Denmark - OPCAT Situation
Ombuds Plus Institution
Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman, in collaboration with DIGNITY (NGO) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (National Human Rights Institution)
After the ratification of the OPCAT in 2004, Denmark designated the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman as its NPM in 2007.
Two years later, the Danish NPM concluded agreements with both the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the NGO DIGNITY (formerly the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims). The agreements aimed at initiating formal collaboration with civil society organisations in order to strengthen the Ombudsman’s monitoring activities.
The SPT member Mari Amos is the SPT Focal Point for Denmark.
When designated as NPM, the Parliamentary Ombudsman's Office established an OPCAT unit responsible for the NPM tasks. In November 2012, the OPCAT unit was merged with the Monitoring Department, which includes not only the NPM tasks. Additionally, a Children’s Division was established which also includes NPM tasks related to children.
Cooperation with DIGNITY and Danish Institute for Human Rights
The Danish NPM has adopted a document of reference that regulates its daily work and cooperation with with DIGNITY and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR):
- The OPCAT Tasks: General Principles (including the cooperation between the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman, DIGNITY and the Danish Institute for Human Rights)
DIGNITY and the Danish Institute for Human Rights function in an advisory capacity in the implementation of the NPM functions. According to its website, the Parliamentary Ombudsman is committed to include the divergent views of both organisations in the reports following visits.
Two bodies were established to facilitate the cooperation between the Ombudsman, DIGNITY and the DIHR, namely:
- OPCAT Council
The OPCAT Council gathers the management of the three institutions involved in the NPM functions (Parliamentary Ombudsman, DIGNITY and DIHR). Regular meetings are held (every four to six months) to discuss issues of common interest, including guidelines for OPCAT activities, annual report and joint press releases.
Specific tasks of the Council include designing an inspection manual and a structure for the visit reports.
- OPCAT Working Group
Appointed staff from the three organisations from the OPCAT Working Group, which carry out the NPM functions (both monitoring places of detention and drafting reports and recommendations concerning new legislation).
Staff from the Parliamentary Ombudsman acts as secretariat for the OPCAT Working Group tasks and has the overall responsibility for organising the OPCAT activities.
Annual report's are available on the NPM's website.
The Danish NPM has published several thematic reports including on placement in security cells, the prevention of suicide and suicide attempts, and children and young persons at institutions for the disabled. These reports and other reports are available on the NPM's website.