From 2007 to 2021, 1048 persons have been identified as trafficked according to the Center against Human Trafficking. However, the dark numbers is likely much higher than 1048 victims of human trafficking.
In 2018 for the first time, the number of identified trafficked men was higher than the number of identified trafficked women.
The men are often trafficked into forced labour or forced crime. Physically demanding work is at the top – among other forms in the transport industry. Most of the victims come from the Philippines, and this is the first time that Nigerian victims are outnumbered by another nationality.
The African men are most often trafficked to sell drugs or other forms of organised crime. More victims from Morocco have been identified – often, young boys under the age of 18 are exploited and used for different criminal activities. The increased number of identified trafficked men is probably also because the authorities – including the Tax Department, the Labor Inspectorate and unions – are becoming wiser about forced labour.
The majority of the African women have been trafficked at one time or another. Also, HopeNow has identified an increasing number of trafficked men in recent years, primarily African men selling drugs. The observations made by HopeNow also indicate a growing number of foreign women in prostitution in Denmark.
HopeNow’s target group is both documented and undocumented men and women, mainly from different African countries. People of all genders are trafficked, and as mentioned before, not just for prostitution. In Denmark, trafficked persons typically come from Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.
According to the Center against Human Trafficking, the largest single group are women from Nigeria who have been trafficked into prostitution. Nigerians constitute one of the largest groups of trafficking victims located in Europe and the rest of Africa (Source: UNESCO 2006 ‘Human Trafficking in Nigeria Root Causes and Recommendations’, p. 16).
In particular, we see many foreign women in brothels, in escort services and on the Copenhagen streets. HopeNow has also met women who have been locked up inside apartments or located in isolated houses in the countryside.