One or more themes for the annual monitoring visits are selected each year.
The theme will often be a narrow theme – for example placement in a security cell at a Prison and Probation Service institution. The themes can also be wider – for example children and young persons who reside or live at an institution due to a profound and permanent physical and/or functional incapacity.
The decisive reason for the theme is that it is a field which gives cause for an extra effort.
The themes make it possible to bring up topics of current interest for discussion and to undertake an in-depth examination across institutions. One of the objectives is to gain experience in best practice.
The annual themes are relevant to the greater part of the monitoring visits.
The Ombudsman selects the themes in collaboration with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture.
Reports on themes
At the end of the year, the Ombudsman, DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture and the Danish Institute for Human Rights report on the outcome of the year’s monitoring visits.
Reports on the themes are presented in separate reports on the individual themes. The Ombudsman summarises and communicates the most important outcome of the themes.
The outcome of themes may be general recommendations to the authorities – for example a recommendation to draw up an anti-violence policy and prevent threats among the users.
The recommendations are in particular based on the Ombudsman’s experience in connection with monitoring visits. Usually, the recommendations are the same as the recommendations which the Ombudsman has given specifically to institutions during monitoring visits.
The Ombudsman normally discusses the follow-up on his general recommendations with the key authorities.
The Ombudsman also follows up on the general recommendations given during monitoring visits.
The general recommendations have a preventive aim. The reason for the preventive work within the monitoring field is that the Ombudsman is appointed ‘national preventive mechanism’ pursuant to the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).
The reports on the themes are published and sent to the relevant authorities so that the authorities can include the reports in their deliberations. In addition to this, the Ombudsman informs the Folketing of the reports.