The number of people who have been charged with human trafficking in Denmark more than tripled last year compared to the year before, according to the state auditor, Rigsadvokaten.
In 2011 and 2012, the number of people convicted was at ten and eleven, but that shot up to 36 last year.
Tormod Christensen, the deputy police inspector from the national police investigation centre, Rigspolitiets Nationale Efterforskningscenter, said that the increase was attributed to more police focus on human trafficking and an increase in the number of asylum applicants to Denmark.
“It’s a palette of different reasons behind the rise. From a police perceptive, there is an increased international co-operation against human trafficking, in which we exchange experience with other nations,” Christensen told Politiken newspaper.
Sweden an asylum magnet
Christensen went on to say that the rise in asylum seekers increasingly moving to the northern parts of Europe is probably due to the struggling financial situation in the south.
Denmark is also a transit country for human smugglers targeting Sweden, which has about seven times more asylum applicants per year than Denmark.
The number of asylum seekers in Denmark has risen from 3,806 people in 2011 to 7,540 in 2013 – the highest number in a decade. In comparison, 54,259 people applied in Sweden last year.