Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 11:39 GMT

Trafficking in Persons Report 2009 - Denmark

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 16 June 2009
Cite as United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2009 - Denmark, 16 June 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a4214c1c.html [accessed 25 April 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 Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Brazil, Nigeria, and other West African countries for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Victims from Africa are trafficked to Denmark primarily through Italy and Spain. In 2008, authorities noted an increase in the number of potential child trafficking victims from Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Guinea, Hungary, Algeria, and China to Denmark for the purpose of forced petty theft.

The Government of Denmark fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2008, the Ministry of Immigration started a pilot program with IOM to fund the safe repatriation of victims to their country of origin; three victims of trafficking participated in the program.

Recommendations for Denmark: Offer long-term legal alternatives to foreign victims' removal to countries where they face retribution or hardship to a greater number of identified trafficking victims; and conduct an awareness and prevention campaign focused on both sex and labor trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Denmark sustained its strong 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 prostitution procurement law to prosecute sex traffickers. Punishments prescribed for trafficking under section 262 extend up to eight years' imprisonment, are sufficiently stringent, and are commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Police conducted a total of 34 trafficking investigations during the reporting period, the same number conducted in 2007. Authorities prosecuted 81 individuals for trafficking offenses, an increase from 52 trafficking cases prosecuted in 2007. In 2008, 19 trafficking offenders were convicted, including seven under the anti-trafficking statute and 12 under the procurement law; 31 trafficking offenders were convicted in 2007, including 10 under the anti-trafficking statute and 21 under the procurement law. All 19 trafficking offenders convicted in 2008 served some time in prison; none received suspended sentences. Sentences for convicted traffickers ranged from 12 to 42 months' imprisonment. In 2008, the National Police provided an updated trafficking reference manual to local districts.

Protection

Denmark sustained its victim assistance and protection efforts. Over the year, 72 victims received social, medical, and rehabilitative assistance. The government provided approximately $1.7 million in funding for NGOs providing victims with medical assistance, shelter, legal assistance, and rehabilitative counseling. All foreign victims were offered a reflection period of 30 to 90 days; 12 victims used the reflection period in 2008. Although police encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations, only one victim assisted authorities in 2008 and was permitted to stay in Denmark for the duration of the criminal proceedings, compared to three victims in 2007. One trafficking victim applied for and received asylum to remain in Denmark on the grounds that the victim faced hardship or retribution if returned to her country of origin.

Prevention

Denmark continued its trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. In August 2008, the government launched a campaign in schools called "Who is Paying the Price?" which is aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex among young men. In 2008, the government partially funded an NGO to conduct an anti-trafficking awareness campaign in cinemas and in the media. In January 2008, the government funded a public service campaign alerting Danish nationals about the new law prohibiting sexual abuse of children overseas. The government continued to adequately monitor immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking.

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