1. Prevention and outreach work
- To create trust and knowledge about opportunities for support and assistance among victims and potential victims of human trafficking.
- To inform about human trafficking in the relevant environments and raise awareness of human trafficking, thereby preventing and limiting demand.
- Human trafficking is prevented through the education of relevant actors and through knowledge and information.
Human trafficking exists in many different areas and industries, such as prostitution, forced labour and crime. Both women, men and children are utilized as part of human trafficking, and exploitation may be more or less visible to authorities, professionals and the general public.
Individuals traded for prostitution may be visible in the street environment, but prostitution can also take place out of plain sight, for example, in summerhouses, privately rented houses and through escorting. Human trafficking is mostly found in industries where many unskilled foreigners are employed, for example, in the fields of cleaning, agriculture horticulture, the construction industry and the hotel and catering industry and in industries where there is widespread use of subcontractors. The victims are often found in workplaces and in private homes where exploitation is not visible. That can make it a challenge to get in touch with the group.
Human trafficking is a complex area with many different forms of exploitation, which requires a diverse outreach effort, developed in line with new trends in the area. Therefore, the objective is that the relevant actors must have the necessary knowledge about human trafficking and the offers provided to the victims.
Fact box: Who can get support under the action plan?
Access to assistance and support as a victim of human trafficking in Denmark includes all people who are in this country as part of a human trafficking and are currently subject to trade.
The target group who can receive offers from the action plan is women, men and children who are considered to be victims of human trafficking. That is, persons who, by either the Immigration Service (asylum seekers and foreigners without legal residence in Denmark) or CMM (Danes and foreigners who are legally resident in Denmark) are considered to be trafficked.
Denmark is primarily a destination and transit country for human trafficking. Experienced victims of human trafficking are mainly sought from foreigners who are legally or illegally staying in the country. All victims of human trafficking are covered by the offer of assistance and support regardless of their residence.
2. Identification, assistance and support
- Victims of human trafficking are identified so that they can receive assistance, support and prepared repatriation.
- Victims of human trafficking shall have assistance and support in the reflection and refund period, to have the opportunity to recover and to be strengthened and thus equipped to get out of human trafficking and go on with their lives.
Foreigners who are victims of human trafficking, who are or want to leave Denmark are offered a prepared repatriation and reintegration that will help the victims of a life free of human trafficking.
Support and assistance to victims of human trafficking is…
Victims of human trafficking are victims of strong dependence on their traffickers. Fear and threats to themselves and their family in their homeland means that they rarely seek help and are identified as victims og human trafficking. The majority of victims first tell the authorities their history when they are detained by the police, for example, in actions against foreigners without legal residence. Lack of trust in authorities in general or language barriers can be challenging in the investigation, whether a person should be considered to be trafficked or not.
It follows from the international conventions that assistance and support should be given immediately when the authorities have a reasonably reasoned indication that a person is a victim of human trafficking. Just as the UN Palermo Protocol requires that several offers be made available to victims of human trafficking.
Victims of human trafficking have been victims of violent experiences and can therefore be both mentally and physically stressed. All victims are thus offered a reflection period, which allows the individual to recover and become stronger, to help the person in a life free from human trafficking.
As part of the effort, foreign victims of human trafficking in Denmark are offered a prepared repatriation and reintegration regardless of residence. So far, few victims of trafficking have accepted the offer of a premeditated repatriation. It may be due to pressure and threats from traffickers, that return travel is not seen as an alternative to their current situation and any obligations to support the family in their home
country. Other victims of human trafficking want to travel home as quickly as possible, therefore support for them may consist in paying their flight ticket to their home or country of residence. It is important that the identification of potential victims of human trafficking is effective and that victims receive the right assistance and support that is tailored to the needs of the individual as soon as possible and receive support and assistance to get a safe return to their home or country of residence.
Fact box: Reflection and refund period
Immigrants who have come to Denmark as victims of human trafficking and who reside in this country on an illegal basis must leave the country. Victims of human trafficking are, however, notified of a longer period of expiry – a so-called reflection period – 30 days by the Immigration Service, with the possibility of extension for a total of 120 days, for special reasons, therefore, or if the foreigner cooperates on a prepared return.
The purpose of the reflection period is to allow each individual to recover and to be strengthened humanly and thus help the person concerned into a life free of human trafficking. During the reflection period, victims receive support and assistance, including access to special accommodation facilities, expanded health care and psychosocial assistance adapted to individual needs.
Victims of human trafficking with legal residence are offered a similar “refund period” with the same offer of assistance and support where they can get peace and help to move on in their lives.
3. Traffickers prosecuted
- Investigations and prosecutions of traffickers in cases of human trafficking will help to curb human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a serious crime that is transnational and is often an organized crime. The traffickers are inventive and continuously find new markets and forms of exploitation. There is therefore a need to continuously focus on investigations and prosecution of the traffickers.
The police and the prosecution service must pay attention to human trafficking and know the various procedural steps that characterize cases of human trafficking. Therefore, the prosecution service has published guidelines on i.a. placement of victims in shelters and residence permits for foreign witnesses during criminal proceedings. It is also apparent from the guidelines that prosecution charges for minor serious….
It is important that there is a focus on prosecuting traffickers and international cooperation in this area to reduce the extent of human trafficking.
Case: Development of the Nordic exploration cooperation
In September 2015, Europe including the Nordic countries experienced an increased pressure on migration. For many years there has been a Nordic police cooperation, but from 2015 the cooperation became closer and an expanded Nordic cooperation was established. The main focus was human trafficking, border control, asylum policy, migration and possible follow-up crime. The main focus of Nordic expanded cooperation has since changed and is now smuggling and trafficking in human beings. There is continuous contact between the countries and an annual meeting is held in one of the member countries.
4. Coordination and knowledge
- Cooperation and coordination shall contribute to flexible, targeted and effective action against human trafficking.
- Knowledge of human trafficking must strengthen efforts and reduce demand for services provided by victims.
- International cooperation must ensure exchange of experience and contribute to the continued focus on human trafficking in the international agenda.
Victims of human trafficking exists in many different environments, and new forms of exploitation and trends, are being developed in Denmark and internationally. At the same time, many different actors and authorities are involved in the efforts. Therefore, the Danish effort is built on a broad cooperation between a wide range of authorities and actors. It places great demands on coordination, communication and information sharing both locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Flexible and adaptable efforts that can meet new challenges continuously must also have a strong knowledge base. Denmark supports the efforts of international and regional organisations to combat and prevent human trafficking. It is partly through financial support but also, participation in relevant forums, such as the UN, ILO, EU, council of Europe, Nordic council of ministers and the OSCE.