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Danish Institute for Human Rights

DENMARK: Danish Institute for Human Rights

Main Informations


The Danish Institute for Human Rights is an independent state-funded institution. Our mandate is to promote and protect human rights and equal treatment in Denmark and abroad.

We are Denmark’s national human rights institution. We are also a national equality body in relation to race, ethnicity and gender. We have a special role in the disability area where we promote and monitor the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Brief history

In 1987, the Danish Parliament established the Danish Centre for Human Rights, which was renamed as the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) in 2002. The Institute is Denmark’s NHRI (National Human Rights Institute), and as such has counterpart NHRI’s in other countries.

DIHR has been the appointed National Equality Body in relation to race and ethnicity (since 2003) and in relation to gender (since 2011). Furthermore, in July 2009, Denmark ratified the CRPD and the Danish Institute for Human Rights was appointed by the Danish Parliament to promote and monitor the implementation of the CRPD in Denmark.

Mandate type
  • Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body
Litigation powers
  • Bringing proceedings in own name
  • The Danish Institute for Human Rights can file a complaint on behalf of complainants before the National Board of Equal Treatment. Furthermore, since 2016, the DIHR has been authorized to file independent complaints in cases of principal matter.
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups (e.g. through trainings)noyesyesyesyesnonononono
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)noyesyesyesnononononono
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)yesyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Recommendations on discrimination issuesnoyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Publications and reportsyesyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Research projects (including surveys)yesyesyesyesyesyesnononono
Our institution has a mandate to deal with:
  • Violence against women
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Hate crime
  • Hate speech
  • Since we are a National Human Rigths Institution (NHRI) we have the mandate to cover all human rights.
Other statistics
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)246415346501349354no datano datano datano data
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)201744784532no datano datano datano data
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media0000001168202625393779no datano datano datano data
  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)
Management details

The management of the Danish Institute for Human Rights consists of one Executive Director and two Deputy Executive Directors, one Department Director and one Head of Communications. In addition, the management consists of six heads of department, serving each of their human rights fields.

Additional details

The Institute is divided into two departments - a national and an international department. The administration and communication teams are two separate entities outside of the two departments.

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Institute is managed by a Board of Directors.The Board is the supreme controlling body of the Danish Institute for Human Rights and lays down the general guidelines as well as the policy for the Institute’s activities. Furthermore, it appoints the Institute’s Director.
The Board is composed of 14 members, appointed by bodies such as the Council for Human Rights and the Danish universities.

6 members are appointed by the rectors of the Danish Universities
6 members are appointed by the Danish Council for Human Rights
1 member is appointed by the Human Rights Council of Greenland
1 member is appointed by the employees of DIHR

Number of staff dealing with equality issues
222222242424no datano datano datano data
Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body
Grounds / FieldsEmploymentEducationHousingSocial Protection & HealthcareGoods & ServicesOther
Gender Identityyesyesyesyesyes
Race and Ethnic Originyesyesyesyesyes
Sexual Orientationyesyesyesyesyes
Religion & Beliefyesyesyesyesyes
Mandate covers:
  • Public sector
  • Private sector
Operating budget in euros
135800001526000016460000168220001787800018560000no datano datano datano data
Operating budget in euros for the parts of the organisation dealing with equality issues (all types of functions).
134000013400001340000134000013400001340000no datano datano datano data
We are accountable to:
  • National Parliament

Related News

On February 9 the Danish Government announced that they will introduce a general prohibition of discrimination on the ground of disability. "It’s fantastic news. Together with the Danish disability organizations we have worked for a ban for many years. This means that people with disabilities will now be able to demand to be treated properly," says Maria Ventegodt Liisberg, Department Director for Equal Treatment at the Danish Institute for Human Rights.


On 16 May 2017 the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published two country reports and four conclusions on the implementation of previous recommendations. In their publications, ECRI pays special attention to the need for independent equality bodies with sufficient resources and powers.


The Danish Institute for Human Rights’ (DIHR) annual report to the Danish Parliament has been released. The report provides a status of the human rights situation in Denmark as well as highlighting some of the results they have achieved through their international work. DIHR also acts as the national equality body for matters of racial and ethnic origin and for gender issues. In addition, they have a special role in the disability area, where they promote and monitor implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


It is important to view the phenomenon of hate speech from a human rights perspective because hate speech touches upon the very core of our democracy: freedom of expression. Having said that, freedom of expression is not an absolute, and thus we are faced with a human rights dilemma. While freedom of expression should be respected, marginalised groups should be protected against acts motivated by hate, discrimination and racism.

The objective of the study by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) is to gain insight into how often hate speech appears in connection with news dissemination and debate.


Back to European Directory of Equality Bodies

General Contact Information

Full name in English:

Danish Institute for Human Rights

Full name in the national language(s):

Institut for Menneskerettigheder

Postal address:
Wilders Plads 8K 1403 Copenhagen K DK - DENMARK

General email address:


Telephone number:




Other social media channels:

Languages in which your institution can be contacted:

Danish, English, French

Person of contact for media enquiries:

Janne Bruvoll:

Name of the Head of the equality body:

Maria Ventegodt Liisberg

Engagement with Equinet

Contact Person


Janne Bruvoll