Denmark falling short in children’s rights

European commission criticises record on asylum and immigration

Denmark is failing to take adequate care of children's rights when it comes to asylum and immigration. According to a report released by Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, decisions are being made that are harmful to children.

“Authorities are making decisions without considering children,” Muiznieks told DR Nyheder.

READ MORE: Commissioner: Immigration Service violates the rights of children

UN conventions require that the rights of children come first, but the Danish government assesses whether or not it feels that a child can be integrated before allowing them to live with a parent in Denmark.

“I think it is strange to talk about the integration potential of children,” Muiznieks said. “I believe that everyone can integrate.”

For the good of the child
Muiznieks said that family reunification in Denmark gets harder after a child turns 15, and he called on authorities to amend the law so that anyone under 18 is still considered a child, as required by UN rules.

The human rights commission said that some ten percent of children who arrive in the country to seek asylum simply disappear from the asylum centres. The commission said that the authorities must do more to find out where they are from and investigate if they have become victims of trafficking or sexual exploitation.

“These children could be in physical danger,” said Muiznieks. “It is very important that legal and humane decisions are being made in the best interests of the child.”