Skip to content

HRC40: Statement by Denmark on Item 2 – Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner

07.03.2019 

United Nations Human Rights Council
 40th Session
 Item 2 – Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner
 National Statement by Denmark

Check against delivery

Mr. President,

Denmark aligns itself with the EU-statement.

Denmark thanks the High Commissioner for the report. Denmark remains a staunch supporter of the mandate and of the important independent work of the office.

Denmark is deeply concerned about the shrinking civic space. Civil society organisations, especially those working with the protection of human rights, face serious challenges in many countries. Not only in terms of legislative changes undermining their independence and restricting their capacity to function effectively. But also in terms of violence, harassment and imprisonment. This is also the case for groups such as journalists and activists, who play an important role in holding governments to account. Their fundamental human rights are restricted, in essence impeding their ability to work.

Denmark welcomes the High Commissioner’s focus on prevention. The role of civil society and human rights defenders in prevention is vital. Civil society and human rights defenders are invaluable in preventing and putting an end to human rights violations. Invaluable in shedding light on evolving trends of human rights violations. And invaluable in addressing emerging conflicts.

The international community has a common interest in ensuring that civil society and human rights defenders are able to operate freely and speak freely without fear of reprisals. Denmark is a firm supporter of civil society, and we look forward to working closely with the High Commissioner’s office to ensure a continued focus on this important element of promoting and protecting human rights in the Council.

Denmark fully supports and shares your commitment to address the issue of shrinking civil society space as a priority for action. In this regard, we would like to ask you to elaborate on what you see as necessary points of actions from States?

Thank you.