Our Mandate

We are Denmark's National Human Rights Institution.  The mandate of the Danish Institute for Human Rights is to promote and protect human rights and equality in Denmark and abroad.

In Denmark, we advise the Government, Parliament, ministries and authorities on human rights, notably when new bills are drafted.

  • We prepare analyses and research, for example, on the rights of children whose parents are in prison, counter-terrorism legislation, the rights of stateless persons and equal pay.
  • We design projects to promote equal treatment, and give advice to individuals who file discrimination complaints.
  • We map areas in which Denmark faces its main human rights challenges, and areas in which progress is made year on year.

Internationally, we engage with governments, NGOs and business and industry to strengthen their capacity to advance human rights in their countries.

  • We work to build sound justice systems abroad and to empower local populations to exert influence in their communities.
  • We assist private-sector enterprises in assessing how their corporate activities impact human rights.
  • We train police officers, school teachers, ombudsmen, judges and others in human rights.

Denmark's National Equality Body

The Danish Institute for Human Rights has also been appointed Denmark's National Equality Body in three areas:

  • Ethnic equal treatment
  • Equal treatment of women and men
  • Equal treatment of persons with disabilities

Anti-discrimination activities
The principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination is a cornerstone of human rights advocacy. In its work, DIHR frequently applies the horizontal perspective. In practice, this means that we address all grounds for discrimination in any domain, taking into account gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion and faith, ethnicity and race. This is because people often experience discrimination on several grounds; for example, a woman may face discrimination on grounds of both her gender and her ethnicity.

Research, advisory services and monitoring
The Danish Institute for Human Rights promotes equal treatment through activities such as launching independent inquiries and projects to prevent discrimination and promote equality. These activities form the basis for specific recommendations to the Danish Parliament and Government and other relevant actors. DIHR also provides assistance to the victims of discrimination.

One component of DIHR's activities as a National Equality Body is also to monitor Denmark's status on equality. For this reason, we follow Denmark’s reporting to the United Nations and contribute by providing complementary material. We also monitor whether Denmark follows up on recommendations from the UN.

As a part of our monitoring and dissemination activities, we also engage actively in public debate on equal treatment specifically, and generally on how to counter all forms of discrimination.

A principal task within the monitoring activities is to draft legislative consultation responses. In these responses, we consider whether a given bill complies with human rights law. If not, we propose amendments and make other recommendations. We submit some 80 consultation responses every year.