The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with democratic, parliamentary rule. Queen Margrethe II is head of state. A prime minister, usually the leader of the majority party of a multi-party coalition, is head of government and presides over the cabinet, which is accountable to a unicameral parliament (Folketing). Greenland and the Faroe Islands are autonomous parts of the kingdom with similar political structures and legal rights. They manage most of their domestic affairs, while the central Danish government is responsible for foreign relations, financial affairs, internal security, and defense. National elections in 2011, which observers deemed free and fair, gave a plurality to a left-of-center coalition led by the Social Democratic Party. Authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.
The country’s most significant human rights problems included authorities’ holding pretrial detainees together with convicted criminals and youth offenders with adults at times. According to human rights groups, police did not wear identification to allow victims of alleged police abuse to identify perpetrators. There continued to be instances of rape and domestic violence against women.
Other human rights problems included prolonged detention of rejected asylum applicants. There continued to be occasional reports of societal discrimination against religious and ethnic minority groups and of the detention of child asylum seekers, including criticism by some human rights groups of the conditions were the children held. Some anti-Semitic vandalism occurred. The government denied asylum to a group of Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons.
The government took steps to prosecute officials, whether in the military or elsewhere in government, accused of committing abuses.