best interest of the child taken into consideration in court proceedings?

In some countries, the situation regarding children rights changed following the arrival of significant number of foreigners – was this the case in Denmark?

HATEM KOTRANE, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, asked if adopted children had the right to know their biological parents, and remarked that although the age of marriage was 18 years it could be lowered to 15.  The Committee was concerned by the discrimination based on sexual orientation, he said and asked about a mechanism to monitor and follow up on the situation of transsexual children who underwent difficult treatments and surgeries. 

Mr. Kotrane raised a concern about the lack of protection of refugee and asylum-seeking children, citing a case registered with the Committee Against Torture which involved a refoulement of minors to Afghanistan even though their safety had not been not guaranteed.  The use of force was registered in the asylum centres.

MIKIKO OTANI, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, asked about measures in place to strengthen foster families and asked the delegation to comment on the reports of overcrowding in alternative care institutions.  The delegation was also asked to explain how the alternative care functioned, the resource allocation process, and the availability and accessibility of complaint mechanisms for children in alternative care.

CEPHAS LUMINA, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, took note of the studies of the Danish Institute for Human Rights which had shown lack of success of the disability policies and plans, and said that children with disabilities still faced many problems in Denmark.  There was a concern that legislation in Greenland had not fully taken into account children with disabilities.  What steps were being taken to ensure that access to abortion in Greenland and the Faroe Islands was on a par with the rest of Denmark?

BERNARD GASTAUD, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, asked whether the Ministry of Education had the right to supervise private education establishments and their curricula.

Replies of the Delegation

A delegate said that in the Faroe Islands discrimination was prohibited by the Criminal Code both within and outside the labour market, and added that, although the need for a more specific non-discrimination bill was being discussed, it was currently not on the political agenda.

The abortion was allowed in certain medical cases; in other instances it required the approval by two doctors.  Abortions were provided free of charge in the main hospital.  In 2016, 26 abortions had been carried out, including three in the age group of 15 to 19 years.  In 2016 in the Faroe Islands, 688 children had been born, and the average age of the mother was 26.9 years.  The resistance to the abortion was historically strong, but the latest opinion poll had shown that 66 per cent of the people were in favour of the current practice.

Concerning the implementation of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, the delegation explained that Denmark was the contracting party to the international convention but since the Faroe Island functioned as an independent authority, it held the implementing responsibility.  The assessment conducted had shown good progress in the implementation of the Optional Protocol and had identified rehabilitation as the area where more attention was needed.

The Faroese helplines had received additional funding of 100,000 Danish Krone, said a delegate and stressed that the child protection services were available throughout the whole year and that children could call anonymously.

Corporal punishment was prohibited in the Faroe Islands in all settings.

The data on sexual abuse, violence and poverty in the Faroe Islands were disaggregated according to gender and age.  In 2016, there had been seven cases of violence against children and eleven cases of sexual abuse of children which involved six girls and five boys.  The data on poverty showed that 10.1 per cent or 601 girls, and nine per cent or 589 boys, were at risk of poverty.

Greenland was considering the establishment of a central coordination body for the implementation of the Convention, explained a delegate.  The National Report on Poverty and Equality of Greenland was expected to be adopted soon and the Government was considered introducing an official poverty line.  A new data collection mechanism was being developed and was expected to start functioning this autumn. 

Greenland had adopted the Act on Child Support in June 2017 which aimed to strengthen the protection of children’s rights, reduce the number of children residing in alternative care and strengthen the capabilities of parents. 

When it came to children with disability, Greenland was currently reforming its legislation concerning persons with disability which was expected to be adopted in 2018.  As very few foster families had the resources to take care of the children with disabilities, such children were usually placed in care centres; a new centre was being constructed to accommodate children with disabilities.  The care centres also had training facilities and target groups were families, children and old persons with disabilities.

Follow-up Questions and Answers

Taking the floor to ask follow-up questions, an Expert asked about the training of social workers and the steps taken to deinstitutionalize the system of care for children with disabilities in Greenland.  How was the information on the prohibition of the use of force disseminated amongst children with intellectual disabilities and how was it regulated in psychiatric institutions?

The delegation was asked to inform about malnutrition and obesity and all associated problems in the Faroe Islands.  Had the studies been done on school failures of children with disabilities, was Braille alphabet introduced in schools, and were there specialized classrooms for children with disabilities?

Answering those and other questions, the delegation explained that the adoption was granted only if it was in the best interest of the child.  Once the adoptees turned 18, they could request the Danish authorities to provide all the information about their origin.  The number of foster families had been increased in Denmark including those fostering children with complex needs; all foster families had to be trained in specialized treatments.

Concerning the allocation of resources to municipalities, the delegation explained that the municipal block grant was adjusted every year which ensured that the municipalities had enough resources to fulfil their responsibilities.

The new law on adult responsibility had been adopted in 2017 to regulate the use of force in care institutions and to enhance the protection of children’s rights; it specified that the force could only be used in extraordinary circumstances and that physical coercion could only be used when a child presented a danger to self or others.  Coercion was prohibited in foster families.  To enhance the implementation of the law, extensive seminars were being carried out to train foster families, the specialized staff and caseworkers.

The delegation said that there were five regional supervisory authorities in charge of monitoring child care facilities and collecting data.  Under the Danish law, children under the age of three could stay with incarcerated parents in prison, providing that the parent was assessed as suitable. 

The 2015 changes to the Danish Psychiatric Act clarified the use of coercive measures and the legal position of minor psychiatric patients.  The hospital staff had an obligation to talk to the child shortly after he or she was submitted to coercion.

Early prevention was crucial for the prevention of obesity, stressed a delegate and said that the municipalities had the primary responsibility in the area of health promotion.  Health promotion packages had been published to assist them in this task, and centres for overweight persons had been established as well.

Questions by the Experts

In the next round of questions, the Committee Experts asked about the involvement of children and parents in designing anti-bullying strategies in schools; whether the authorization of both parents was needed for circumcision or the approval of the father was sufficient; and whether in matters of expulsion from the country, Denmark deemed diplomatic assurances sufficient or it actually conducted a real assessment of the situation in the country of return.

On the treatment of unaccompanied minors, Experts stressed that separating siblings in two care facilities was not in the best interest of the child, and asked whether migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, trafficked minors were residing in the centres run by the Danish Red Cross.

How was the best interest principle applied in family reunification cases and when was the protection granted on humanitarian grounds?  How was temporary permit seen in correlation to child’s right to development and how was the right of child to be heard applied during the asylum procedure?  What was the approach of Denmark in dealing with unaccompanied minors who were not mature enough to understand the procedure?

Replies of the Delegation

The national anti-bullying action plan had been launched in 2016 to prevent and combat bullying in day care, primary, lower secondary and secondary schools, and to involve a wide range of stakeholders in the design of anti-bullying strategies.

Bilingual children had the right to receive basic education in Danish and additional courses in their mother tongue.  The school leader had the responsibility to assess the needs and provide adequate support.

Refugee and asylum-seeking children enjoyed the same level of rights and protection as citizens.  Upon arrival they would undergo health screening so that health protection would be offered from the beginning.  A pilot project on strengthening the trauma support to asylum-seeking families had been initiated and implemented in four municipalities.

Explaining the case of deportation of two Afghani brothers back to Afghanistan, the delegation explained that, prior to the deportation, the Danish Immigration Service had carefully assessed the risk of prosecution. 

The bill on the use of force against unaccompanied children in asylum centres had been adopted in 2017.

The Danish police had guidelines and established procedures for combating trafficking in persons and the protection of victims.  The Danish centre for the protection of victims of trafficking had identified nine victims under the age of 18 in 2016.  Victims of trafficking were directly referred to centres to be provided adequate support, while attorneys were working with the victims and assisting them in seeking compensation.  During the 2015- 2016 period, 34 persons had been convicted for human trafficking.

Under the Danish Aliens Act, the residence permit could not be granted only on the grounds of the status of victims of trafficking.  Recovery period of 30 days was granted to victims of trafficking and could be prolonged up to 120 days.  Unaccompanied minors victims of trafficking were assigned professional representative who assisted them during their stay in Denmark. 

In November 2016, the Danish Government had embarked on a reform process for young offenders.  A comprehensive analysis was being currently conducted to aid the design of proper reform measures; a dialogue with international and national experts had taken place.  A proposal for the reform would be launched in the fall of 2017.  The delegation stated that in 2017, 14 juveniles served sentence in an actual prison.

On circumcision, the matter of consent depended on the fact whether the parents had a shared custody.

Unaccompanied minor who was not mature enough to understand the procedure was placed in a special centre; starting at the age of 12, the Danish Immigration Service conducted an annual assessment to establish the level of maturity to understand the procedure.

Concluding remarks

CARSTEN STAUR, Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations Office at Geneva, reiterated that due to its robust system of social services, welfare state and good systematic solutions, Denmark was providing all conditions for realization of rights prescribed by the Convention.

BERNARD GASTAUD, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Denmark, thanked the three delegations for their answers which enabled the Committee to better understand the situation in the three entities.  Denmark should pursue restorative justice for youth and work to increase the knowledge of the Convention among all persons working with children.  The Rapporteur strongly encouraged Denmark to conduct an assessment of the impact of austerity measures on the realization of the rights of the child, particularly children from vulnerable groups, and to implement measures to mitigate possible negative impacts.  Also, the key human rights principles, such as accessibility and reasonable accommodation, should be included in the proposed legislation on the disability-based discrimination.

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