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Danish companies lagging on alignment with human rights responsibility

Danish companies

Copenhagen, (Business News Report) – Some of the largest companies in Denmark do not demonstrate alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, according to a new study from the Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR).

The assessed companies received an overall result of 40% when documenting their compliance with the UN guiding principles, study showed.

The study revealed that companies scored just three out of 12 points on average regarding their documentation of necessary due diligence on human rights.

Only eight companies provided access to remedy in case of critical impacts derived from company activities, the study said.

“It is highly problematic that some of the largest companies in Denmark aren’t able to document compliance with the UN guiding principles,” said Elin Wrzoncki, Department director of Human Rights and Business at DIHR.

“These companies are obliged by The Danish Financial Statements Act to account for their work on respecting human rights, and yet they are lagging in documentation,” he said.

Unfortunately, companies are all too often involved in negative impact on human rights, and that is precisely why it is necessary for them to be able to show the outside world what systems they have in place,” he added.

The study used the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark’s Core Indicator Assessment methodology in relation to the UN guiding principles, which includes 13 indicators: Governance and Policy Commitments (four indicators) Embedding Respect and Human Rights Due Diligence (six indicators) Remedies and Grievance Mechanisms (three indicators).

A disservice

Last September, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said that the Danish government intended to make refugee women work at least 37 hours a week to continue receiving welfare benefits, allegedly “to help them assimilate into society.”

Prime Minister Frederiksen said at the time that the rules were particularly aimed at “women from non-Western backgrounds” as, according to the government, 6 out of 10 from the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey do not work.

“It is basically a problem when we have such a strong economy, where the business community demands labour, that we then have a large group, primarily women with non-Western backgrounds, who are not part of the labour market,” she added.

“For too many years we have done a disservice to a lot of people by not demanding anything of them,” The Danish Prime Minister said.

Euro-Med Monitor considered this spreads misjudged and discriminatory ideas on refugees and turning rights into privileges you need to earn and deserve.

In the last few years, Denmark has increasingly tightened its immigration policies and has now some of the sharpest rules in Europe, aimed at having “zero asylum applications”.

The goal is not that far as in 2020 it has received 1,475 asylum applications, 45% less than the year before, and this year up to the end of July, only 851.

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