Women in at least three Danish cities have reported in recent days that they feel uncomfortable at night because of the way refugees and asylum seekers behave in bars and nightclubs.
As a result, some drinking establishments have implemented new procedures to keep harassment to a minimum. Some have turned to having extra security guards while others have started a new policy to keep out guests who are unable to communicate with staff.
The Buddy Holly discotheque in Sønderborg has a rule that no one can enter the premises unless they can prove that they speak either Danish, English or German. According to the industry group Danmarks Restauranter og Cafeer, which has over 1,500 members nationwide, several other night clubs are considering a similar move.
“If you have a group of guests that comes in and displays threatening behaviour then it presents some security-related challenges if you cannot enter into a dialogue,” the organization's managing director, Torben Hoffmann Rosenstock, told TV2.
The plan to sort guests by their language abilities is not without its critics. Claus Juul, a consultant with Amnesty International, said barring guests who can't speak Danish or English is clearly discriminatory.
“You can't make a general rule that states that you can't come in if you come from a certain country that has created problems before,” he told TV2.
The issue came to the forefront after women in Thisted, Haderslev and Sønderborg reported that some refugees and asylum seekers display aggressive behaviour, touch women inappropriately and refuse to take no for an answer.