Adequate housing, allocation of resources and equal pay: UPR Denmark recommendations

Denmark, Economic & Social Rights

Ahead of the pre-session of the 2021 Universal Periodic Review on Denmark, several human rights organisations submitted recommendations to Denmark. EuroMed Rights proposed the following recommendations related to the right to adequate housing, equal pay and adequate allocation of resources:

On the right to adequate housing

Denmark has supported UPR recommendations to step up efforts to tackle structural discrimination faced by minority groups, non-citizens and refugees, especially with regards to housing. There is however a significant shortage of affordable housing in larger Danish cities. Entire blocks in certain “vulnerable” neighbourhoods classified as “ghetto areas” are being converted into private and co-operative housing. For example, the Law obliges “hard ghettos” to reduce public housing stock to maximum 40% in 2030.This further increases the obstacles for people with low income to access adequate housing. Furthermore, using the term “ghetto” is discriminatory.

EuroMed Rights recommends:

  • To increase affordable and adequate public housing units by means of higher public investments and a better regulatory framework for private investors
  • And to stop using the term “ghetto” for disadvantaged housing areas and ensure the absence of discrimination when resolving social inclusion and housing issues

On the right to equal pay

Denmark has supported UPR recommendations to take further active steps to create equal opportunities for both men and women in the labour market, and to bridge the gender wage gap. However, the gender wage gap persists at 14,5%; the reasons for this being the high level of labour market segregation, discrimination, the high percentage of women working in the public sector and continued unequally shared care responsibilities.

EuroMed Rights recommends to take further steps to tackle the pay gap by changing the legislation to ensure transparency on wages; use of a gender neutral concept of wages and define “work of equal value”.

On the adequate allocation of resources

Denmark has supported UPR recommendations to continue strengthening social programmes for the most vulnerable sectors of the population. Denmark however does not mobilise enough resources to ensure that infrastructure and services are in place to enable everyone to enjoy all human rights. When formulating economic and fiscal policy decisions, the amount of resources required to guarantee human rights for disadvantaged groups is not always included in the priorities.

EuroMed Rights recommends that when economic and fiscal decisions are made, allocate sufficient funds for human rights, especially avoiding too few resources that can mean retrogression and discrimination for marginalised groups.


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