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Denmark

A. UN Convention status

A1. Ratification or conclusion of the UN Convention

Denmark signed the UNCRPD on 30 March 2007 in New York. The Folketing (Parliament) ratified the Convention as decision B194 on 28 May 2009 unanimously with 109 votes. The ratification deed was deposited by the Secretary-General of the UN on 24 July 2009. According to Article 45 (2) the Convention entered into force for the Kingdom of Denmark on 23 August 2009. A Danish translation of the Convention was published by the Central Disability Council in January 2009 (De forenede Nationer: Konvention om rettigheder for personer med handicap. Det Centrale Handicapråd 2009).

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Update date: Thu, 2017-06-08

A2. Ratification or accession to the Optional Protocol

In connection with the ratification of the UN Convention in 2009, the government in power then did not want to sign it. After the elections in 2011, the new government programme included signing the Optional Protocol. Denmark signed the Optional Protocol on 13 May 2014.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

A3. Declarations, Reservations and Objections

There are no declarations, reservations or objections. Decision B194 on Denmark’s ratification of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disability says in English translation: “The Folketing gives its consent to Denmark ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the United Nations General Assembly passed at the General Assembly on 13 December 2006. Annex.” (The annex is the Danish translation of the Convention text).

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

A4. Comprehensive review

Denmark began a comprehensive consultation process in the autumn of 2008, involving all the ministries, organisations and the general public. It aimed to assess the legal and financial preconditions for, and implications, of ratifying the UN Convention. This consultation process formed the basis of the government’s continued work. The coordinating ministry for issues concerning disability, the Ministry of Social Affairs, established an inter-ministerial working group, which reviewed the obligations of the Convention and concluded that it was needed, in particular, to study the scope of obligations inherent in the non-discrimination provisions under Article 5, obligations under the provisions of accessibility under Article 9 and those concerning the provision of education under Article 24. These decisions led to setting up of the three sub-groups, each to carry out a detailed analysis of one of the areas of concern. Denmark adopted Law 1347 (19 December 2008) amending the Election Acts in order to meet the provisions of Article 29 in the Convention requiring states to guarantee persons with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy political rights on an equal basis with others. The working group concluded that no further legislation was needed before ratification.
The seventh Disability High Level Group Report mentions the new national strategy and the need of statistics, whereas the eighth report among other things discusses a proposal of abolishing forced hospitalisation of children in psychiatric hospitals, concluding that the rules do not need any change.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

A5. Focal point

For the time being, the focal point for the implementation of the UNCRPD is the Ministry of Social Affairs, because it was already co-ordinating disability policy. The Ministry of Social Affairs has an office of disability and an office of so-called 'exposed' people, which refers to people with mental health problems, homeless people, and people with alcohol or drug abuse. The appointment of the focal point was made through Parliamentary decision B194 on 28 May 2009.

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Update date: Wed, 2017-08-16

A6. Coordination mechanism

The coordination mechanism for the UNCRPD is the Inter-ministerial Committee of Civil Servants on Disability Matters, which is led by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The members of this Committee are changing with its work, and it has no web page. The Central Disability Council, which earlier had the main role in coordinating disability policy, has five members from disability organisations, two from regions and municipalities and, four from the social partners and social housing sector, and three from research institutions. The Chairman and two members are personally appointed by the Social Minister. The representatives from disability organisations are the Chairman of the umbrella organisation Disabled Peoples Organisations Denmark (DPOD) and the Danish Association of the Blind, the Director of the Danish Society for Cerebral Palsy, the Chairman for the Autism Association, Denmark, the Director of the Danish Stroke Association and the former chairman for the ADHD association, Denmark.

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Update date: Wed, 2017-08-16

A7. Independent mechanism

The Ministry of Social Affairs has decided to place the independent monitoring function within the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR, Danish: Institut for Menneskerettigheder). This decision is based on an official report (section 5.1) which describes the model that has been chosen. The DIHR is accredited under the Paris Principles and has done some work in the area disability and has acquired additional expertise by transferring staff from the former Equal Opportunities Centre (EOC). DIHR connects with other human rights and thereby supports a horizontal approach. The involvement of civil society (Article 33.3) is likely to involve the Central Disability Council. Furthermore, the Ombudsman has produced an annual report on the equal treatment of people with disabilities since 2008. From 2013 it is incorporated in the Ombudsman's annual report. The Ombudsman’s recent report of 2017 among other issues has an article with the title 'Safety in social psychiatric housing - also for residents'.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

A8. Official reporting

The Initial state report was submitted in August 2011 and published by the UN in May 2013. The Danish Institute for Human Rights submitted a parallel report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2014, discussing the fulfilment of the UN Convention in Denmark and Greenland. It discusses for Denmark: articles 1-4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, 17, 19, 24, 25, 27, 29; and for Greenland: articles 1-4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 24 and 27. For each of the mentioned articles, it states the situation and gives some recommendations. Denmark submitted its first report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2013. The Central Disability Council informs that it plans to submit the second report on 24 August 2019.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

A9. Shadow reporting

No information on shadow reporting, from disability organisations or otherwise, was identified. The Danish Disability organisations use the Convention as a point of departure for their work.

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Update date: Wed, 2017-08-16

B. General legal framework

B1. Anti-discrimination legislation

The Danish Constitution does not contain any article on equal treatment. Denmark has eight laws about equal treatment. Five of the laws concern equal treatment of women and men, one of them equal treatment of members of different ethnic groups, and one is a law that establishes a Board of Equal Treatment (BET). The last one is a law on equal treatment in the labour market, and this is the only one that includes equal treatment of persons with disabilities. The Law on Equal Treatment in the Labour Market (LBK nr 1349) of 16 December 2008 begins: “This act understands unequal treatment as any direct or indirect discrimination based on race, colour, religion or belief, political opinion, sexual orientation, age, disability or national, social or ethnic origin”. The Law on Equal Treatment in the Labour Market has been passed as a consequence of the EU Directive 2000/43/EF. BET has jurisdiction to award compensation for violation of the prohibition of discrimination to the extent that it arises from the laws. If the Equality Board's decisions are not acted upon, BET shall, on request of the individual and on his/ her behalf, take the case to a competent court.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

B2. Recognition of legal capacity

In Denmark disabled people are presumed to be legally capable, unless a guardianship is established. The Law on Guardianship distinguishes three types of guardianship and one of these (Section 6) concerns when the capacity to act legally and to vote at elections is lost. Section 5 of the law concerns personal or economic matters, and when the legal capacity is preserved; Section 6 concerns economic matters, and when legal capacity is not preserved, and Section 7 provides for situations when the protected person acts together with the guardian. In every case, guardianship is restricted to the areas where it is judged to be necessary. According to Section 5, guardianship can be established if a person is mentally ill or very weak from illness to the degree that the person is unable to look after her or his own interests and there is a need for a guardian. The same criteria, but to a higher degree, is used to establish a guardianship in Section 6. A guardianship in Section 7 is different because it can only be established on the request of the person and it can only apply to economic matters. In some cases a provisional guardianship may be established. In cases where the guardian and the person have conflicting interests, a supplementary guardian may be appointed. A case on guardianship may be initiated by the person, the immediate family, the municipal council, the regional council or the chief constable of the police. The case is dealt with by the local state administration, or if it is a Section 6 guardianship, by the local court.

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Update date: Wed, 2017-08-16

B3. Accessibility of voting and elections

According to the Danish Constitution (Section 29) and the Parliamentary Law (Section 1) all resident Danish citizens over the age of 18 have a right to vote. The rules on assistance in voting (updated in 2009) are included in the Parliamentary Elections Act (Section 61.4.1), the Local and Regional Government Elections Act and the Danish European Parliament Elections Act. The municipalities organise elections in public schools and town-halls that are accessible to wheelchair users. Blind people may have a friend or a relative as an assistant in the voting box, and an election delegate will then accompany them, or they can have two election delegates with them. The blind person must be able to tell the election delegates, which person or candidate she or he intends to vote for. The municipalities appoint people to collect postal votes from persons who are unable, due to age or disability, to access the voting stations. Postal votes can be collected at the person’s home, in protected workshops or in hospitals. Persons under guardianship according to Section 5 or Section 7 of the Guardianship Act preserve their voting rights and eligibility for elections to municipal and regional councils, Folketing and EU Parliament. Persons under guardianship according to Section 6 lose their voting rights and eligibility for elections to municipal and regional councils, Folketing and the EU Parliament. It is possible to give postal vote in hospitals and disability housing. §47a in the new election law and §53a in the law on local elections give people with disabilities the option to choose another polling station if it is more accessible than the local one. Persons under guardianship have the right to vote in local and European elections, but not in national elections. To give such a right to the group, it will be necessary to change the Constitution, which is very difficult.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

B4. Official recognition of sign language

Danish sign language has become recognised and anchored in the Danish Language Council's work on 13 May 2014. The law takes into account that the Danish Language Council does not currently have the skills to handle the task of following developments in Danish Sign Language. It is planned to allocate the resources of a full-time academic to the Council for this purpose. There is government-recognised and funded sign language interpreter training, as well as sign language in introduced as a subject in deaf schools, and some sign language interpretation of the television news is provided. Deaf persons have the right to interpretation for certain purposes. The use of sign language interpretation is regulated by the Interpreter Law.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

B5. National disability strategy and action plan

The government launched a new Action Plan for Disability Policy on 4 October 2013. Its objective is to establish communities based on equality and respecting diversity, where everyone has equal opportunities to participate in many communities, and where each individual can realise its full potential. Signaling that discrimination is unacceptable, the Plan includes a non-discrimination unit that investigates and combats discrimination against people with disabilities. The plan also focuses on promoting an initiative to equip parents of children with disabilities to master everyday life and create a good life for the family. This shall be obtained by developing and disseminating parent training programmes and other targeted support for families. The Action Plan got a follow-up in 2014, but there has not been launched any national disability plan since then. The Social Ministry has an entry on disability policy on its homepage, with reference to a publication of the Central Disability Council from 2005 on fundamental principles of the Danish disability policy (Dansk Handicappolitiks Grundprincipper).

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

C. Accessibility

C1. Transport accessibility

There is no legislation in Denmark about the accessibility of trains, buses, taxis, ferries, airplanes or other means of transportation. Section 11 of the Law on Transportation Companies (LBK nr 412 of 11 April 2010, amended to LBK no 323 of 20 March 2015) obliges the companies to establish individual disability transportation for persons with considerable mobility problems; they must offer at least 104 journeys a year to the front door, in a suitable vehicle, for a price that is not considerably higher than ordinary prices. They can demand that the customer orders the transport at a reasonable time in advance. The transportation companies must include the disability organisations in connection with the arrangement of the scheme. In 2010 the Ministry of Transport published ‘The Ministry of Transport accessibility policy. Transport for persons with disabilities’. The goal of its policy is to establish a transportation system that is as accessible as practicable, while the functionality and efficiency of the overall transport is maintained. The UN CRPD should function as a basic guideline for the policy. In continuation of the policy, the Transport Department has set up a dialogue forum for accessibility with the participation of relevant authorities, disability organisations and transport providers. A Dialogue Forum shall follow up and further target accessibility policy through discussion and knowledge exchange. Interest-free loans are granted for the purchase of a disability car. The rules have been changed, so that now eight years must pass between such loans, instead of the previous six years.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

C2. Built environment accessibility

Accessibility in new buildings is regulated by the building regulation BR10 from 2010. It requires that wheelchair users can enter all parts of a building without being stopped by staircases or barriers, and contains requirements for accessible toilets. These regulations are published and commented upon in the paper ‘Anvisning om bygningsreglement 2010’ (Building regulation 2010) from Statens Byggeforskningsinstitut (SBi) (The Danish Building Research Institute). SBi distinguishes three standards: 'C' is what the building regulation demands; 'B' is the standard DS3028 Accessibility for all; and 'A' is a higher standard. Standard 'C' is recommended if the building shall be of minimum quality, 'B' if it shall be accessible, and 'A' if it is a special building such as a nursing home. Foreningen Tilgængelighed for Alle (The Association Accessibility for All) has made a sign of accessibility for existing buildings. The Association has an evaluation of buildings for several different disability groups. To get the sign the building must meet the standards mentioned in DS3028.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

C3. ICT and Web accessibility

There is no specific legislation in Denmark concerning accessibility of ICT or websites. Since 1 January 2008 WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) have been a mandatory open standard for the websites of public offices. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation conducted two mapping projects on public website accessibility (in 2008 and 2010).

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

D. Independent living

D1. Choice of living arrangements

Disabled people in general are not required to live in institutions, but for some the choice of the form of living may be restricted. Families with disabled children receive a benefit to cover the extra costs that stem from the disability, and, if the child cannot be taken care of in other ways, they receive payment for the hours that are necessary to take care of him/her. This payment equals their ordinary wage up to a ceiling of EUR 3,875 per month (in 2017) for a full-time compensation, and a proportional amount for a part-time compensation. Adults with disability may receive services to enable them to live independently. In some cases, however, the municipalities cannot provide satisfactory housing, so that the disabled person is forced to live in a nursing home or residential housing. Persons under Section 6 guardianship of Law on Guardianship (LBK nr 1015 of 20 August 2007) who are considered unable to look after their own interests may be required to live in residential housing, and persons who are sentenced by the courts may be required to live in a secure residential housing or a forensic psychiatric hospital for a period.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

D2. De-institutionalisation

With the Social Service Law in 1998 the concept of institution was abolished meaning that housing, services and cash benefits were separated. The inhabitants got the right to benefits on equal footing with others. Many former institutions were modified so that each resident got two rooms with a kitchen, became receivers of their own disability pension and paid for housing, meals and other services if they wanted them. The intention of the Law on Social Services (1998) was to separate the legal, bureaucratic and practical matters concerning housing from social service provision. Legally, there are no institutions. In reality, there are all forms of residences available, from places where 10-15 persons are employed to care for one intellectually disabled person who has challenging behaviour, to residences where the residents only get a little support. There are also still examples of residence-complexes where a number of smaller residences for intellectually disabled people form a so-called 'village'. The village Sølund near Silkeborg in Jutland is one of the largest, with 220 people living in a number of smaller residences and a staff of 550 employees. The Social Service Law classifies three broad categories of people as inhabitants in these residences: persons with mental health conditions, persons with cognitive disabilities (here, for example, intellectually disabled and persons with autism), and persons with physical disabilities (including persons with acquired brain damage). Disability organisations contend that housing should be where other people live, even if the residents are persons with an extensive need of care. The former Minister responsible agreed, following an open consultation (17 April 2009), that Denmark could take inspiration from the Swedish model of units with a maximum of six apartments, which are individual homes in ordinary buildings. She presented, however, no concrete idea of which role the government might have in this. According to The Social Service Law, the responsibility for supply and regulation is with the municipalities. Accommodation for disabled people is based on two alternative laws. The Law on Social Housing requires that every social housing unit meets national standards, which among other things entails separate bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Alternatively, accommodation facilities can be built according to the Law on Social Services, which does not have the same requirements regarding size and facilities.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

D3. Quality of social services

If a person who has applied for assistance, technological aids, house modifications or other things in order to make it possible to live independently is not satisfied with the awarded assistance, she or he can make a complaint to the municipality. The municipality then has the opportunity to concede, but if it does not it must send the complaint to the social board, which makes a decision. In 2012 the social boards had 18,811 cases. Out of these, 10,466 cases concerned social service with a reverse percentage of 31%, and 201 cases concerned the use of force on adult persons with a reverse percentage of 20%. Inspection of the quality of social services, including residential housing, is the duty of the municipality, according to Section 16 of the Law on Legal Security. Section 16 states that 'the local council has a duty to inspect how local government tasks are performed in accordance with Section 15 (which says that the municipality is free to organise the service as it wants)'. Supervision includes the content of the services and the way tasks are being performed. Section 16a states that 'the council inspects people with significantly and permanently reduced mental function, who according to sentence shall be subject to supervision by social services'. The municipal council may decide on the accommodation in residential housing (Section 108 of the Act on Social Services). The inspection of social provisions is made by the same authority that has responsibility for them.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

D4. Provision of assistive devices at home

The provision of assistive devices at home, house modifications and transport, which are necessary for living an independent life, is the responsibility of the municipalities according to the Social Service Law chapter 21 (LBK no 102 of 29 January 2018). According to Section 112 of this Law, the municipality has a duty to give technological aids to a person with long-term reduced physical or psychological functional ability if the aid can help the consequences of the reduced functional ability, ease daily life at home or is necessary for having employment. If the device can be considered an ordinary consumer good, such as a laptop, 50% is paid (Section 113). There are special rules for support to get a car, which is given in the form of an interest-free loan of a maximum of EUR 25,101 (in 2018); that increases in extraordinary cases (Section 114). According to Section 116, the municipality must support the same group of persons with house modifications which are necessary to make their homes better suited as a residence for the persons.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes

There are two national schemes of personal assistance, which are described in the Social Services Act Sections 95 and 96. Both schemes are open to people with all types of disabilities from the age of 18. The aim of the schemes is that a person, in spite of a severe disability, will be able to live a life as near normal as possible in her own home. According to Section 95, a person entitled to more than 20 hours of home help per week may instead choose to receive a cash benefit and employ assistants. The assistance covers home care, which means personal care and practical assistance. Section 96 states that a person with a need that makes it necessary to provide very specific support for care, supervision and escort, who cannot be covered by regular home help, can get citizen-managed personal assistance. Besides home care tasks, this assistance may include help with escort and watching. It is a condition that the person is able to act as supervisor for assistants. This means an ability to recruit assistants, prepare their job descriptions and duties, train new assistants and hold staff meetings. It is possible to transfer the responsibility of employer to a friend or family member, an association or a private company, who will then act as 'employer' of the assistants in consultation with the person receiving help. Employer responsibilities include tasks such as hiring and firing of assistants, preparation of statutory certificates of employment, payment of wages, tax reporting, payment of holiday pay and pension funds. There are several private companies offering citizen-controlled personal assistance, whereas there is only one user-controlled association, namely LOBPA (National Organization Civic-controlled Personal Assistance). Should the recipient of the help be unable to act as supervisor it is possible, in accordance with Section 95- assistance (but not in Section 96- assistance), that a friend or family member may become the recipient of the benefit on behalf of the individual. This person must be able to function as supervisor and as employer, but has the same opportunity to let a union or a private company be employer.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

D6. Income maintenance

There is a disability pension (førtidspension) for people between 40 and 64 years old (or the new old age pension age which is planned to rise to 67 and then follow the development of life expectancy). It can be awarded between 18 and 39 years old only if it is documented or special circumstances prevent the working ability to be improved. A disability is not a sufficient condition for getting the disability pension. It is only available to people who are not able to support themselves at work because their working capacity is permanently reduced. The disability pension is not available if the ability to work can be improved through activation, treatment, rehabilitation or in other ways, so that people can support themselves in an ordinary job or in a 'flex-job'. The municipality decides on disability pensions by preparing a resource profile. The profile describes what the person can do in relation to the demands of the labour market. The municipality considers numerous factors, e.g. education, experience in the labour market, the social network, job wishes and health status. A reform in 2013 made it much more difficult for persons less than 40 years old to get a disability pension. As a point of departure, a rehabilitation process with a focus on resources shall be undertaken. If a person has had permanent residence in Denmark for less than 40 years between the ages of 15 and the actual age, the pension is reduced to the fraction: years of residence/years since 15. It is the so-called 'fraction pension'. The disability pensioner may seek financial reimbursement for medicine or unforeseen single expenditure according to the Law on Active Employment Effort (LBK no 1342 of 21 November 2016). Assistance with medicines and medical treatment can be provided if the person cannot pay. The treatment must be necessary and must take place in the medical care system. To get help with unforeseen single expenditures is a condition if the person cannot pay for the cost and the expense will make it hard for the person and the family to survive. Furthermore, it is required that the person could not have predicted the cost and therefore could not have saved up for it because the person has been exposed to a social event, e.g. divorce. Persons with a fraction pension may apply for supplementary help according to Section 27a in the Law on Active Employment Effort (LBK 1342 of 21 November 2016).

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Update date: Tue, 2018-12-04

D7. Additional costs

The specific additional living costs of disabled children are compensated under Section 41 of the Social Service Law, and for adults by Section 100 of the Social Service Law. Section 41 requires the municipality to provide coverage of necessary extra expenses in the household with a child under 18 years old with substantial and permanent physical or mental impairment or severe chronic or prolonged illness. It is a condition that the additional costs are a consequence of reduced functional ability. The amount of the benefit is determined on the basis of the probable additional expenses for the child, for example, additional expenses for individual transportation and leisure activities. The amount to cover the necessary additional expenses may be granted when the estimated extra costs amount at least EUR 617 per year (2015 level). The allowance is determined on the basis of estimated extra costs per month rounded to the nearest amount divisible by 100. Assistance shall be provided in accordance with the municipal instructions. The Minister of Social Affairs may, by regulation, establish detailed rules as to what expenses can be covered and under which conditions. Section 100 states that the municipality must cover necessary additional expenses for the daily life of people between the age of 18 and the pension age (which is now 65, and in 2027 will be 67) with permanently reduced physical or mental abilities and for persons with permanent physical or mental impairment who, in accordance with Section 15a of the Act on Social Pensions have postponed their old age pension. It is a condition that the extra cost is a consequence of reduced functional capacity and that it cannot be covered under other legislation or other provisions of this Act. Determining the amount of the grant is based on the probable additional costs for individuals, for example, additional expenditure on individual transport, assistance, and leisure. Necessary additional expenses may be paid when the estimated additional costs are at least EUR 860 per year (in 2018). The Minister of Social Affairs shall lie down in a decree the regulations specifying which types of costs shall be covered, and under which conditions, including detailed rules on who can get additional expense allowance. Persons who receive an ordinary disability pension are not entitled to benefits under this provision, unless they also are granted citizen-managed personal assistance after Section 96.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

D8. Retirement income

There is a voluntary Supplementary Labour market pension for the receivers of the disability pension (BEK nr 192 of 26 February 2013). In this pension scheme, the individual pays 1/3 of the contribution, while the municipality pays 2/3. The pensioners’ contribution is EUR 23.36 per month (2018), while the municipality will pay EUR 46.71 per month (in 2018). Both amounts are adjusted annually. Payment of the pension takes place from the moment a person reaches 65 years old (that will increase to the age of 67 in 2027). The pension is paid as an ongoing lifelong pension and is taxed as personal income. How much a person gets paid depends on how long this person has contributed into the scheme. Disability pensioners can register with their municipality if they want to pay for the additional labour market pension. The system can be managed either by the state pension agency ATP, an insurance company, a pension fund or a pension company.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

E. Education

E1. Special schools

The municipality decides on referral to special education at a special school in consultation with the parents. Teaching in internal schools, at shelters and secure institutions must be in accordance with the Public School Law (LBK 1510 of 14 December 2017). The Public School Law has no chapter on special education, instead it is integrated in the law and mentioned in most of the chapters; in Sections 3, 4, 12, 19, 20, 21, 22, 40, 42, 44, 47, 49, 51 and 57 of the Public School Law (LBK 747 of 20 June 2016). Thus special education is an integrated part of the public school system. The costs of special education are financed by the ordinary schools, which are financed by the municipalities. The school headmaster must follow the development of pupils receiving special educational assistance, and assess at least once a year whether the special educational assistance should continue, be modified or discontinued. This decision is taken on the basis of an educational psychological assessment and after consultation with the parents. As a point of departure the special education must follow the same rules as mainstream education. A pupil may be exempt if he or she has unusually great difficulty in a subject, but this does not apply to the subjects of Danish and mathematics. The decision on exemption, requiring parental consent, is taken by the school headmaster based on an educational-psychological assessment, and on the condition that the pupil receives alternative education during those hours. Teaching should generally be given at a level that corresponds to the pupil’s school age, but special education can be provided at other levels if appropriate. Special education should also follow the general rules on the number of lessons. There may be specific lesson plans and curricula for special classes and special schools, partly as a result of the fact that training is given at a different grade than age-appropriate. An evaluation of the pupils through tests and final examinations is mandatory, including pupils with special needs. The Appeal Board for special education is an independent complaints authority, acting on complaints of all kinds concerning local special education for pupils who need extensive support in teaching or instruction in special classes/schools. Complaints about special education for school children or special education assistance for preschool children must be submitted to the municipality that issued the decision. The municipality has the option to reconsider its decision before the appeal will be forwarded to the Board along with the file. Complaints about special education for adults and youth education for young people must be submitted directly to the Board.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

E2. Mainstream schools

The school head teacher decides on referral to special education and the provision of special educational assistance in one or more subjects in consultation with the parents. The municipality decides on referral to special education in a special class, and for specialist teaching support for the majority of teaching time in ordinary schools, in consultation with the parents. The Ministry of Education estimated that approximately 20% of the funds allocated to elementary schools are spent on special education (as of 2009). In 2008 the Ministry of Education launched the school development project ‘Less special education, enhanced professionalism and increased inclusiveness’ which aimed to maintain pupils in mainstream education and reduce the reference to special education. As a result, 22 municipalities participated in this project from different locations that applied different teaching methods to develop the pedagogical practices aiming to retain more students in mainstream school system.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

E3. Sign language and Braille in school

The Executive Order No. 686 of 20/06/2014 on public school education in sign language says that teaching in sign language is offered to all students who have such a profound loss that they, regardless of the use of technical aids, including hearing aids and cochlear implants, are cut off from or have great difficulty in achieving a secure communication using voice.

Braille has no similar status, but all pupils in schools that need it are given the opportunity to learn Braille. Teaching can take place in ordinary schools, special schools or in regional training opportunities. Teaching is a supplement to the public school subjects. Regional vision consultants and a special school for blind children, Refsnæsskolen in Kalundborg, take care of all blind children receiving instruction in Braille.

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Update date: Wed, 2017-08-16

E4. Vocational training

The Law on Vocational Education states, in Section 29, that special education and other special educational assistance are provided for students who need it. The Minister of Education has approved the Law on Vocational Education (LBK 282 of 18 April 2018). The more detailed Guidance rules referred to in Chapter 4 state that the students are entitled to have their ongoing support needs identified and to have relevant actions continuously implemented throughout their schooling. Students who are aware of their support needs should make sure that their special needs are known to the educational institution, in conversations with education counsellors, and when they are admitted to a vocational education. It is not a requirement that the recipient of special educational assistance has a diagnosis. If the educational institution wants to search for grants for special educational assistance, it is necessary that there is a proof of a disability. For both vocational and secondary education students throughout the educational career should be continuously guided by their SPS supervisor (Special Pedagogical Support) or another employee to address the challenges that the disability could entail in relation to the educational objectives and student future employment opportunities. The guidance should additionally contain an assessment of possible changes in assistance needs, because each student's development, training and progression can lead to changes over time in the forms of support needed. In vocational education, the students' needs for special education and other special educational assistance are evaluated through an educational assessment of needs for support in schools and in practice. The identification of needs forms the basis for teachers and counsellors, in collaboration with the student and a placement company, to decide on what kind of support or grant provide. Since all students must be assessed within two weeks from the commencement of a basic training course, there is a good opportunity to identify needs not previously identified (see also Guidance, chapter 4). According to the same Guidance, chapter 5, the provision of funding support is under the duty of the educational institution. Chapter 6 provides for the possibility of submitting a complaint to the Ministry of Education.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

E5. Higher education

There are no laws demanding non-discrimination in relation to disability in higher education. Rather, the legislation aims to make it possible for students with disabilities to access education and finish their studies. The study support system includes special support for students with disabilities, according to the Study Support Law (LBK 1037 of 30 August 2017). Whereas the ordinary study support for students in higher education is EUR 817 a month, there is a supplement for disabled student of EUR 1,163 a month, so that the disabled student gets EUR 1,980 a month (2018). The reason is that the disabled student does not have the same possibility as others to supplement their study support with work income. Disability study support is received by about 4,000 students, half of whom have a mental health problem, and the other half a physical disability. Students who need special pedagogical support (SPS), such as sign language interpretation, Braille materials, etc., have the right to it according to Law on Social Pedagogical Support in Higher Education (LBK 748 of 16 May 2015). According to the web page of the Ministry of Education, SPS should make sure that students with a physical or mental impairment or equivalent difficulties can access training on an equal basis with others. The student can apply for SPS at an educational institution by contacting the disability counsellor. The educational institution shall make a decision on the matter and seek reimbursement of their expenses at EPA. The educational institution is responsible for obtaining the necessary support. When applying for admission to the programme, the students are encouraged to point out that they might need SPS, thereby improving the possibility for getting the support on time.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

F. Employment

F1. Non-discrimination in employment

There is a general Law on Equal Treatment in the Labour Market (LBK nr 1349 of 16 December 2008). It forbids employers to discriminate on the basis of race, colour, religion or belief, political opinion, sexual orientation, age, disability or national, social or ethnic origin. With the creation of the Equality Board in January 2009, came the first opportunity to handle the complaints on discrimination based on race, religion or belief, political opinion, sexual orientation, age, disability or national or social origin, by an administrative recourse mechanism. The Equality Board has so far dealt with cases involving discrimination based on age and disability, but has not received complaints about discrimination on other grounds. In the ten latest cases, two of the applicants got their rights, five applicants failed, and the last three cases were rejected because the Board had no authority to deal with them.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

F2. Public employment services

There is no special employment service for people with disabilities in Denmark, and people with disabilities are served by the ordinary municipal jobcentres. There is, however, the Special Function Job and Disability (SJH), a national knowledge centre. SJH was established in 2007 by Job centre Vejle as a nationwide special unit for people with disabilities in order to retain and integrate more people with disabilities in work. From 1 January 2010 Special function Jobs and Disability has been linked to the Employment Region of Southern Denmark, but SJH still provides a nationwide service to the job centres and other stakeholders in employment activities. SJH works with advice to perform employment activities for persons with disabilities and provides information on relevant legislation and practical opportunities for disabled people. Furthermore SJH provides information on legislation and knowledge of how persons with disabilities obtain employment.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

F3. Workplace adaptations

Persons with disability are entitled to special aids which can compensate for the disability they have. The assistive devices can include both tools and changes workplace interiors. The scheme aims to enable a person with disability to perform his/her duties on an equal basis with other employees. Therefore, it is a condition of eligibility that the equipment is vital for performing the job. The compensatory aids can only be granted if the expenditure is above what the employer is assumed to bear and the working device does not commonly occur in the workplace. The examples of assistive devices are: smaller work machines for personal use, specific work chairs, hand grips, lowering of the floor, widening of doors, installation of ramps and lifts, etc. The Special Function Job and Disability assists the job centres with cases about workplace adaptations and working equipment.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

F4. Financial incentives

To get a flex job, a person must be under 65, their working capacity must be permanently reduced and all other opportunities for redeployment and retraining must have been tried. Flex jobs may be created at both private and public sector employers (state, region and municipality). The municipality assesses the working capacity and if it is sufficiently reduced, the person has a right to a flex certificate for the job. A flex certificate may make it easier to find a flex job as it tells the employer that the person is referred for a flex job and what needs they have. The certificate also gives some general information about the flex job system. The job centre will grant a flex certificate on request. The work is planned according to the person's needs: the work pace is adjusted and the person gets necessary breaks. It is also possible to agree on a reduction of daily working hours without reduction of the wages. The working conditions are established in cooperation with the unions. The salaries for flex jobs are set according to the labour market agreements. The municipality must offer the worker a full time flex job, but if preferred they may be offered a part-time flex job, or if the last job was a part-time job and the employment for the latest 12 months has been part-time. The employer gets a public subsidy equal to 1/2 or 2/3 of the minimum standard wage depending on the working capacity of the person. The subsidy shall be kept under review and may be increased, reduced or waived completely, if the work capacity changes. The municipality where the person lives assigns the flex job. The municipality pays the subsidy to the employer and gets a share (65%) of the cost reimbursed by the state. Flex job workers have a form of unemployment insurance that is similar to, but not quite identical to, the ordinary unemployment insurance. In case of unemployment, it gives a right to unemployment allowance. The maximal unemployment allowance is between 91% and 82% of the highest amounts of the ordinary unemployment allowance, that is EUR 2,280 a month (in 2018) when it is equal to 91% of the maximum unemployment benefit, and EUR 2,054 a month (in 2018) when it corresponds to 82%.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

G. Statistics and data collection

G1. Official research

Denmark has no official research institute or department responsible for research on disability equality. Equality in relation to rights and laws is taken care of by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), which is the independent mechanism. DIHR is responsible for the monitoring function and performs research activity, but the human rights of disabled people are not among the subjects researched. The Danish National Institute of Social Research (SFI) has carried out research on the employment, living conditions and on some services provided for people with disabilities. KORA, the National Institute of Municipality and Region Analysis and Research, does analyses and research on and for municipalities and regions and in that connection also on needs and services related to disability. The two mentioned research institutes became united in 2017. Furthermore, the Social Ministry has begun to analyse the statistics gathered by Statistics Denmark on among other things disability in an annual publication, Social Political Report (Socialpolitisk Redegørelse). In spite of that, research on disabled people’s conditions is considerably weaker in Denmark than in the neighbouring countries.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

G2. Census data

Denmark has no national census. Instead Denmark has a person register; the Central Person Register (CPR). It does not have any information on disability. Statistic Denmark collects information of administrative provisions that relate to disability, such as receivers of disability pension and sick pay. From 2013 some disability services, such as residential living and housing support, are registered too.

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Update date: Wed, 2017-09-13

G3. Labour Force Survey

Denmark has a national Labour Force Survey where a question on disability was included in 2002, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. The surveys in 2002 and 2011 were reported to Eurostat and published, others have been used for national research purposes. The two questions: 'Do you have a disability or a long-term health problem?' and 'if yes, of what type?' have been included throughout all years. From 2005 the respondents are also asked if it is a minor or major disability or health problem, and in 2010 there were questions on functional limitations added.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

G4. Disability equality indicators

The Danish Institute for Human Rights has developed a set of Gold Indicators, covering the ten most important articles of the CRPD, according to which the Institute plans to publish results illustrating the implementation of the CRPD in Denmark. The Gold Indicators make it possible to follow the situation every fourth year. On this basis, they have developed a disability barometer.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

H. Awareness and external action

H1. Awareness raising programs

In the period of 1993-2009, The Equal Opportunities Centre for Disabled Persons acted as an awareness raising agency concerning equality of disabled people. It gathered information, distributed leaflets, organised conferences, raised questions, etc. With the signing of the UN CRDP this function has been replaced with the independent monitoring mechanism performed by The Danish Institute for Human Rights. The Danish Disability Council (DDC) also has a function to provide information, eliminate prejudices and promote awareness. The UN Convention has been made available in easy-read, sign-language and audio-visual formats, and some meetings were arranged for persons with intellectual impairments. DDC has a campaign with a Facebook page concerning attitudes to people with disabilities, which is called “It is not a disability”.

The campaign EN AF OS ('one of us') began on 10 October 2011 and has been extended until 2020. The campaign's purpose is to counter stigma and promote tolerance and openness towards people with mental illness. The main idea is to make life better for everyone by promoting inclusion and combating discrimination associated with mental disorders by increasing the knowledge about mental illness, reducing stigma, prejudice and social exclusion, and improving understanding of mental illness in schools, workplaces and any other places where everyday life unfolds. An important part of the campaign is implemented by volunteers who have or have had a mental illness, caregivers, or people who are active in a user organisation or some other type of organisation.

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Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

H2. Training for teachers

Teacher training at the university colleges does not contain any mandatory item on disability or special needs. Thus, the current teacher training does not require all teachers to acquire knowledge about teaching students with special needs, including students with disabilities. The available material illustrated the situation 15 years ago, and it has not improved since then. The Equal Opportunities Centre for Disabled Persons recommends a mandatory special educational element that forces all teachers to acquire special education competencies. The Centre’s survey shows that all university colleges meet the statutory requirement to offer teachers a voluntary course on teaching children with special needs (according to Section 12 of the Ordinance on the training of teachers for primary schools). The extent of the voluntary course varies widely from 24 to 58 hours at various colleges. There are substantial differences in the proportion of students completing the course from college to college: in 2001 it ranged from 15.5-84.5%, and in 2002 from 12-69%. According to ‘Disability issues – a study of disability in teacher training in colleges and university colleges’, a report prepared by The Equal Opportunities Centre for Disabled Persons, on average three out of ten teachers who had the ability completed a course on teaching children with special needs in 2001 and 2002. Disabled people's organisations are not involved as trainers in the teacher’s education in Denmark.

The Equal Opportunities Centre for Disabled Persons survey from 2004: Handicaplære – en undersøgelse af handicapdimensionen i seminarier og CVU'ers læreruddannelse. Authors: CLH ved /Kasper Nizam og Ane Esbensen. Editor: Center for Ligebehandling af Handicappede (CLH)

Update date: Fri, 2018-09-28

H3. Training for lawyers

Disability awareness/ equality issues are not part of initial professional training programmes for lawyers, or made available to legal professionals. Disabled people's organisations are not involved as trainers for lawyers in Denmark.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-06-14

H4. Training for doctors

Disability awareness/ equality issues are not part of initial professional training programmes for medical doctors, or made available to medical staff. Disabled people’s organisations are not involved as trainers in doctor’s education in Denmark.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-06-14

H5. Training for engineers

Disability awareness/ equality issues are not part of initial professional training programmes for engineers, or made available to design professionals. Disabled people’s organisations are not involved in training engineers and designers in Denmark. However, in the training for architects there are two-four-day courses in architectural matters related to disability.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-08-16

H6. International development aid

People with disabilities are included into the Strategy for Danish support to civil society in developing countries from 2008. The disability aspect is in the government’s development policy priorities for 2011–2015, under the section ‘Fragile States’. In addition, people with disabilities are also mentioned in the Danish Humanitarian Strategy 2010-2015.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-06-14

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