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Denmark  2022

Legislation on rape, including in cases where perpetrators falsely represent themselves as someone else, was amended. Special legislation was passed to grant people displaced from Ukraine temporary protection. The authorities revoked residence permits of several Syrian and Afghan refugees and placed them in return centres. The Supreme Court absolved the Ministry of Defence of responsibility for the torture of Iraqi civilians during a joint operation in Iraq in 2004.

Women’s rights

There was broad political agreement on revision of Article 221 of the Penal Code, scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2023, so that non-consensual sex by perpetrators falsely representing themselves as someone else will no longer be penalized more leniently than rape.


In January 2020, a housing company evicted 96 families from the Nøjsomhed area in Elsinore under the much criticized Law “L38”, which uses “non-Western background” as one criteria to designate areas as “ghettos”. In September 2022, seven of the families evicted were granted the right to appeal to the Supreme Court. In November, 12 people similarly evicted had their case against the Ministry of the Interior and Housing referred to the EU Court of Justice to determine whether the categories of “non-Western” and their “descendants” fall under the EU law’s definition of ethnicity.

Refugees’ and migrants’ rights

In February, the Refugee Appeals Board started reassessing cases of rejected Afghan asylum seekers; cases had been on hold since December 2021 in view of the Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan. By 30 November, the Return Agency listed eight Afghan refugees as having had their residence permits revoked. Also, by the same date, 16 Syrian refugees were listed as having had their residency permits revoked, with reference to changes in the situation in their country of origin. Both groups were ordered to move to return centres. In December, the Refugee Appeals Board announced a more lenient assessment of evidence in asylum cases involving Afghan girls and women.

Special legislation was passed in March, offering two-year residence permits and basic rights for people displaced from Ukraine. The legislation did not offer the same benefits to non-Ukrainian nationals fleeing Ukraine. The two-year residence permit was granted to 33,048 people out of the 37,162 who applied.

Right to privacy

In March, parliament passed legislation concerning indiscriminate telecommunications data retention, which violated both EU and international law. In April, the EU Court of Justice clarified that EU law prohibits the indiscriminate retention of data for the purposes of combating crime. The Ministry of Justice temporarily modified its data retention practices to conform with EU law.

Right to truth, justice and reparation

In May, the Supreme Court overturned a previous decision by the Eastern High Court and ruled that Iraqi war prisoners tortured during operation Green Desert in 2004 were not entitled to compensation from the Danish Ministry of Defence.