Council of Europe urges Denmark to address anti-Muslim discrimination, racism
By Shweta Desai
PARIS (AA): The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance on Thursday called on Denmark to urgently address anti-Muslim discrimination and racism against minorities and stop forced evictions of immigrant families.
In a monitoring report, the commission urged Danish authorities to introduce a national action plan against racism on a priority basis to address the discrimination against Muslims and minorities.
The plan, it stated, should include actions in the areas of education, public awareness, promotion of counterspeech, training of law enforcement officials and teachers, and recruitment of staff from Muslim and other minority groups in these professions.
The commission is the Council of Europe’s independent human rights body that monitors the situation in each of the member states related to racism, discrimination, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and intolerance.
It commended Denmark for positive developments like free Danish language lessons for all and foreigners, and action to prevent hate speech and anti-Semitism.
However, the commission raised concerns about several shortcomings, including hate speech by Danish political parties that actively portray Muslims, including legal foreign workers and migrants, “as a threat to Danish values and culture” and the government’s “ghetto” to segregate migrants into “ Westerners” and “non-Westerners.”
It also noted that the policies of “parallel society” causing forced evictions of migrant families and the Act on Social Housing requiring mandatory day care for 25 hours per week for small children are problematic.
To mitigate these concerns, the commission recommended a legal framework to cut funding of and outlaw racist organizations and political parties, explicitly prohibit segregation, and employ positive incentives for all populations to achieve the goal of a balanced society.
[Map of Denmark by CIA World Factbook/Public Domain]
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