Denmark Country Guide

The Human Rights and Business Country Guide for Denmark was originally produced in 2013 by the Danish Institute for Human Rights. The guide was comprehensively updated in 2016, and received input from various stakeholders in Denmark along the way.

 Read the full Country Guide in English here

Read the full Country Guide here

News Feed

7 European pension funds divest from Ryanair due to labour disputes

8 May 2017 — Seven European pension schemes overseeing nearly €300bn of assets have pulled their investments in Ryanair due to concerns about high-profile labour disputes involving the budget airline. High quality global journalism requires investment. Denmark’s largest pension fund, ATP, and Folksam, the Swedish retirement scheme, are among the large investors that have sold their holdings in Ryanair at a time of growing concern about how the airline pays its staff and interacts with unions. Baillie Gifford, one of the UK’s largest asset managers, and Hermes EOS, the influential adviser to institutional investors, have also raised concerns about labour issues with Ryanair in recent months...

Eastern European lorry drivers exploited in IKEA's supply chain, BBC investigation finds

15 Mar 2017 — "Ikea drivers living in trucks for months" Lorry drivers moving goods in Western Europe for Ikea and other retailers are living out of their cabs for months at a time, a BBC investigation has found. Some drivers - brought over from poorer countries by lorry firms based in Eastern Europe - say their salary is less than three pounds an hour...EU rules state that a driver posted temporarily away from home should be ''guaranteed'' the host nation's ''minimum rates of pay'' and conditions. But companies can exploit loopholes in the law...According to EU law, drivers must take 45 hours weekly rest away from their cabs, but governments have been slow to enforce it...It is clear this way of treating drivers is widespread. It is not just within the Ikea supply chain, but also in those of several other big, household names...Legal action is now being taken against some of Ikea's contractors. In the Netherlands last month, a court ruled that Brinkman - which delivers Ikea flowers to the UK and Scandinavia - was breaking the law. The court found that drivers' pay was "not consistent" with Dutch wages law. The judge described conditions for drivers as an "inhumane state of affairs'', and contrary to EU law...Ikea said it takes what drivers have told the BBC "very seriously'' and are "saddened by the testimonies". It said it puts ''strict demands'' on its suppliers concerning wages, working conditions and following applicable legislation, and audits them regularly to check compliance... (Photo credit: BBC News)

Human rights lawyers petition Intl. Criminal Court to investigate Australia & companies over alleged abuses in offshore detention centres

13 Feb 2017 — "Lawyers urge ICC to probe Australia over refugee abuse claims", 13 Feb 2017 A coalition of human rights lawyers is petitioning the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged crimes against humanity perpetrated by Australian officials and private contractors on refugees held on remote South Pacific islands. [The coalition is] urging accountability for the system of privatised offshore detention set up on Nauru and Manus Island, which has led to thousands of allegations of physical and sexual abuse and several deaths...The...submission...argues legal action is critical to prevent other countries — such as the US and Denmark — from implementing Australian-style offshore detention schemes in a bid to deter asylum seekers from seeking international protection amid a global refugee crisis...If the ICC decides to investigate the offshore detention regime and determines that a case against Australian officials and private contractors is merited, that would open the way for politicians and officials who established and oversaw the system and corporate executives to face criminal litigation...Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial and Wilson Security are contractors at the camps.  In statements to the FT both companies confirmed they would not provide services beyond October 2017 when their current contracts expire.  Ferrovial said its Australian subsidiary operated with “a strict code of business conduct”...

Low wages & corporate tax avoidance contribute to global income inequality, according to Oxfam report

23 Jan 2017

Report analyses how 37 countries' regulatory frameworks on advertising & marketing impact children's rights

22 Dec 2016 — UNICEF is committed to helping companies and governments adopt best practice in relation to all aspects of children’s rights. This includes both the ways in which products and services are marketed and advertised to children and the use of children in advertising or marketing, and ultimately extends to any related laws, policies or practices that impact children as consumers...DLA Piper has been commissioned by UNICEF to conduct research across thirty seven jurisdictions and to produce this report which has been done with the support of UNICEF, lawyers from DLA Piper offices and associate firms around the world...This report is the result of an analysis of the regulatory framework with respect to advertising and marketing to children in different countries around the world.

La chaîne d’approvisionnement et la liberté syndicale sont les domaines où il y a peu de précisions par les entreprises sur les mesures mises en place, selon l’étude Vigeo Eiris

19 Dec 2016

Denmark: Law firm evaluates risk for firms after 1st OECD Natl. Contact Point statement on Danish company’s lack of due diligence

14 Dec 2016 — ...Danish corporations which operate internationally should note that the Danish NCP now has demonstrated that it can take an active role in overseeing Danish corporations’ compliance with the OECD Guidelines. To avoid the risk of becoming involved in proceedings before the NCP, Danish multinationals must familiarise themselves with the OECD Guidelines and incorporate the principles into their own activities as well as activities in their supply chain. In addition to recommendations on supply chain management, the guidelines contain recommendations on responsible business conduct in areas such as employment and industrial relations, human rights, environment, information disclosure, combating bribery, consumer interests, science and technology, competition, and taxation. Breaches in any of these areas may lead to corporations becoming involved in proceedings before the Danish NCP. Moreover, corporations must ensure that all of their compliance steps are duly documented...

Bericht: "Öffentliche Ausschreibungen und Menschenrechte: Eine vergleichende Studie von zwanzig Rechtsordnungen" (übersetzter Auszug)

18 Nov 2016 — ...Die öffentliche Beschaffung spielt eine große Rolle bei der Achtung der staatlichen Pflicht, Menschenrechte zu schützen, zu respektieren und zu gewährleisten...Derzeit kaufen öffentliche Beschaffer jedoch wie alle anderen Konsumenten von Lieferketten, in denen ein hohes Risiko für Menschenrechtsverletzungen besteht...Zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen, Medien und nationale Menschenrechtsinstitutionen haben aufgezeigt, dass unzureichende Kontrollen bei der Vergabe von öffentlichen Aufträgen dafür verantwortlich sind, dass Menschenrechtsverletzungen in der Lieferkette unbeachtet bleiben...Das neue Instrument der nationalen Aktionspläne für Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte (NAP) hilft dabei, die staatliche Schutzpflicht in Bezug auf Menschenrechte weiter auszulegen und auch auf den Kontext der öffentlichen Beschaffung anzuwenden...Diese Studie hat eine Reihe von Initiativen, Netzwerken und Instrumentarien identifiziert, die sich damit befassen, eine nachhaltige, grüne, ethische und soziale öffentliche Beschaffung zu fördern...[Sie haben] ein großes Potential, als Katalysatoren und Multiplikatoren, Menschenrechtsaspekte in ihre Methoden und Trainings einzubeziehen...Im Dialog mit den betroffenen Interessengruppen können dann integrative Ansätze entwickelt werden, die...vom Wissen bereits bestehender Initiativen schöpfen...

Danish National Contact Point to OECD heavily criticizes human rights due diligence of Danish textile company sourcing from Rana Plaza, issues recommendations

7 Nov 2016 —  

Danish supermarkets stop selling South African wines due to modern-day slavery allegations

31 Oct 2016 — Supermarkets in Denmark are removing South African wines from shelves following an investigative documentary that exposed how some of the country’s vineyards are practicing slavery, according to Quartz. The investigative film “Bitter Grapes: Slavery in the Vineyards” by Danish filmmaker Tom Heinemann, exposes the horrendous conditions in which workers in most South African wineries work and live in. According to the documentary, in these vineyards, farmers work long hours under harsh weather conditions and are constantly exposed to toxic pesticides...In a prompt response, Robertson Winery published a statement through their Swedish importer Martin Horwitz that praised the company’s relationship with its workers. Horwitz also criticized the filmmaker, accusing him of being one-sided and misrepresenting facts. He further questioned the film’s intention, saying there are many other South African wineries that are worse off and yet they have never been scrutinized...