Last Updated: Tuesday, 01 December 2015, 13:36 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Denmark

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 11 June 2003
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Denmark, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 2 December 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Denmark (Tier 1)

Denmark is both a destination and transit country for women and children trafficked from the former Soviet Union countries, Eastern Europe, and the Baltics, as well as Thailand, for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Denmark as a transit for trafficked victims from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union on their way to other European and Nordic countries may be exacerbated by implementation of the Schengen Agreement and resulting relaxation of many border controls

The Government of Denmark fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with regard to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. The government showed a particularly strong focus on prevention in the past year, both domestically and internationally, and on protection activities in-country, but efforts should be made to avoid immediate deportation of trafficked victims, some of which have been minors. With the passage of the new anti-trafficking legislation, it is hoped that the government will maintain vigorous law enforcement while improving its screening mechanism to prevent deporting victims in the coming year.


The Government of Denmark established teams of fieldworkers that assessed the problem through direct contact with victims, and facilitated dialogue between public authorities and NGOs. The government earmarked nearly $1.5 million for a three-year strategy to combat human trafficking. In conjunction with the release of Denmark's National Action Plan in 2002, the Ministries of Social Affairs and Gender Equality conducted an anti-trafficking ad campaign in all major newspapers. In addition, the Ministries of Social Affairs and Gender Equality subsidize a hotline and website.


New anti-trafficking legislation went into effect in late 2002 but its overall effectiveness is still uncertain, as no cases were brought to trial. Previously, Danish authorities prosecuted trafficking under other provisions of the criminal law, such as those against human smuggling. Three foreigners and five Danish nationals were convicted for smuggling prostitutes, but all the convictions were overturned on appeal. The Danish National Commissioner of Police maintains its own internal task force on trafficking in persons, assists local police constabularies with investigations and trains its officers to recognize and investigate instances of trafficking. The government monitors trafficking largely through information-sharing between the national police and immigration authorities of countries with common borders and shared concerns. The government cooperates in international investigations, exchanges information with other Scandinavian countries, and works with Europol to track trafficking victims across borders.


The Danish Aliens Act allows a 15-day legal stay for trafficking victims prior to their repatriation in order to provide services to victims and ensure their safe return. During this time, victims cannot be employed, but are provided medical assistance, counseling and safe housing. The repatriation procedure applies to persons without visas, but may be extended to victims with valid visas only. However, the government normally deports those found to be in the country illegally. This may occur at the conclusion of a trafficking cases or much sooner. In some cases minors have been immediately deported. Trafficked legal workers appear to have greater rights than trafficked women illegally present in Denmark, but the law and social policy currently favors deportation in both situations. The government has no formal witness protection program, but guarantees safe surroundings with access to professional social, medical and psychological support to those waiting to testify in court. The government also funds an NGO that provides legal services to trafficking victims. The government funds several NGO hotlines to support victims, prevent trafficking, and gather empirical data on the problem. The Ministries of Social Affairs and Gender Equality disseminate information to victims and provide confidential counseling.

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