Denmark: Conditions of detention in deportation facilities to be addressed

During the 78th Session of the Committee Against Torture (CAT) on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 November 2023, the CAT conducted its eighth periodic review of Denmark. The country rapporteurs were Ms. Ilvija Puce and Mr. Liu Huawen.

The country delegation was led by Mr. Ulf Melgaard, Director of International Law and Human Rights for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Main issues discussed:

The CAT experts welcomed Denmark’s international leading role in the prevention of torture. Yet, they raised concerns regarding the rising rates of pre-trail detention in the country, the hygienic conditions in the prison facilities, and the problems concerning the implementation of legal safeguards for the detained population, including medical examination and family visits.

The CAT raised concerns about Denmark’s plan to establish a Danish prison in Kosovo. The experts inquired about how the Danish government intends to establish Danish laws in a prison complex allocated in a third country. Additionally, the Committee asked how safeguards such as family visits and access to the outside world will be respected in a prison facility that is allocated in a foreign territory. The experts asked about the selection criteria of the detainees that could be eligible to be allocated in that prison.

The CAT also inquired about the mixed use of deportation facilities harboring people whose asylum request have been rejected together with asylum seekers who have been convicted including charges of sexual violence and homicide. The experts expressed concerns on this issue, arguing that it creates an unsafe environment for asylum seekers, an already vulnerable population that has not committed any crime.

The CAT recommendations are available here.

Follow-up recommendations:

The State party should provide information by 24 November 2024 on the implementation of recommendations regarding:

  • Conditions of detention
  • Migration detention
  • Psychiatric institutions

Watch here part one and part two of the dialogue with the Committee.