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Human Rights

The primary multilateral fora and partners in Geneva

Promoting the respect for human rights as enshrined in the UN Declaration on Human Rights and the United Nations human rights conventions is a key pillar in Denmark's foreign and development policy. Since its creation in 2006, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) has been the main UN body for the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations.

Throughout the three annual sessions of the HRC, Denmark in particular seeks to be a strong voice for the promotion of women's rights, indigenous peoples’ rights as well as for the prevention of torture. These efforts are carried out not only via statements delivered during the interactive dialogues or panel debates, but also by engaging nationally or through the European Union in the negotiations of the draft resolutions that are presented to the HRC for adoption. On torture prevention, Denmark regularly presents draft resolutions to the HRC, including renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment.

The last thematic resolution on torture was related safeguards against torture in the early phases of police detention and was adopted in March 2016 during the HRC’s 31st session (HRC/RES/31/31).

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (since September 2014)
During the 25th session of the HRC (March 2014), Denmark together with Chile, Ghana, Indonesia and Morocco launched a global initiative "Convention against Torture Initiative" (CTI) for the universal ratification and implementation of the UN Convention against Torture.

The aim is - in addition to achieving greater international support for the Convention against Torture - to place international focus on the implementation of the Convention in practice and to achieve a coordinated and sustained support in the form of government-to-government legal and technical advice and assistance between all UN Member States. The initiative has a 10 year timeframe (2014-2024).

Denmark equally participates in the three annual Universal Periodic Review (UPR) sessions. The UPR, which is a mechanism under the HRC  where each UN member state is examined in relation to their human rights situation. Denmark actively works to strengthen the UPR as a useful mechanism to build a common platform for government and civil society to promote human rights in all countries. Through our involvement in specific country UPR-processes we also seek to strengthen the linkages between the work of the HRC and Denmark’s bilateral foreign and development policy work.
The HRC is supported by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to which Denmark provides an annual contribution of 30 million DKK, of which 27 million is donated as a core contribution to the OHCHR and 3 million is earmarked to the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.

The primary multilateral fora and partners in Geneva are:
- UN Human Rights Council (HRC).
- The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
- Special Rapporteurs, Commissions of Inquiry and other special procedures on human rights in specific geographic or thematic areas.
- UN Treaty Body Committees.
- International Labour Organization (ILO).
-  Non-Governmental Human Rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Service for Human Rights, the International Commission of Jurists and the Association for the Prevention of Torture and the Universal Rights Group.