Numbers and trends from 2020

In 2020, 77 individuals were identified as victims of human trafficking in Denmark.

The corona pandemic has left its mark on 2020. It suggests that socially deprived groups are particularly vulnerable during a pandemic, both in Denmark and internationally. Thus, the virus and the changes in living conditions influence the area of human trafficking.


During the pandemic, many potential victims of human trafficking in prostitution have not been able to travel home and some have been isolated in Denmark. In addition, the seasonal workers, especially unskilled workers, have been particularly vulnerable. Many have lost their income due to restrictions making it difficult or impossible to travel across borders. At the same time, traffickers exploit the demand for cheap labour.

Highlighted numbers and trends from 2020

Human trafficking is a criminal offense that often occurs in secrecy. Many victims of human trafficking are reluctant to seek help and support, e.g. because they fear their traffickers. As a result, the field of human trafficking is regarded as underreported.

In 2020, 77 individuals were identified as victims of human trafficking in Denmark. During the period 2007-2020, the total number of identified victims of human trafficking is 968.

Chart showing the number of identified victims per year

Calls received on the hotline

Cases are primarly referred to The Danish Centre against Human Trafficking through a hotline service. Authorities, NGOs, journalists and citizens call the hotline if they have suspicion of human trafficking or need information about human trafficking.

The Danish Centre against Human Trafficking has received fewer calls on hotline in 2020 compared with 2019. In 2020, the hotline received 223 calls, while in 2019, 315 calls were received. The decline is most prevalent in the number of calls from the police and other authorities as well as NGOs. Still, the police accounts for the majority of the calls on hotline in 2020, with 86 out of the 223 calls.

Other authorities such as the Danish Tax Administration and partners to CMM as well as citizens and journalists are responsible for the remaining calls.

Identifying victims of human trafficking

During the corona pandemic, The Danish Centre against Human Trafficking and other authorities continue the identification of victims of human trafficking. Due to corona restrictions, many trafficking interviews are conducted by telephone or virtually.

The identification of victims of human trafficking is regarded as a critical function, and thus must be upheld during the corona lockdown. Through the trafficking interviews, it is clarified whether there are indicators of human trafficking present in the individual story.

Through outreach work and referrals from authorities and other partners in contact with potential victims of human trafficking, The Danish Centre against Human Trafficking and NGOs have completed 182 trafficking interviews with potential victims in 2020. More than 40 percent of the interviews have led to a final assessment of individuals as victims of human trafficking.

Chart showing types of exploitation per year

Ikon prostitutionThe majority of victims have been trafficked into sexual exploitation

Of the 77 individuals considered as victims of human trafficking in 2020, 44 individuals are trafficked into sexual exploitation, primarily in the form of prostitution. For the first time in Denmark, three individuals are trafficked into practices similar to slavery.

Ikon kvindeWomen constitute the majority of victims

55 women have been identified by the Danish authorities as victims of human trafficking in 2020. Women constitute three quarters of the victims of human trafficking in 2020. The women are primarily from Nigeria and Thailand and they are primarily exploited into sexual services such as prostitution.
21 men are considered as victims of human trafficking. The majority are trafficked into forced labour and criminal offenses. One is a transperson from Thailand exploited into prostitution.

Ikon tvangsarbejdeHuman trafficking into forced labour

Seven men and two women are trafficked into forced labour in 2020. Two are exploited on a fishing boat, while the rest of the victims are exploited into jobs such as construction, cleaning, gardening, work in a kiosk, and collection of bottles.

 

Human trafficking for the purpose of criminal offenses

In 2020, nine individuals are trafficked into committing criminal offenses such as theft and selling drugs. It is a small increase compared with previous years. 

Ikon drengIkon pigeExploitation of children and young adults below the age of 18. Nine of the 77 individuals considered as victims of human trafficking are under the age of 18. The youngest is 14 years. One is 15 years, two are 16 years, and five are 17 years. All minors are unaccompanied citizens of third countries. 

Five of the minors have been forced to commit criminal offenses such as theft and distribution of drugs. One of the minors is trafficked into forced marriage and one is exploited into forced labour. The type of exploitation cannot be determined in the last two cases. 

 

Note: In twelve cases, the type of exploitation cannot be determined.

Sidst opdateret 24/06 2021