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 largest party of a multiparty coalition, is head of government and presides over the cabinet, which is accountable to a unicameral parliament (Folketing). The kingdom includes Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which are autonomous with similar political structures and legal rights. They manage most of their domestic affairs, while the central Danish government is responsible for constitutional matters, citizenship, monetary and currency matters, foreign relations, and defense and security policy. Observers deemed national elections in 2015 free and fair. In 2016 the center-right Venstre Party formed a coalition government.
Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.
There were no reports of egregious human rights abuses.
The government took steps to identify, investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who committed human rights abuses.
Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
The constitution and law provide for freedom of expression, including for the press, and the government generally respected this right. An independent press, an effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system combined to promote freedom of expression, including for the press.
Freedom of Expression: The law prohibits any public speech or the dissemination of statements or other pronouncements that threaten, deride, or degrade a group because of gender, race, skin color, national or ethnic background, religion, or sexual orientation. Authorities may fine offenders or imprison them for up to two years.
The government did not restrict or disrupt access to the internet or censor online content, and there were no credible reports that the government monitored online communications without appropriate legal authority.
According to 2017 statistics compiled by the International Telecommunication Union, 97 percent of the population in Denmark and 95 percent in the Faroe Islands were internet users; statistics on Greenland were not available.
ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND CULTURAL EVENTS
There were no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events.
The constitution provides for the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and the government respected these rights.
See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report at www.state.gov/religiousfreedomreport/.
d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons
The constitution and law provide for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights.
The government did not participate with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in its program to resettle refugees. In 2017 parliament determined that the Minister of Immigration and Integration has the authority to determine how many refugees the country will accept.
PROTECTION OF REFUGEES
Access to Asylum: The law provides for the granting of asylum or refugee status, and the government has established a system for providing protection to refugees.
Safe Country of Origin/Transit: The country employs the EU’s Dublin III regulation, which permits authorities to turn back or deport individuals who attempt to enter the country through a “safe country of transit” or are registered in another Dublin regulation state.
Temporary Protection: Through the end of May, the government provided temporary protection to 151 persons who may not qualify as refugees. The figure was 789 persons for all of 2017.