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Due to the current global outbreak of COVID-19, it is of utmost concern that our Fellowship protects the health and safety of everyone involved and adheres to the national regulations. Humanity in Action Denmark has thus decided to reschedule the 2020 Copenhagen Fellowship to a one-week virtual Fellowship in June, and a three-week onsite Fellowship in Copenhagen from August 10 – August 29, 2020.

The Corona crisis also means that we unfortunately cannot sent any Fellows across national borders this year, hence the Copenhagen Fellowship will consist of Fellows already residing in Denmark or within the Unity of the Danish Realm. Furthermore we have been forced to cancel our planned study trip to the Faroe Islands.

Read about our special theme of 2020 below the picture.


Ilulissat, Greenland. Photo by Rene Schwietzke

The Unity of the Realm and Human Rights

In 2020, the Copenhagen Fellowship will focus on the Unity of the Danish Realm and relevant human rights concerns.

Since 1380 the Faroe Islands have been under the Crown of Denmark, and Greenland likewise since Hans Egede set food there in 1721. In 2005, the Faroese received a self-government agreement and Greenland “self rule” in 2009, leaving the Danish state with virtually no influence over their internal affairs.

In Denmark, the Unity of the Realm refers to the relationship between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which are collectively known as The Danish Realm.

However, since then, the relationship between Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands has been changing rapidly. Climate change, growing global interests in the Arctic, and the increasing focus on Denmark’s colonial past are shaping new possibilities for the future of these three countries. These developments create an urgent need for enlightened and democratic conversations on these relationships and its potential new reality. However, many people in Denmark, let alone abroad, know little to nothing about this social and political union and its implications for the people living within it.

Tórshavn, Capital of Faroe Islands. Photo: Stig Nygaard

The 2020 Copenhagen Fellowship delves into the complex issues of human rights through the lens of the Unity of the Danish Realm.

The 2020 Copenhagen Fellowship will examine the union’s long and complex history from a human rights perspective, and the relationship of the majority in Denmark and the capital Copenhagen with the country’s minorities across the North Atlantic.

Join us as we dive into the pressing realities of this often overlooked region and Denmark’s role in shaping it.

Topics of interest include: how climate change is changing the physical and political landscape of the region, how geopolitical interests are shaping the union’s future, and the social, economic, and cultural rights for minorities, specifically indigenous peoples. As a cohort, we will ask: what do Greenlandic and Faroese wishes for independence mean for Denmark and its engagement in the Arctic, what does climate change mean for North Atlantic peoples from a human rights perspective, and how does Denmark cooperate with Greenland to promote human rights domestically. These issues, and more, deal with the changing nature of globalization, modernity, and identity, to name just a few of the program’s themes.

Study trip to the Faroe Islands

Located between Norway and Iceland, the Faroe Islands is a self-governing archipelago in the Kingdom of Denmark. In cooperation with local non-government and other organizations in the Faroe Islands, the 2020 Copenhagen Fellowship will visit the Faroe Islands and examine the idea of the “Unity of the Realm” from a Faroese perspective. 

During the visit, we will ask:

  • How do the Faroese envision their future?
  • How do Faroese communities experience the growing global interest in the Arctic region?
  • How is climate change affecting life and livelihood?
  • What is the relationship between Tórshavn, the Faroese capital, and the outer islands? What is Tórshavn’s relationship with Copenhagen?
  • How do the Faroese view their relationship with Denmark, past and present?

Due to the world wide outbreak of Covid-19 Humanity in Action Denmark has been forced to cancel the study trip to the Faroe Islands. We hope we can resume this important part of the Fellowship in 2021.

The 2020 Copenhagen Fellowship is developed in cooporation with:


  • Greenland Representation in Denmark/Kalaallit Nunaata Siniisoqarfia
  • The Representation of the Faroes in Copenhagen/Sendistova Føroya í Keypmannahavn
  • Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen
  • The Raoul Wallenberg institute for Human Rights, Lund


Become a Fellow

Every year, new Humanity in Action Fellows come together in six cities across Europe and the United States to study how and why people resist intolerance and protect democratic values.

01 Year duration

06 Cities

150 Fellows per year