Born and raised, but can’t be a Dane

Christian Wenande
February 12th, 2021

This article is more than 2 years old.

Human rights organisation contends that it is too difficult for young people born or raised in Denmark to get citizenship

A long and arduous path … even if you’re born or raised here (photo: Hasse Ferrold)

In a new report, the Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR) maintains that it is too hard for young people born or raised in Denmark to get citizenship.

In fact, the institute concludes that the strenuous odyssey to Danish citizenship is in breach of international human rights conventions that Denmark has agreed to.

“In 2004, non-Nordic youngsters lost the easy way to become Danish citizens,” said Maria Ventegodt, DIHR’s head of equality.

“The more stringent way goes against Denmark’s international responsibilities, because the European convention regarding citizenship dictates that it should be easier to obtain citizenship if you are born and/or raised in the country.”

In response, DIHR recommends that the citizenship law is amended to allow non-Nordic youngsters to have the same opportunities as Nordic kids.

READ ALSO: Congratulations ‘new Danes’ to be: over 2,500 pass citizenship test

Tougher than most
Over the past two decades, a group of international researchers have monitored eight groups of immigrants in Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. 

Eventually, 80 percent of the immigrants in Sweden and about 66 percent in the Netherlands become citizens of their new countries. 

For Denmark, the ratio was at about 33 percent.

Read the report ‘Foreign in their own country? Access to Danish citizenship for children and young people who are born and/or raised in Denmark’ here (summary in English).


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