DANISH REFUGEE COUNCIL is ranked 3 in TOP 500 World by NGO Advisor

NGO Advisor’s Opinion & Ratings

All Eyes On Migrants And Refugees

Formed after the devastation of World War II and the European refugee crises triggered by the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has been a constant, trusted presence in the humanitarian sphere for over 50 years. Over the last five years DRC has not only more than doubled its income from 124 million euro to 299 million euro, but it has pushed efficiently to become one of the best organizations in terms of transparency and accountability.

The Danish Refugee Council has developed an enviable reputation for itself as a leading actor in insecure environments, including through the respected conflict zone work of the Danish Demining Group, the organization’s dedicated humanitarian mine action unit. At the same time, consistent with the trend toward increasing diversification of activities amongst major humanitarian organizations, the Danish Refugee Council also works across a number of ‘nontraditional’ recovery-focused sectors, including: housing and small scale infrastructure, income generation though grants and microfinance, food security and agricultural rehabilitation, displacement-related law and information, social rehabilitation, and NGO networking and capacity development.

As an umbrella body comprising 30 members, the Danish Refugee Council’s network and impact is expansive. Perhaps more importantly, the organization’s strong commitment to partnership and collective action is symbolized in collaborative innovations like the Joint IDP Profiling Service, which has become a one-stop shop for data-driven humanitarian planning throughout the sector. Ultimately though, one need look no further for evidence of the Danish Refugee Council’s reputation amongst those that count than the pattern of significant increases in institutional donor funding in recent years.

6 / 10 Hiring Rating
8 / 10 Sustainability
7 / 10 Diversity on Funding Streams
6 / 10 Innovation Ratio
8 / 10 Transparency & Accountability
6 / 10 Independence from Governments
8 / 10 Independence from Corporations
7 / 10 Impact Measurement
8 / 10 Audit Results
8 / 10 Independence from One Funder


Organization Name
Formerly Known As
We are there
English-Language Website URL
Other-Language Website URLs


Type of organization
Year Founded
Lead Photo For Profile
HQ Location: City, Country
Copenhagen | Denmark
HQ Physical address
HQ Mailing Address
Borgergade 10, 3rd floor - 1300 Copenhagen K | Denmark
Name of Official Representative for Profile
Sebastian Juel Frandsen, Communication Advisor; sjf@drc.dk; +45 2990 7282
Primary Contact and General Inquiries
The Danish Refugee Council; drc@drc.dk; +45 3373 5000
Is Your Organisation Membership-based ?
Total Members

In November 1956, the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, asked a number of Danish organizations to come together to help the 1,000 Hungarian refugees, from the aftermath of the Hungarian Uprising. The Danish Refugee Council was born as an umbrella organization of nine member organizations. It was thought as a temporary creation, but this was unfortunately not how it went.

During the 1960’s, 70’s and 1980’s, the Danish Refugee Council was responsible for welcoming refugees into Danish society. Among other things, the organization coordinated a range of volunteers and did language courses – which it continues to do to this date. Additionally the organization has through its history done collections aimed at collecting funds for helping the world’s refugees.

The Danish Refugee Council began its international operations in the early 1990’s when civil war broke out in Yugoslavia. From 1992 and on, Danish drivers conducted hundreds of emergency assistance convoys to Bosnia and later in Kosovo. DRC was at a time responsible for half of all the aid to the conflict and established a number of long-term projects for the many displaced people.

In 1997, the Danish Demining Group (DDG) was founded as a collaboration between DRC and a number of other organizations to clear unexploded ordnance and mines. A couple of years later, DDG became an integral part of the Danish Refugee Council. Since then, DDG has cleared mines and other munitions in a number of countries, and is today also heavily engaged in Armed Violence Reduction and Mine Risk Education.

In the years after 2000, DRC continued its expansion worldwide and has worked closely with UNHCR to help refugees and displaced persons. In 2000, the organization worked in 15 countries and just five years later, it had expanded its operation to cover 23 countries. Another five years later, the Danish Refugee Council worked throughout 29 countries. Today the total number of countries is more than 40; including asylum counseling and integration work in Denmark.

When civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, the Danish Refugee Council was already operating in the country; assisting Iraqi refugees. This presence had a great impact in 2012, as Danish Refugee Council was the first international humanitarian organization to get the opportunity to work with internally displaced in Syria. From then on the expansions in operations came in a quick pace. Today, the Danish Refugee Council is the largest international humanitarian organization working inside Syria itself, whereas the effort in neighboring Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan are massive.

Over the summer and autumn of 2015, the situation in Greece and several other European countries developed into a humanitarian crisis which the countries were unable to handle themselves. In the autumn of 2015, DRC stepped in to support the Greek authorities in aiding the refugees arriving in the country. In Macedonia and Serbia the Danish Refugee Council’s opened and expanded existing programs to help the thousands of refugees who wandered through Europe in search of peace and security.

The Danish Refugee Council has constantly adapted itself to the developing worldwide refugee situations. Today more than 60 million people have been forced to flee their homes, the vast majority of whom are in the regions of origin, where the Danish Refugee Council performs more than 80 percent of his work.

Today the organization has more than 6,000 employees and assists over 2.5 million refugees and displaced persons a year in around 40 countries. Each day, DRC strives to do better and become more efficient in order to help as many as possible. Unfortunately the organization is needed as never before in the history of the Danish Refugee Council, exemplified by new country operations in Djibouti, Nigeria, Algeria, FYROM, Greece and Tanzania in 2015 alone.

Please Briefly Describe Your Economic Model.
The economic model of DRC includes the diversification of income sources that provide DRC with the best platform for its activities.
The diversification of funds are from institutional donors as well as from private and corporate entities in regards to DRC’s international activities and funds from the Danish State Budget as well as from Danish local authorities and corporate entities in respect of national activities.
The economic model includes having a strict focus on cost-effectiveness, enabling the organization to be able to make continuing capacity building investments globally. The model also includes having a solid equity base, which gives the organization the financial strength to act responsible.
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Sectors of Activity
Emergency - Crisis, Children & Youth, Human Rights, Refugees - Shelter, Demining,

“The Danish Refugee Council is a private independent organization whose aim is to protect refugees and internally displaced persons from persecution and promote lasting solutions to refugee problems on the basis of humanitarian principles and human rights.” (DRC statutes section 2.1)

DRC National level:

  • Legal counseling to asylum seekers
  • Safeguarding the rights of refugees and a decent asylum treatment
  • Advocacy and voicing our opinions e.g. on new legislation
  • Integration of refugees and immigrants
  • Our 7.100 active volunteers help refugees find foothold in Denmark
  • Support to voluntary repatriation

DRC International:

  • In acute crisis we save lives and alleviate the immediate suffering
  • In displacement we promote people’s rights to protection and strengthen their livelihoods
  • We promote durable solutions to displacement
  • We strengthen local capacities and advocate for rights
  • We create environments free from threats of landmines, unexploded ordnance and small arms & light weapons
  • We second trained specialists to UN organizations from our emergency Roster

DRC – full circle of displacement:

Danish Refugee Council is unique in assisting refugees and displaced along every phase of the displacement axes. Even though the displacement patterns differ individually, the same displaced would in principle meet DRC in all stages of a full circle of displacement.

A Syrian internally displaced from the present crisis would receive emergency relief inside Syria, then shelter and cash relief as a refugee in Lebanon, then protection in transit in Greece and Serbia, then benefit of our European advocacy efforts at EU level, then through legal advice in Denmark during the asylum process, then through the support to integrate in Denmark, then through advice and support if wishing to return and finally in the form of livelihood and long-term solutions once back in Syria – in addition to the ability to live in an environment no longer contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnance, cleared by DDG.

See more about our assistance framework in section 04 in The International Humanitarian work of the Danish Refugee Council 2015-2016 – https://drc.ngo/media/2437835/drc-international_2015-2016_introductory-folder.pdf

As a private humanitarian organisation, DRC’s work covers all aspects of refugee issues based on humanitarian principles and human rights. Our overarching mission is to assist and protect refugees and to empower them towards a better future.

We strive to provide sustainable solutions for refugees, displaced people and host communities coupled with the objective of enabling those we assist to live dignified lives.

DRC’s Mission:

We assist refugees and the displaced, protect their rights and empower them towards a better future

DRC’s Vision:

A dignified life for all displaced

Country (or countries) where active
Afghanistan, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Colombia, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ethiopia, FYROM, Georgia, Greece, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Montenegro, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yemen.
Latest Annual Report PDF
Latest Annual Report URL
Alliances, Networks, and Affiliations

International Council of Voluntary Agencies – ICVA


Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies – VOICE


European Council on Refugees and Exiles – ECRE


The CHS Alliance (for the Core Humanitarian Standard)


Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action – ALNAP


The Global Protection Cluster


The Food Security Cluster


The Emergency Shelter and NFI Cluster


UN Global Compact


European Reintegration Support Organisations


International Campaign to Ban Landmines – ICBL


Cluster Monition Coalition


International Mine Actions Standards Review Board (a body under UNMAS – the United Nations Mine Action Service)


UN Coordination Action on Small Arms CASA


The Danish Fundraising Association – ISOBRO


Global Focus, Danish CSO Association


DRC has signed partnership agreements with ECHO (funding framework), UNHCR (Memorandum of Understanding) and Danida (funding) and on secondment of personnel with UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, OCHA, UNDP, UNRWA, FAO, IOM and UNFPA

Contact Information for Press Inquiries
Sebastian Juel Frandsen, Communication Advisor; sjf@drc.dk; +45 2990 7282
Contact Information for Fundraising Inquiries
The Danish Refugee Council; bidrag@drc.dk; +45 3373 5190
Contact Information for Development and Partnership Inquiries
Contact Information for Inquiries from Private Sector

Human Resources

Full name
Christian Friis Bach
Short Biography
Photo Portrait
Has Held Position Since
Preceded by
Arne Piel Christensen - Andreas Kamm (1998-2017)
Linkedin CEO URL
Actual Number of Members
Number of Unpaid Interns
Number of Paid Interns
Number of New Hires
Number of Newly Created Positions
In terms of staff turn-over it involves movements across the organization - local staff becomes expatriates in other countries of DRC operation based on the capacity they have developed and expatriates will often take on new assignments in other countries of DRC operations when their expertise is needed. Contracts are ended mid-year while others begin. In many emergency situations, staff members have short term contracts and can work in 2 to 4 different country operations within the same year. The Danish Refugee Council works in some of the most complex and fragile environments where contingencies are happening all the time and hence flexibility and adaptability is needed and used to a very high extent.
Average Age of Paid Staff
30-40 (defined by local context and experience required)
Number of Volunteers
8.316 (in Denmark) The reason DRC does not have volunteers outside Denmark is the fact that the organization work in volatile security environments in hotspots around the globe and hence works only within a professional framework of security procedures, insurance and legal contracts.
Local Staff/Field vs Total Staff (%)
92 %
Staff Turnover Rate
In terms of staff turn-over it involves movements across the organization - local staff becomes expatriates in other countries of DRC operation based on the capacity they have developed and expatriates will often take on new assignments in other countries of DRC operations when their expertise is needed. Contracts are ended mid-year while others begin. In many emergency situations, staff members have short term contracts and can work in 2 to 4 different country operations within the same year. The Danish Refugee Council works in some of the most complex and fragile environments where contingencies are happening all the time and hence flexibility and adaptability is needed and used to a very high extent.

Bylaws & Legal

Legal Status
DRC is a private independent non-profit association
Year of Registration
Are Your Bylaws Publicly Available ?
Are Your Bylaws Provided On Request ?
Provide a Request URL or Email
Date of Bylaws' Last Modification
Reason(s) for Modification(s)

Some minor clarifications and ensuring that the Secretary General is authorized to sign off for the establishing and opening of new country offices.

Countries Where Legally Represented
Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland
Is Your Organization Accredited to ECOSOC (UN)?


Latest Yearly Income (All Countries and Entities)
2,852,000,000 DKK (+/- 380,267,000 €)
Latest Surplus/Deficit
Previous Yearly Income
Latest Net Assets
Date of Publication for Next Financial Statement
Latest Financial Statements
Year of Latest Audit Review
Contact Information for Auditors

Svend Duelund Jensen, Ernst & Young; Svend.Duelund-Jensen@dk.ey.com
Alex Petersen, Ernst & Young ; alex.petersen@dk.ey.com