No detention centre mapping data


Denmark Immigration Detention

Denmark has introduced increasingly restrictive policies regarding foreigners. An amendment to the Aliens Act provides “special circumstances” for detaining asylum seekers, including the detention of asylum seekers who are part of “massive arrivals.” Other controversial measures include allowing police to seize the valuables of asylum seekers, the temporary postponement of the right to family reunification, new restrictions on the ability to obtain a permanent residence permit, and the shortening of the length of temporary residence permits.

Quick Facts


Detained minors (2011): 119
Immigration detention capacity (2016): 368
Persons expelled (2014): 1,400
International migrants (2015): 572,500
New asylum applications (2016): 8,789

Profile Updated: April 2016

Denmark Immigration Detention Profile

  • Introduction
  • Laws, Policies, Practices
  • Detention Infrastructure

 

INTRODUCTION

In recent years, Denmark has introduced increasingly restrictive policies regarding migrants and asylum seekers. A measure that received widespread attention and criticism was the January 2016 amendment to the Aliens Act allowing police to search asylum seekers and seize cash and valuables worth more than 1,300 Euros. Other controversial proposals have included the temporary postponement of the right to family reunification, new restrictions on the ability to obtain a permanent residence permit, and the shortening of the length of temporary residence permits.[1]

A November 2015 amendment to the Aliens Act concerns immigration-related detention. The amendment reportedly provides “special circumstances” for detaining asylum seekers, including the detention of asylum seekers who are part of “massive arrivals,” and weakens the judicial review of detention.[2] The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights commented about the law, “I am concerned that the possibility of making increased use of detention in specific circumstances, combined with the elimination of important legal safeguards regarding detention, could lead to detention being used disproportionately and indiscriminately in respect of asylum-seekers, in contradiction with Article 5 of the ECHR which protects the right to liberty.”[3]

Denmark has also enforced laws that punish citizens who provide basic forms of assistance to undocumented non-citizens. In March 2016, a high-profile Danish advocate for children’s rights was prosecuted and fined 3,000 Euros for helping transport Syrian refugees who sought to walk from Germany to Sweden. Under the Aliens Act, transporting undocumented non-citizens is a crime of human smuggling. According to police statistics, almost 280 people were charged under this provision during September 2015 – February 2016.[4]

Despite its restrictive approach to immigration, Denmark does not face the same migratory pressures as its neighbors. In 2014, 14,680 people applied for international protection in Denmark, compared to 20,935 in 2015.[5] By comparison in 2015, 44,970 persons sought international in the Netherlands, 162,450 in Sweden, and 476,510 in Germany.[6] In 2013, Denmark apprehended 395 undocumented persons and only 515 in 2014. These are among the lowest apprehension rates in Europe, with only Latvia and Luxembourg reporting lower total apprehensions in 2014.[7]

None of the institutions involved in immigration detention—including the Immigration Service and the Prison and Probation Service—appear to maintain comprehensive statistics on the numbers of people placed in immigration detention annually. In response to a request from the Global Detention Project (GDP) for statistics in March 2016, the Prison Service provided only daily averages for the country’s two immigration-related facilities used to confine immigration detainees, which was an average of 78.5 in 2015. When the GDP reiterated its request for annual statistics, the Prison Service said that they collect only average daily statistics.[8] Previously, in 2013, the Prison Service responded to a joint freedom of information request from Access Info Europe and Global Detention Project by providing similarly partial data.[9] Likewise, in it’s response to the GDP’s March 2016 information request, the Immigration Service was not able to provide the annual detention statistics.[10]

 

LAWS, POLICIES, PRACTICES

The 1983 Aliens Act (Consolidation Act No. 863 of 25 June 2013), which has been amended several times, regulates Denmark’s immigration policy, including entry conditions, residence permits, and expulsion and detention of non-citizens. The Danish Immigration Service—which is under the Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing—is the agency responsible for implementation of immigration and asylum policies, including asylum procedures, family reunification, and visas.

Grounds for detention. Article 36 of the Aliens Act provides a general ground justifying detention, according to which non-citizens may be detained if non-custodial measures are deemed insufficient to ensure enforcement of a refusal of entry, expulsion, transfer or retransfer of non-citizen (article 36(1)). The same provision spells out several more precise grounds for detention: a person who has applied for residence permit can be detained if he refuses to stay at a place designated by the authorities or fails to appear for an interrogation at the police or the Immigration Service (article 36(2)); asylum seekers can be detained if they do not assist the authorities in substantiating the asylum application, including by failing to appear at interrogations by the police or Immigration Service, concealing information about his identity, nationality or travel route (article 36(4)); non-citizens to be deported may be detained if they do not cooperate with the police in making arrangements for deportation (article 36(5)-(8)).

The November 2015 amendment (L 62) to the Aliens Act will reportedly add a new paragraph to article 36 according to which the police will also be entitled to detain an asylum-seeker in the context of his arrival to Denmark, for the purpose of verifying his identity, conduct registration and establish the basis for his/her application.[11] UNHCR expressed concern about the risk of a arbitrary detention because of the amendment, highlighting that the purpose of detention is only to protect public order, and not, for example, to facilitate administrative expediency.[12]

Statistics. The Global Detention Project was not able to learn the number of migrants detained on an annual basis in Denmark. The annual statistical yearbook published by the Danish Immigration Service does not include detention statistics.[13] The annual publication of the Prison and Probation Service (which is the institution that manages the facilities where migrants are detained), titled “The Danish Prison and Probation Service: In Brief,” provides solely average daily statistics. According to this publication, an average of 50 people were held on immigration-related charges each day in 2009 and 92 in 2014.[14]

In March 2013, the Prison and Probation Service responded to the joint Access Info and Global Detention Project request for information giving daily average figures for detained non-citizens: 86 in 2012, 65 in 2011, 53 in 2010.[15] The Global Detention Project contacted both the Immigration Service and the Prison and Probation Service, yet none of these institutions were able to give the total number of migrants detained annually. However, the Prison and Probation Service told the Global Detention Project that on average the daily population in 2014 was 91.1 persons in Ellebaek and 1.3 in Aabenraa, compared to 77.1 and 1.4 in these institutions in 2015. A new facility in Vridsløselille, which opened in early 2016, confines on average 57.1 persons on a daily basis.[16]

Length of detention. Like Sweden, Denmark introduced a time limit on immigration detention in order to comply with the EU Returns Directive. Previously, the lack of maximum permissible limit of immigration detention drew criticism from human rights monitoring bodies, including the UN Special Rapportuer on Torture and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).[17]

Following an amendment, the Aliens act sets out that the initial period of detention is not to exceed six months. The court may extend this period by another 12 months if deportation arrangements take longer because of detainee’s lack of cooperation in the return process or delays in obtaining the necessary travel documents (article 37(8)). In 2016, the UN Committee against Torture found the total length of detention of asylum seekers of 18 months “excessive” and recommended Denmark to reduce the length of administrative detention of asylum seekers authorized under the Aliens Act for as short a period as possible, bearing in mind that detention should be used as a measure of last resort.[18]

According to government sources, the average time a person spent at the Ellebaek facility in 2015 was 29 days.[19] 

Judicial review. According to Article 37, any non-citizen deprived of liberty under Article 36 must be brought before a court of justice within three days in order for the court to “rule on the lawfulness of the deprivation of liberty and its continuance” (Art. 37(1)). The person must also be assigned legal counsel (Art. 37(2)). According to government sources, detainees are always informed of the reason of their detention in a language they understood.[20]

Following his 2009 visit to Denmark, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment welcomed the fact that a mandatory habeas corpus procedure existed and that free legal aid was provided to all aliens in detention. However, the Rapporteur noted that according to information received during his visit, in the preceding five years, on only two occasions had the court not confirmed the prolongation of detention when requested by the police. Furthermore the Special Rapporteur was informed that about 50 percent of detainees at the Ellebaek centre during that period accepted an automatic prolongation of their detention by signing a document to that effect in advance. The Rapporteur found that the de facto procedure of legal challenge of deprivation of liberty under article 37 of the Aliens Act was not sufficiently effective.[21]

According to UNHCR, the November 2015 amendment to the Aliens Act restricts review of detention. The amendment authorizes migration authorities, during periods of high numbers arrivals, to declare “special circumstances,” which temporarily suspends some safeguards. A declaration of “special circumstances” is to be publically announced before its implementation, and the resulting measures are primarily intended to apply during a period of 14 days, with the possibility of extension. During the periods declared “special circumstances” a hearing does not take place within 72 following the arrest but “as soon as possible” and only at the request of the applicant. In this context, courts only assess the legality of the detention, and do not rule on the duration of its possible extension. Following a decision on the legality of detention in a particular case, there is no right for another review within four weeks.[22]

UNHCR expressed concern over postponement of judicial review of detention and making reviews dependent on the request of the detainee. As the UN body noted, “Such a situation could also lead to arbitrariness, in that during times of high influx, decisions might be taken in haste, and the need for an automatic review of the legality of detention by an independent court of law be more important than ever.”[23]

Minors. Minors can be detained at the Ellebaek facility with their parents in a special unit for families.[24] At the time of the CPT’s 2014 visit the facility confined one minor. The Committee highlighted that it did not consider the Ellebaek facility as a suitable location to hold children because it did not provide an appropriate environment nor did it offer the necessary support that a child requires. It therefore recommended the country to put an end to the detention of children at Ellebaek centre.[25] According to the statistics provided by the Prison and Probation Service, Ellebaek and Aabenraa prison confined a total of 119 minors in 2011 and 146 in 2010.[26]

In 2011 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child noted with concern the absence of a legal framework to facilitate the granting of residence permits to child victims of trafficking. The CRC urged Denmark to ensure that children who are suspected victims of trafficking not be imprisoned as a result of conditions that are the consequence of them being trafficked and that they be provided with specialized assistance.[27]

Alternative to detention. The Aliens Act provides a number of non-custodial alternatives to detention, including: confiscation of passports; the payment of a bail; residence at “an address determined by the police”; and reporting to the police at specified times. If the person fails to abide by these measures, he/she can be forced to wear an electronic monitoring device (article 34). In 2014 the European Commission reported that out of these measures, only residence restrictions, confiscation of passports, and reporting were employed in practice.[28]

Criminalization. Part IX of the Aliens Act contains “penalty provisions.” Article 59(1) provides for a fine or imprisonment for up to 6 six months for non-citizens who enter or leave Denmark at a non-designated passport check-point; stay in Denmark without the requisite permit; or by deliberate misrepresentation secures admission in to Denmark or documents.

Regulation of conditions of detention. The Aliens Act does not explicitly designate places where migrants are to be detained. However it provides that deprivation of liberty for the purpose of return must be effected in special institutions and if this is not possible, the non-citizen must be kept separate from ordinary prison inmates (article 37(9)). It also provides that immigration detainees shall not be subject to other limitations to liberty than required by the purpose of the deprivation of liberty and the maintenance of order and security at the place where the alien is detained. Non-citizens are entitled to receive visitors, letters and communicate with the outside world. The Aliens Act sanctions the use of solitary confinement when this is judged necessary for obtaining the information needed for assessing the legality of the non-citizen’s stay in Denmark or possibility to issue a residence permit. The maximum length of solitary confinement is 4 weeks (article 37).

 

DETENTION INFRASTRUCTURE

Denmark appears to use three facilities for the purposes of long-term immigration detention—two dedicated facilities and one prison with a specialized section.

The longest standing immigration facility is the Ellebaek Prison and Probation Establishment for Asylum-seekers and Others Deprived of their Liberty (formerly Sandholm Prison), which as of 2014 had a standard capacity of 118 (and a surge capacity of 137).[29]

In early 2016, Denmark opened a new facility at Vridsløselille Prison, a former prison now used exclusively for immigration related reasons, which has a capacity of 240.[30] Reportedly as of March 2016 rejected asylum seekers were locked in their cells at Vridsløselille Prison for 23 hours a day because the facility lacked the necessary personnel to ensure that detainees could securely walk freely around the facility.[31]

The country also has a specialized 10-persons unit in Aabenraa Prison for holding non-citizens on immigration charges.[32] Previously there was a similar unit also in Tønder prison.[33]

In addition, non-citizens may be confined in Vestre Fængse Prison, separately from other prisoners, for very brief periods—a day or two—before being transferred to the Ellebaek facility. In 2015, 497 migrants passed through Vestre Fængse.[34]

Refused asylum-seekers facing deportation are housed in the Departure Center Sjælsmark.[35] The centre opened in early 2015 on the premises of a former military base. As of March 2016 the centre was able to accommodate 130 persons, but this was planned to be extended to 400-700. Although it reportedly resembles a penitentiary—it is run by the Prison Service, has high metal fences, and employs armed guards—it does not operate like a detention centre because although people are obliged to stay overnight in the centre they can leave the facility during the day. Absence for a few days is sanctioned with detention at the Ellebaek centre. They are checked while leaving or re-entering the centre and there are guards inside the premises. Most of the rooms are double-rooms, there is a nurse, and food is served three times per day.[36]

The Ellebaek detention centre, Vridsløselille prison, and Aabenraa Prison are run by the Danish Prison and Probation Service, which is the institution managing prison establishments in Denmark. The Sjaelsmark departure centre is managed by the Immigration Service, but the Prison and Probation Service provides the personnel. [37]

The Prison and Probation Service informed the GDP that migrants have been occasionally kept in remand prisons. Reportedly, 127 non-citizens were detained in remand prisons in 2012, 82 in 2011, and 63 in 2010.[38]

The Ellebaek detention centre. Denmark’s main secure dedicated immigration detention centre, the Ellebaek centre, was opened in late 1989 following criticism voiced in the country’s Parliament over the practice of detaining migrants in remand prisons. The Ellebaek facility is run by the Prison and Probation Service, which is part of the Ministry of Justice. The facility is located on the site of former military barracks 25 kilometres north of Copenhagen. As of 2014 the standard capacity of the centre was 118. The capacity was 40 in 1990.[39]

There have not been any recent reports of overcrowding in Ellebaek. Statistics the GDP has collected concerning the centre’s daily detainee population also do not show overcrowding. For instance, in February 2014 the centre was holding 105 non-citizens, of whom 87 were asylum seekers and 18 pre-removal detainees. The detainee population comprised three women and one minor.[40] On 8 May 2008, Ellebaek confined 58 non-citizens, while in February 2008 72 people, including 8 women.[41] According to government sources, 41 non-citizens were detained at the facility on 1 November 2008, while 73 on 7 November 2015.[42]

As of 2008, the facility was made up of five detention units, reportedly allowing for the separation of different categories and nationalities of detainees. There was one unit for women and another, small one, for families. Detainees suspected of planning to escape were detained in a high security unit. In addition the facility tends to confine asylum seekers separately from pre-removal detainees. Up to three people share 18m2 cells.[43]

In 2008, the centre was visited by both the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) and UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Both international bodies noted that material conditions were “on the whole adequate” and “satisfactory” but below the standards found in the Danish prison establishment. In addition the CPT found that detention units were in run-down state, most of the cells needed cleaning, and recreational areas appeared in a bad state of repair. The CPT thus recommended to clean and refurbish the detention units, improve the bedding arrangements and make the environment more appealing.[44] During its 2014 visit, the CPT again noted that the material conditions were generally adequate but basic and run down and carceral and thus recommended Denmark to maintain the centre in a decent state of repair.[45]

The penitentiary-like character of Ellebaek has repeatedly been the focus of criticism. During its 2016 review of Denmark, the UN Committee against Torture reported that Danish officials consider the centre’s prison-like structural layout and fixtures to be necessary for security reasons. The Committee recommended Denmark to alter the layout and fixtures so as to change the carceral appearance of the centre.[46]

These recommendation echoed observations make by the CPT in 2008. The Committee observed that detainees were free to move between units during the day and could participate in a variety of activities offered at the centre, including very basic remunerated work and at least one hour outdoor exercise. That notwithstanding the CPT noted that the regime was based mutatis mutandis on that applicable to remand prisoners in Danish prisons, which did not reflect sufficiently the specificity of the establishment’s functions and limited the number of activities available. In the CPT’s view, both detainees and staff would benefit from a regime especially tailored to an establishment holding foreign nationals who are not serving sentences, but who are being detained administratively with a view to enforcing deportation.[47] Similarly, the centre used the same disciplinary system as prisons, however it did not have a security cell.[48]

As of 2008, the Ellebaek facility employed 55 full-time staff members, as well as three part-time security guards, four workshop supervisors, a teacher, a pedagogue, a gym instructor, and a maintenance worker. The CPT noted that the general atmosphere was relatively relaxed but it received several allegations of verbal abuse and rude behavior with racist connotations.[49]

There are two nurses on duty during weekdays and a doctor visits the centre twice per week. Access to medical care outside these days is possible in emergencies but it is the responsibility of prison officers to identify the detainee’s need for medical attention. There also does not appear to be access to mental health assistance at the facility.  Detainees who require psychiatric care have been transferred to the hospital adjacent to Western Prison in Copenhagen or the psychiatric department of Hillerod Hospital.[50]

In 2016 the UN Committee against Torture found that admission procedures at the Ellebaek centre during which decisions on fitness of non-citizens for detention and identification of victims of torture were made by a nurse, were inadequate. The Committee also expressed concern at the lack of a system for treating victims of torture upon their identification during immigration detention. The Committee recommended Denmark to: (a) put in place procedures for the systematic screening and medical examination of alleged torture victims by qualified personnel throughout the asylum process, including at places of detention such as the Ellebaek Prison; and (b) ensure that victims of torture are not held in places of deprivation of liberty and have prompt access to rehabilitation services.[51]

Following its 2014 visit the CPT also urged Denmark to ensure that all newly admitted detainees are as soon as possible clinically assessed by a medical doctor or a fully qualified nurse reporting to a doctor. In addition, the CPT said that specific screening should be put in place to identify victims of torture.[52]

In 2013, the Medical Group of Amnesty International Denmark released a highly critical report regarding the treatment of victims of torture. Of 43 immigration detainees examined by Amnesty, it found that 22 had been subjected to torture in their country of origin. Amnesty expressed concern about the lack of an appropriate monitoring system to ensure that victims of torture and other vulnerable persons were exempted from detention.[53]

Detainees are not allowed to keep their mobile phone and several have complained about expenses and procedures surrounding the use of the pre-paid phone cards. In 2015 the CPT recommended that authorities permit detainees to use their phones.

 


[1] UNHCR Regional Representation for Northern Europe, UNHCR Observations on the proposed amendments to the Danish Aliens legislation, L 87: Lov om ændring af udlændingeloven, January 2016, http://www.unhcr-northerneurope.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Documents/PDF/Denmark/UNHCR_comments_on_proposal_to_amend_the_Danish_Aliens_Act_November_2014.pdf; Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe, “Letter to Inger Stojberg (Minister of Immigration, Denmark), 12 January 2016, https://wcd.coe.int/com.instranet.InstraServlet?command=com.instranet.CmdBlobGet&InstranetImage=2910961&SecMode=1&DocId=2371196&Usage=2; David Crouch, "Danish parliament approves plan to seize assets from refugees", The Guardian, 26 January 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/26/danish-parliament-approves-plan-to-seize-assets-from-refugees.

[2] Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe, “Letter to Inger Stojberg (Minister of Immigration, Denmark), 12 January 2016, https://wcd.coe.int/com.instranet.InstraServlet?command=com.instranet.CmdBlobGet&InstranetImage=2910961&SecMode=1&DocId=2371196&Usage=2.

[3] Commissioner for Human Rights, Denmark: amendments to the Aliens Act risk violating international legal standards, January 2016, http://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/-/denmark-amendments-to-the-aliens-act-risk-violating-international-legal-standards.

[4] David Crouch, "Danish children’s rights activist fined for people trafficking," The Guardian, 11 March 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/11/danish-childrens-rights-activist-lisbeth-zornig-people-trafficking.

[8] Ole Kjeld Hansen (Prison and Probation Service), email correspondance with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), March-April 2016. 

[9] Global Detention Project and Access Info Europe, THE UNCOUNTED: The Detention of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Europe, 2015, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/publications/special-report/uncounted-detention-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-europe; Susanne Hildebrandt (Prison and Probation Service), email response to the joint Access Info and Global Detention Project request, March 2013.

[10] Kirstine Løkke Degn Borg (Danish Immigration Service), email correspondance with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), March-April 2016.

[11] UNHCR Regional Representation for Northern Europe, UNHCR Observations on amendments to the Danish Aliens Act as set out in Lovforslag nr. L 62: Lov om ændring af udlændingeloven (Håndtering af flygtninge- og migrantsituationen), January 2016, http://www.unhcr-northerneurope.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Documents/PDF/Denmark/UNHCR_Observations_on_Danish_law_proposal_L62_January_2016.pdf.

[12] UNHCR Regional Representation for Northern Europe, UNHCR Observations on amendments to the Danish Aliens Act as set out in Lovforslag nr. L 62: Lov om ændring af udlændingeloven (Håndtering af flygtninge- og migrantsituationen), January 2016, http://www.unhcr-northerneurope.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Documents/PDF/Denmark/UNHCR_Observations_on_Danish_law_proposal_L62_January_2016.pdf.

[13] Danish Immigration Service, Statistical Overview: Migration and Asylum 2013, 2014, https://www.nyidanmark.dk/NR/rdonlyres/D7322BD4-B6ED-43D7-AFEA-00F597BE0800/0/statistical_overview_2013.pdf.

[14] Prison and Probation Service, The Danish Prison and Probation Service – in brief, 2014, http://www.kriminalforsorgen.dk/Admin/Public/Download.aspx?file=Files%2FFiler%2FFoldere%2Fkort_og_godt_UK_juni+2015.pdf, Prison and Probation Service, The Danish Prison and Probation Service – in brief, 2009, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/sites/default/files/fileadmin/docs/Danish_Prison_and_Probation_Service_-_In_Brief.pdf.

[15] Susanne Hildebrandt (Prison and Probation Service), email response to the joint Access Info and Global Detention Project request, March 2013.

[16] Ole Kjeld Hansen (Prison and Probation Service), email correspondance with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), March-April 2016. 

[17] Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak: Addendum: MISSION TO DENMARK, A/HRC/10/44/Add.2, 18 February 2009, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx; European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 11 to 20 February 2008, CPT/Inf (2008) 26, September 2008, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2008-26-inf-eng.pdf.

[18] Committee against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Concluding observations on the combined sixth and seventh periodic reports of Denmark, CAT/C/DNK/CO/6-7, 4 February 2016, http://ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx.

[19] Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Committee against Torture considers report of Denmark, Press Release, 7 November 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16769&LangID=E.

[20] Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Committee against Torture considers report of Denmark, Press Release, 7 November 2015, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16769&LangID=E.

[21] Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak: Addendum: MISSION TO DENMARK, A/HRC/10/44/Add.2, 18 February 2009, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx.

[22] UNHCR Regional Representation for Northern Europe, UNHCR Observations on amendments to the Danish Aliens Act as set out in Lovforslag nr. L 62: Lov om ændring af udlændingeloven (Håndtering af flygtninge- og migrantsituationen), January 2016, http://www.unhcr-northerneurope.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Documents/PDF/Denmark/UNHCR_Observations_on_Danish_law_proposal_L62_January_2016.pdf.

[23] UNHCR Regional Representation for Northern Europe, UNHCR Observations on amendments to the Danish Aliens Act as set out in Lovforslag nr. L 62: Lov om ændring af udlændingeloven (Håndtering af flygtninge- og migrantsituationen), January 2016, http://www.unhcr-northerneurope.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Documents/PDF/Denmark/UNHCR_Observations_on_Danish_law_proposal_L62_January_2016.pdf.

[24] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 11 to 20 February 2008, CPT/Inf (2008) 26, September 2008, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2008-26-inf-eng.pdf.

[25] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Danish Government on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 4 to 13 February 2014, CPT/Inf (2014) 25, September 2014, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2015-16-inf-eng.pdf.

[26] Prison and Probation Service, Response to Access Info Europe and the Global Detention Project freedom of information request, 25 March 2013.

[27] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention: Concluding observations: Denmark, CRC/C/DNK/CO/4, 7 April 2011, http://ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx.

[28] European Commission, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on EU Return Policy, COM(2014) 199, March 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/e-library/documents/policies/immigration/return-readmission/docs/communication_on_return_policy_en.pdf.

[29] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) CPT), Report to the Danish Government on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee from 4 to 13 February 2014, CPT/Inf (2014) 25, September 2014, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2015-16-inf-eng.pdf; Prison and Probation Service, The Danish Prison and Probation Service – in brief, 2014, http://www.kriminalforsorgen.dk/Admin/Public/Download.aspx?file=Files%2FFiler%2FFoldere%2Fkort_og_godt_UK_juni+2015.pdf.

[30] Ole Kjeld Hansen (Prison and Probation Service), email correspondance with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), March-April 2016. 

[31] New Times, "Rejected asylum seekers confined in prison cells for 23 hours a day," New Times, 15 March 2016, https://www.facebook.com/newtimes.dk/posts/1243964638950969.

[32] Prison and Probation Service, The Danish Prison and Probation Service – in brief, 2014, http://www.kriminalforsorgen.dk/Admin/Public/Download.aspx?file=Files%2FFiler%2FFoldere%2Fkort_og_godt_UK_juni+2015.pdf.

[33] Prison and Probation Service, The Danish Prison and Probation Service – in brief, 2009, http://www.globaldetentionproject.org/sites/default/files/fileadmin/docs/Danish_Prison_and_Probation_Service_-_In_Brief.pdf.

[34] Ole Kjeld Hansen (Prison and Probation Service), email correspondance with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), March-April 2016; Kirstine Løkke Degn Borg (Danish Immigration Service), email correspondance with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), March-April 2016.

[35] Prison and Probation Service, The Danish Prison and Probation Service – in brief, 2014, http://www.kriminalforsorgen.dk/Admin/Public/Download.aspx?file=Files%2FFiler%2FFoldere%2Fkort_og_godt_UK_juni+2015.pdf.

[36] Negar, “Is this a prison?: Inside the new departure center – Sjaelsmark,” New Times, Spring 2015, No. 93, https://issuu.com/robinsandholm/docs/newtimes__93_spring_2015; Kirstine Løkke Degn Borg (Danish Immigration Service), email correspondance with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), March-April 2016.

[37] Ole Kjeld Hansen (Prison and Probation Service), email correspondance with Izabella Majcher (Global Detention Project), March-April 2016; Prison and Probation Service, The Danish Prison and Probation Service – in brief, 2014, http://www.kriminalforsorgen.dk/Admin/Public/Download.aspx?file=Files%2FFiler%2FFoldere%2Fkort_og_godt_UK_juni+2015.pdf.

[38] Susanne Hildebrandt (Prison and Probation Service), response to the access to information request (Access Info and Global Detention Project), March 2013.

[39] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Danish Government on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 4 to 13 February 2014, CPT/Inf (2014) 25, September 2014, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2015-16-inf-eng.pdf; European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 11 to 20 February 2008, CPT/Inf (2008) 26, September 2008, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2008-26-inf-eng.pdf; European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 2 to 8 December 1990, CPT/Inf (91) 12, October 1991, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/1991-12-inf-eng.pdf

[40] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Danish Government on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 4 to 13 February 2014, CPT/Inf (2014) 25, September 2014, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2015-16-inf-eng.pdf.

[41] Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak: Addendum: MISSION TO DENMARK, A/HRC/10/44/Add.2, 18 February 2009, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx; European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 11 to 20 February 2008, CPT/Inf (2008) 26, September 2008, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2008-26-inf-eng.pdf.

[42] Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Committee against Torture considers report of Denmark, Press Release, 7 November 2016, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16769&LangID=E; Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak: Addendum: MISSION TO DENMARK, A/HRC/10/44/Add.2, 18 February 2009, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx.

[43] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 11 to 20 February 2008, CPT/Inf (2008) 26, September 2008, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2008-26-inf-eng.pdf.

[44] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 11 to 20 February 2008, CPT/Inf (2008) 26, September 2008, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2008-26-inf-eng.pdf; Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak: Addendum: MISSION TO DENMARK, A/HRC/10/44/Add.2, 18 February 2009, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx.

[45] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Danish Government on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 4 to 13 February 2014, CPT/Inf (2014) 25, September 2014, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2015-16-inf-eng.pdf.

[46] Committee against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Concluding observations on the combined sixth and seventh periodic reports of Denmark, CAT/C/DNK/CO/6-7, 4 February 2016, http://ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx.

[47] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 11 to 20 February 2008, CPT/Inf (2008) 26, September 2008, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2008-26-inf-eng.pdf.

[48] Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak: Addendum: MISSION TO DENMARK, A/HRC/10/44/Add.2, 18 February 2009, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx.

[49] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 11 to 20 February 2008, CPT/Inf (2008) 26, September 2008, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2008-26-inf-eng.pdf.

[50] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Danish Government on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 4 to 13 February 2014, CPT/Inf (2014) 25, September 2014, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2015-16-inf-eng.pdf; European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Government of Denmark on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 11 to 20 February 2008, CPT/Inf (2008) 26, September 2008, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2008-26-inf-eng.pdf; Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak: Addendum: MISSION TO DENMARK, A/HRC/10/44/Add.2, 18 February 2009, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx.

[51] Committee against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Concluding observations on the combined sixth and seventh periodic reports of Denmark, CAT/C/DNK/CO/6-7, 4 February 2016, http://ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/DKIndex.aspx.

[52] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Danish Government on the visit to Denmark carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 4 to 13 February 2014, CPT/Inf (2014) 25, September 2014, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/dnk/2015-16-inf-eng.pdf.

[53] Amnesty International, Denmark: Human rights in review: 2011-2015: Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, January - February 2016, 2015, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur18/2332/2015/en/; AMNESTY INTERNATIONALS DANSKE LÆGEGRUPPE, Frihedsberøvede asylansøgere i Ellebæk, 2013, https://amnesty.dk/media/1874/frihedsber__vede_asylans__gere_i_elleb__k_2013.pdf.

Centres List

No detention centres data available

Statistics Expand all



119

Total number of detained minors

2011

  • Total number of detained minors
NumberObservation Date
1192011
1462010


515

Number of apprehensions of non-citizens

2014

  • Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
NumberObservation Date
5152014
3952013
6302012


368

Estimated total immigration detention capacity

2016

  • Estimated total immigration detention capacity
NumberObservation Date
3682016


2

Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres

2016

  • Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
NumberObservation Date
22016
12012


358

Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres

2016

  • Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
NumberObservation Date
3582016


1,400

Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)

2014

  • Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
NumberObservation Date
1,4002014
2,0702013
1,3752012


48.2

Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures

2014

  • Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures
PercentageObservation Date
48.22014


3,408

Criminal prison population

2016

  • Criminal prison population
NumberObservation Date
3,4082016
4,0912013


28

Percentage of foreign prisoners

2016

  • Percentage of foreign prisoners
PercentageObservation Date
282016
26.82013


59

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)

2016

  • Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
NumberObservation Date
592016
732013



5,669,000

Population

2015

  • Population
NumberObservation Date
5,669,0002015
6,600,0002012


572,500

International migrants

2015

  • International migrants
NumberObservation Date
572,5002015
556,8002013


10.1

International migrants as a percentage of the population

2015

  • International migrants as a percentage of the population
PercentageObservation Date
10.12015
9.92013


33,436

Refugees

2016

  • Refugees
NumberObservation Date
33,4362016
27,3262015
13,1702014


3.15

Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants

2014

  • Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
NumberObservation Date
3.152014
2.132012


8,789

Total number of new asylum applications

2016

  • Total number of new asylum applications
NumberObservation Date
8,7892016
14,7742014
7,5292012


51.2

Refugee recognition rate

2014

  • Refugee recognition rate
NumberObservation Date
51.22014


7,610

Stateless persons

2016

  • Stateless persons
NumberObservation Date
7,6102016
4,9842015
4,2632014

Domestic Law Expand all

Legal tradition Show sources
NameObservation Date
Civil law

Constitutional guarantees? Show sources
NameConstitution and ArticlesYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
YesConstitution of Denmark, article 7119531953
Core pieces of national legislation Show sources
NameYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
1983 Aliens Act (Consolidation Act No. 863 of 25 June 2013)19832015

Immigration-status-related grounds Show sources
NameObservation Date
Detention to effect removal2016
Detention for failing to respect non-custodial measures2016
Detention during the asylum process2016

Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations? Show sources
FinesIncarcerationObservation Date
YesYes2014
Grounds for criminal immigration-related detention/incarceration and maximum potential duration of incarceration Show sources
Grounds for IncarcerationMaximum Number of Days of IncarcerationObservation Date
Unauthorized entry1832014
Unauthorised stay1832014
Unauthorized exit1832014

Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law. Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
5402016

Provision of basic procedural standards Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Right to legal counselYes2016
Information to detaineesYesYes2015

Types of non-custodial measures Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Designated non-secure housingYesYes2014
Supervised release and/or reportingYesYes2014
Registration (deposit of documents)YesYes2014
Release on bailYesNo2014
Electronic monitoringYesNo2014

Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice? Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Asylum seekersProvidedYes2016
Accompanied minorsYes2014

International Law Expand all

International treaties Show sources
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
  14/16
International treaty reservations Show sources
NameReservation YearObservation Date
CRC Article 4019911991
Individual complaints procedure Show sources
NameAcceptance Year
CRC, [Third] Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child establishing a communications procedure, 20112015
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities2014
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 19992000
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention1987
ICERD, declaration under article 14 of the Convention1985
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 19661972
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted Show sources
NumberObservation Date
6/7
6/7
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation Year
Human Rights Committee32. The State party should, while taking measures to control immigration, ensure their full compliance with the rights of migrants, including asylum seekers, as protected under the Covenant. In particular, the State party should: [...] (b) Ensure that the detention of migrants and asylum seekers is reasonable, necessary and proportionate in the light of the circumstances, in accordance with the Committee’s general comment No. 35 (2014) on liberty and security of person, and that alternatives to detention are found in practice; (c) Consider reducing the length of detention for migrants and asylum seekers who are awaiting deportation and improve the detention conditions of such persons, in particular at the detention facility of Vridsløselille; (d) Repeal the amendment introduced to the Aliens Act in November 2015 in order to ensure that, in all cases, detained migrants have full access to fundamental legal safeguards, in particular to judicial review of the legality of their detention; [...]2016
Committee against Torture

§ 25: (a) Reduce the length of administrative detention of asylum seekers authorized under the Aliens Act for as short a period as possible, bearing in mind that detention should be used as a measure of last resort; 

(b) Ensure that facilities accommodating asylum seekers are appropriate for their status and situations, especially as some of them may be victims of torture or ill-treatment. As such, the State party should alter layout and fixtures so as to change the carceral appearance of facilities hosting asylum seekers. 

2016
Committee on the Rights of the Child

§ 62: The Committee urges the State party to take effective measures to safeguard the rights of children in their territory, especially those of unaccompanied children, to ensure that they do not fall prey to trafficking. In so doing, the Committee urges the State party: (a) To ensure that children who are suspected victims of trafficking will not be imprisoned as a result of conditions which are the consequence of them being trafficked , and that they are provided with specialized assistance services;

2011

Recommendations issued by regional human rights mechanisms Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation YearObservation Date
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

§77: The CPT recommends that the Danish authorities put an end to the detention of children at Ellebæk, in the light of the above remarks. §78: The CPT recommends that efforts be made to maintain the establishment in a decent state of repair and to limit the carceral environment to a minimum. Further, arrangements should be made to ensure that regular activities are not cancelled due to lack of staff. Consideration should also be given to extending the possibilities for detained persons to cook their own food. §79: The CPT recommends that the Danish authorities ensure that every newly-arrived detainee is clinically assessed by a medical doctor or by a fully qualified nurse reporting to a doctor, as soon as possible after his/her admission to Ellebæk. Such health-care screening should be conducted in an appropriate and confidential setting. §81: The CPT recommends that the Danish authorities make the necessary arrangements for interpretation services to be provided when required, taking into account the above remarks. §82: The CPT recommends that the Danish authorities takes steps to improve the provision of information to irregular migrants from the outset of their detention and that they improve the possibilities for contact with the outside world such as permitting persons detained at Ellebæk to possess mobile phones, in the light of the above remarks.

20142014
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

§17: persons detained under the Aliens Act to be guaranteed a right of access to a lawyer as from the very outset of their custody; §82: custodial staff at the Elleboek Institution to be reminded that they must always treat detainees in their custody with respect; §85: efforts to be made to clean and refurbish the detention units of the Elleboek Institution, to improve the bedding arrangements and to make the environment more appealing; §90: the Danish authorities to take urgent steps to introduce systematic medical screening of all persons admitted to the Elleboek Institution as soon as possible after their admission; §91: measures to be taken to ensure regular attendance by a psychiatrist and a psychologist at the Elleboek Institution and to step up psycho-social interventions; §95: steps to be taken to ensure that the information leaflet about the administrative detention of foreigners and the regime applicable is systematically provided to all detained persons upon their arrival at the Elleboek Institution

20082008

Bilateral/multilateral agreements linked to readmission Show sources
NameYear in ForceObservation Date
Germany19542017
Estonia19972017
Finland19572017
Latvia19972017
Sweden19572017
Iceland19572017
Norway19572017
Switzerland20132017
Armenia20042017
Bosnia and Herzegovina20042017
Macedonia20072017
Georgia20162017
Moldova20112017
Montenegro20032017
Serbia20032017
Russian Federation20112017
Ukraine20092017
Sri Lanka19982017

Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council Show sources
NameYear of VisitObservation Date
Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment20082016
Relevant recommendations by UN Special Procedures Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation YearObservation Date
Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

§ 75: With regard to detention of foreigners and asylum-seekers the Special Rapporteur, while being encouraged by the low number of asylum-seekers in detention as compared with some other European countries, is concerned by the fact that there is no maximum period for such administrative detention. Prolonged deprivation of liberty for administrative reasons without knowing the length of the detention may amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. Furthermore, although mandatory habeas corpus proceedings exist, the Special Rapporteur received information indicating that legal challenges to administrative deprivation of liberty of foreigners are not effective in practice.

20092009
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review Show sources
Recomendation IssuedYear IssuedObservation Date
Yes20162017
Yes2011

Institutions Expand all

Federal or centralized governing system Show sources
Federal or centralized governing systemObservation Date
Centralized system2016
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority Show sources
Centralized or decentralized immigration authorityObservation Date
Centralized immigration authority2016

Custodial authority Show sources
AgencyMinistryMinistry TypologyObservation Date
Department of Prison and ProbationMinistry of JusticeJustice2009
Detention Facility Management Show sources
Entity NameEntity TypeObservation Date
Danish Prison and Probation ServiceGovernmental2016
Danish Prison and Probation ServiceGovernmental2009
Formally designated detention estate? Show sources
Formally designated immigration detention estate?Types of officially designated detention centresObservation Date
Yes2016
Types of detention facilities used in practice Show sources
Immigration detention centre (Administrative)Immigration field office (Administrative)Transit centre (Administrative)Reception centre (Administrative)Offshore detention centre (Administrative)Hospital (Administrative)Border guard (Administrative)Police station (Criminal)National penitentiary (Criminal)Local prison (Criminal)Juvenile detention centre (Criminal)Informal camp (Ad hoc)Immigration detention centre (Ad hoc)Surge facility (Ad hoc)Observation Date
YesYes2016

Authorized monitoring institutions Show sources
InstitutionInstitution TypeObservation Date
The Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)National Human Rights Institution (or Ombudsperson) (NHRI)2016
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)International or Regional Bodies (IRBs)2014
Is the national human rights institution (NHRI) recognized as independent? Show sources
Is the NHRI recognized as independent by the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions?Observation Date
Yes2016
Does national preventive mechanism (NPM) carry out visits? Show sources
Does NPM carry out visits in practice?Observation Date
Yes2017
Does NPM publicly release reports on immigration detention? Show sources
Does NPM publicly release reports on immigration detention?Observation Date
Yes2017
Do international and/or regional bodies (IRBs) visit immigration-related detention facilities? Show sources
Do international and/or regional bodies (IRB) regularly visit immigration-related detention facilities?Observation Date
Yes2014
Do IRBs publicly report their findings from inspections? Show sources
Do IRBs publicly report their findings from detention inspections?Observation Date
Yes2014

Socio Economic Data Expand all

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD) Show sources
Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)Observation Date
60,7072014
58,9302013
Remittances to the country Show sources
Remittances to the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
1,3772014
1,2872011
Remittances from the country Show sources
Remittances from the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
2,8882010
Unemployment Rate Show sources
Unemployment RateObservation Date
6.62014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD) Show sources
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in USD)Observation Date
2,6932012
2,9312011
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP) Show sources
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)UNDP four-tiered rankingObservation Date
4Very high2015
10Very high2014

Country Links

Additional Resources


Submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child: Denmark

Global Detention Project Submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 76th Session (11 – 29 September 2017) Consideration of State Report – Denmark (fifth period report) Geneva, 10 August 2017   Issues concerning immigration detention   The Global Detention Project (GDP) welcomes the opportunity to provide information for consideration of […]

Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee: Denmark

Global Detention Project Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee 117th Session (20 June – 15 July 2016) Consideration of State Report – Denmark (sixth periodic report) Geneva, 20 April 2016   Issues concerning immigration detention (article 9 and 10 of the ICCPR) The Global Detention Project (GDP) welcomes the opportunity to provide information for […]

Immigration Detention in Denmark

Denmark has introduced increasingly restrictive policies regarding foreigners. An amendment to the Aliens Act provides “special circumstances” for detaining asylum seekers, including the detention of asylum seekers who are part of “massive arrivals.” Other controversial measures include allowing police to seize the valuables of asylum seekers, the temporary postponement of the right to family reunification, […]

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