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Denmark

https://www.idea.int/democracytracker/

December 2023

Parliament passes amendments against inappropriate treatment of religiously significant writings

Following Quran-burning incidents and protests, the parliament passed amendments against inappropriate treatment of writings with religious significance for any recognized religious communities, including banning the burning of the Quran. The aim of the new law is to protect national security. Individuals found in violation of this law may be subject to imprisonment for up to two years. The change garnered approval from 94 out of 179 members of the Danish parliament, with 77 votes against. Public acts such as burning, tearing, or defiling religious texts could lead to fines or imprisonment. Additionally, individuals who destroy a holy text on video and share the footage online may also face imprisonment. Critics contend that the legislation restricts freedom of expression.

Sources: Danish joint state legal information system (Retsinformation), Nyheder, Politico, Deutsche Welle, Reuters, International IDEA

September 2023

Presidium allows use of Greenlandic and Faroese in Parliament

On 21 September, the Presidium of the Parliament announced that speeches in Greenlandic and Faroese are permitted in the Parliament’s chamber, if the speech is translated to Danish afterwards. To facilitate the translation, funds will be provided for parliamentarians to hire interpreters. Further, the Parliament website alongside records of relevant debates will be translated and all parliamentary staff will receive training in the two regions’ histories, cultures and politics. The decision comes after Danish-Greenlandic parliamentarian Aki-Matilda Høegh-Dam spoke in Greenlandic during a debate in May, sparking discussion on the language policy of the Parliament. Greenland and the Faroe Islands are autonomous territories within the Kingdom of Denmark, which classifies Danish, Greenlandic and Faroese as official languages. The decision is widely supported among lawmakers, although some hoped for the introduction of simultaneous interpretation, as is done in the Greenlandic parliament.

Sources: DR, Euractiv, Danish Parliament

March 2023

Decision to declare parts of Syria safe endangers refugees

The Syrian province of Latakia, a stronghold of the Bashar al Assad regime, was deemed safe to return to by the Danish Refugee Appeals Board. This means that refugees from this province will have their residence permits revoked. Denmark has revoked 150 residence permits of nationals coming from Damascus since 2019. Denmark is unable to deport these asylum seekers due to lack of diplomatic relations with Syria. Most of these asylum seekers were placed in deportation centers and were left in limbo. Both Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International have reported on the human rights abuses and persecution coming from Syrian authorities. HRW has called for the decision to be revoked and has stated the risk in Syria remains high no matter which part the refugees come from.

Sources: Reuters, Human Rights Watch, Berlingske, New York Times

January 2023

Quran burned in Copenhagen

Following the Quran-burning protest in Sweden, the Danish-Swedish far-right activist, Rasmus Paludan, replicated the stunt in three separate locations, including in front of the Turkish Embassy (Turkey is obstructing Sweden’s membership in NATO) and a mosque in Copenhagen. He said he will continue every Friday until Sweden is admitted to NATO. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe has highlighted the Social Rights and Equality environment and the “ghetto policy” as concerning in their report. Paludan’s actions sparked strong reactions by the Turkish authorities as well, who described it as a hate crime that provokes racist, xenophobic and anti-Muslim attacks. The Danish ambassador was summoned in Istanbul, and according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, Turkey expects the permission to be revoked. Paludan established far-right parties in both Denmark and Sweden, but failed to win any seats. In a survey, more than half of Danes responded they were in favour of banning Paludan’s Quran-burning protests due to national security concerns.

Sources: Al Jazeera, VoA, Anadolu Agency, Dagsavisen, The Local Denmark (1), The Local Denmark (2), Voxmeter, ECRI Council of Europe

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GSoD Indices Data 2014-2023

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
5 856 730
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (since 2019)
Head of government party
Social Democrats
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
List Proportional Representation
Women in lower or single chamber
45.3%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2022
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
7.57
Head of state
King Frederik X
Selection process for head of state
Hereditary or election by hereditary state rulers
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
06/05/2021
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
70.14%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
No Action
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
State Party
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 4 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
No Action
Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
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Representation neutral Rights
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
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Global State of Democracy Indices

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Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
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high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

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