To EU commissioner Helena Dalli


EU Commission ECRI
Mrs. Helena Dalli
 Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200

1049 Brussels


Sorthvidt halvprotræt med en ung mor med fletninger og hendes barn på ryggen

Inuit mor og barn – arkivfoto


Sønderborg, Denmark
March 17 2023

Dear Mrs. Helena Dalli,

allow me to address my deep concerns with regard to Inuit (Green-landers) living in Denmark.

Denmark has ratified the ILO convention 169 and thus recognized Inuit as indigenous people. By doing so, the Danish government is obliged to implement the specified non-discrimination articles of this, as well as The European Convention of Human Rights.

Once, soon long ago, Kingdom of Denmark was seen as frontrunner with regard to human rights. Thus, Denmark has followed ILO 169 with regard to Greenlands territory, and Greenland has a high degree of self rule with its own parliament (Inatsisartut) and government (Naalakkersuisut) in the capitol of Greenland, Nuuk.

However, inuit in Denmark seems to live in a limbo. All inuit are Da-nish citizens; however, as long as they live Denmark, they are also at the same time EU citizens.

Let me introduce some figures. About 15.000 people, ie. 20 % of all Inuit live in Denmark. Compared with the Danish population they only fill 0,28 %. Maybe this is the reason why they exist outside public attention.

Seven times as many Inuit children as Danish are removed admini-stratively from their parents. One of the reasons is that Danish authorities use psychometric testing ignoring the APA standardi-zation committee’s demands. Another one is that the administrati-ve attention system in Denmark is built over a special formulated “underretning” (formal information) system. Any person is invited to claim about other people’s children’s behavior or deviations from Danish norms. As Inuit culture differs from Danish culture, it seems highly likely that inuit families are overrepresented by the selec-tion through this special system. There are caught up informations through this system by 7 % of all children. We have until now no scientific evidence comparing the major group – the 93 % of the Da-nish population with the 7 %. This possible overrepresentation of Inuit is never documented, as well as it isn’t for other minorities living in Denmark.

I work as pro bono co-sitter for inuit in Denmark. My clear impres-sion and experience is that it looks much more difficult for an inuk to get a job. Even as medical assistant (sygehjælper) inuit are in risc of being opted out; the Danish government has claimed a vast lack of medical assistants. Nevertheless, the Danish municipalities rejects them wrongly anticipating that the Greenlandic education should not be valid in Denmark.

In the meeting with the administration in cases of family “support”, and in severe matters – wellfare aid or pension to people outside the labour market, the authority in each case must judge if interpretation or translation is necessary as means of guidance. While it is almost common to offer interpretation, the auhorities never offer translation. As all Danish authority build on paper writing (letters, recommendations, judgments, meeting reports etc.) , the judgment if written translation should be offered is crucial. Even essential written laws are not translated. If Danish authorities tend to consider inuits as being less intelligent is out of my scope of knowledge. However, most of my clients read a proper Greenlandic, while their skills in Danish are highly dependant on the teaching quality in their school in Greenland. Another expla-nation might be the cost. If there is no tradition to offer translation, it just isn’t offer. According to Danish law, however, the administra-tion is obliged to make this judgment in a proper manner.

According to crucial individual protection rules, GDPR’s articles 16, 18 and 19 seems never to be in use in administrative practice at all.
Thus, the Inuk (Greenlander) is neither in practice offered proper guidance nor the right to rectification of false claims about her in her own case, ie. about removal of her child by force.

When children are removed from their Greenlandic family, they are given to foster care in Danish families. Thus, the Inuit children are taken away from their own language and culture. This aspect of ECHR article 8 seems to be totally neglected, even also this should be a Governmental duty.


My errand here is not to claim to ECRI in single matters, but to direct attention to the ignorance of the Danish Government insofar it does not seem to live up to its duties.

I append the warnings from UN’s special rapporteur for the rights of indigenous peoples, José Francisco Cali Tzay as mentioned in Danish press (Ritzau). His report to the Danish Government is expected to be published August this year

Sincerely Yours

Mikael Hertig
M of Sci . Pol


APPENDIX in my translation

According to the UN rapporteur, Greenlanders in Denmark face discrimination and racism from Danish authorities.

Greenlanders in Denmark are exposed to discrimination and racism when meeting with Danish authorities.

That is the preliminary conclusion from the UN’s special rapporteur for the rights of indigenous peoples, José Francisco Cali Tzay, writes DR Nyheder.

– My biggest concern is the structural racism they (Greenlanders, ed.) encounter. Even though they are Danish citizens, they encounter a high degree of racial discrimination in all the public services they need, he tells DR.

The UN rapporteur is speaking to the media after he has spent the past ten days traveling around Denmark and Greenland.

Selon le rapporteur de l’ONU, les Groenlandais au Danemark sont victimes de discrimination et de racisme de la part des autorités danoises.

Les Groenlandais au Danemark sont exposés à la discrimination et au racisme lorsqu’ils rencontrent les autorités danoises.

C’est la conclusion préliminaire du rapporteur spécial de l’ONU pour les droits des peuples autochtones, José Francisco Cali Tzay, écrit le DR Nyheder.

– Ma plus grande préoccupation est le racisme structurel auquel ils (les Groenlandais, ndlr) sont confrontés. Même s’ils sont citoyens danois, ils sont confrontés à un degré élevé de discrimination raciale dans tous les services publics dont ils ont besoin, dit-il à DR.

Le rapporteur de l’ONU s’adresse aux médias après avoir passé les dix derniers jours à parcourir le Danemark et le Groenland.

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Privat seniorforsker, cand. scient., pol Aarhus University 1982

Published: "Kommuner, Regressionsanslyser og Bloktilskid 1982
Fuldmægtig, Ribe Kommunes Borgmesterkontor 1982-83
Fuldmægtig, Arbejdsmiljøinstitutrewt 1983-85
Fuldmægtig, Privatbanken 1985-87
Budget- og Planlægningschef Aktivbanken i Vejle 1987-90
DSB- Økonomikonttoret 1990-92
IT-sikkerhedsmedarbejder og -leder, 1992-1999
IT-revisor ISACA 1999-2000
Stifter og medejer af Nensome Security 2000-2003
Opfinder af metode til sikker sletning afdata på harddiske, patent
Fuldmægtig, Grønlands Selvstyre 2013-15
Konsulent i Persondatasikkerhed 2015-17
Timelærer i forvaltningsret ved Grønlands Universitet Nuuk 2015-17
Underviser i forvaltningsret ved Ledelsesakademier Nuuk 2016

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