The Council of Europe, an international organisation with a focus on promoting democracy, rule of law and human rights in Europe, has criticised Denmark for not doing enough to help people who have been trafficked to the country.
According to the council’s latest evaluation report on Denmark, which has been released today, Denmark rarely provides victims of human trafficking with a recovery and reflection period as recommended by the convention on action against the trafficking of human beings.
Rarely grant residence permits
Also, the Danish authorities rarely grant residence permits to victims and tend to send them back to their home countries as soon as possible, which may increase the risk of re-trafficking and may not allow enough time for the victims to receive compensation.
Amnesty International claims the risk of being sent home prevents many victims from seeking help from the Danish authorities.
“We would also like to see an increased focus on offering protection to trafficked women in Denmark, if that is what they need,” Stine Bech, the head of the policy team at Amnesty International Denmark, told Ekstra Bladet.
“It is important not to perceive [this issue] only as an integration problem or crime, but also to take into consideration if these women are being persecuted and if they can return to their homeland safely.”
Some progress made
According to the report, Denmark has made some progress since 2011, when the country was last evaluated.
The legal framework for combating the trafficking of human beings now specifically includes the exploitation of criminal activities among the trafficking offences listed in the Criminal Code, while the maximum penalty for trafficking offences has been increased from eight to ten years.
Victims of trafficking are also granted a temporary residence permit to help in the investigation of trafficking crimes and related criminal procedures.
Victims of human trafficking are often forced into prostitution, forced labour, crime or begging.