Last Updated: Friday, 25 July 2014, 12:52 GMT

Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 - Denmark

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 4 June 2008
Cite as United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 - Denmark, 4 June 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/484f9a11c.html [accessed 26 July 2014]
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 primarily a transit and destination country for women and girls trafficked from Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Nigeria, and other West African countries for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2007, authorities noted an increase in the number of women trafficked from Romania and Bulgaria to Denmark for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Denmark fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2007, the government made considerable efforts to combat child sex tourism committed by Danish citizens traveling abroad by targeting sexual predators of children, assisting child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, and raising domestic awareness of the problem. In 2008, the government also contributed $800,000 to assist and rehabilitate child victims of commercial sexual abuse in Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma.

Recommendations for Denmark: Consider whether additional measures are necessary to ensure that foreign victims of trafficking are provided with legal alternatives to deportation to countries where they may face retribution or hardship upon return to their countries of origin; consider granting temporary residency and work permits to identified trafficking victims for humanitarian reasons and in order to increase their participation in trafficking investigations; and continue to work closely with source countries to ensure safe victim repatriation and access to adequate care after repatriation.

Prosecution

The Government of Denmark demonstrated increased law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Denmark prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor through Section 262 of its criminal code, although prosecutors often use a procurement law to prosecute traffickers. Punishments prescribed for trafficking under Section 262 extend up to eight years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Police conducted a total of 34 trafficking investigations during the reporting period, up from 21 in 2006. Authorities prosecuted 52 trafficking cases, a significant increase from 14 cases prosecuted in 2006. Courts convicted 31 trafficking offenders in 2007, including 10 under the anti-trafficking statute and 21 under the procurement law; 33 trafficking offenders were convicted in 2006, including three under the anti-trafficking statute and 30 under the procurement law. All 33 convicted traffickers served some time in prison; no convicted traffickers received suspended sentences in 2007. Sentences for trafficking convictions ranged from two to six years' imprisonment; sentences for traffickers convicted under the procurement law ranged from six months' to three years' imprisonment. The National Police have a trafficking coordinator stationed in each police district to improve the trafficking knowledge of local police districts. In September 2007, the National Police provided a trafficking reference manual to local districts.

Protection

Denmark took further steps to improve its assistance and protection for victims of trafficking. In 2007, the government opened the National Anti-Trafficking Center to monitor and coordinate victim assistance nationwide. During the reporting period, 148 victims received social, medical, and rehabilitative assistance from the government, including 40 victims who were sheltered at the Center. In addition, the government continued to fund regional NGOs in Denmark that provide victim outreach and identification, rehabilitative counseling, shelter, and public awareness. Denmark also provided approximately $2 million for various victim assistance, prevention, and law enforcement anti-trafficking projects in Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania in 2007.

Danish police employ formal procedures for victim identification among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution; during brothel inspections, Danish social workers and the police anthropologist interview women to help police identify potential victims of trafficking. Although police encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations, only three foreign victims assisted authorities in a trafficking investigation in 2007. Some victims faced detention and deportation for immigration violations, and only two trafficking victims obtained refugee status to remain in Denmark and serve as witnesses in their trafficking cases. In source countries with limited social services, such as Nigeria, Denmark sent government officials to improve cooperation with NGOs and government agencies as well as check the quality of follow-up services for victims repatriated from Denmark.

Prevention

Denmark demonstrated progress in its trafficking prevention efforts. In 2007, the government increased the annual budget for its national antitrafficking action plan to $16 million. The Danish government continued a nationwide information campaign that focused on domestic demand reduction for commercial sex acts. The campaign received a budget increase to approximately $300,000 in 2007; outreach included television and film public service advertisements, billboards, fliers, and leaflets. The government continued to adequately monitor its borders. There are 700 licensed brothels operating in Denmark and approximately 6,000 women in prostitution through out the country.

During the reporting period, Denmark amended its child sexual abuse laws to allow for the extraterritorial prosecution of Danish nationals who commit acts of child sex tourism abroad; in January 2008, the government funded a public service campaign alerting Danish nationals about the new law prohibiting sexual abuse of children overseas. Danish nationals have traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, and other countries in Southeast Asia to engage in child commercial sexual exploitation. The Danish Embassy in Thailand referred one child sex tourism case to Danish police during the last year; however authorities had not taken steps to prosecute the suspect at the time of this report. Danish police also investigated tourism agencies suspected of promoting child sex tourism packages.

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