On February 9 the Danish Government announced that they will introduce a general prohibition of discrimination on the ground of disability. "It’s fantastic news. Together with the Danish disability organizations we have worked for a ban for many years. This means that people with disabilities will now be able to demand to be treated properly," says Maria Ventegodt Liisberg, Department Director for Equal Treatment at the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
For many years, Denmark has been the only country in Scandinavia to not have a general prohibition of discrimination on the ground of disability. For example, persons with disabilities do not have equal access to insurance, housing, education or health services.
Today, Danish legislation only bans discrimination on the ground of disability in the labour market, but the new law will expand protection to cover all areas of society. The new legislation will also make it possible to complain to the Danish Equality Board in cases of discrimination on the ground of disability.
"Persons with disabilities have been excluded from participating on equal terms with others in society, so this law is going to make a huge practical difference for a lot of people," says Ventegodt Liisberg.
The Institute for Human Rights has promoted a general prohibition of discrimination on the ground of disability for several years, and in 2016, the Institute published a number of reports and videocases highlighting how the lack of protection affects the life of Danish citizens.