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Denmark makes strides towards combating online sexual exploitation of children

Posted on Jun 25, 2013

Denmark has one of the most efficient welfare systems in the world, ranks high on the Human Development Index and has a relatively equal distribution of income. The Global Peace Index also identifies Denmark as one of the most peaceful countries in the world. This ranking, however, does not give consideration to specific indicators such as violence against children.

The official number of children found exploited through prostitution is low, although this figure may not present an accurate picture of the situation in Denmark due to the fact that police raids tend to focus on legal adult street prostitution, where it is rare to find children. Most prostituted children are kept indoors in illegal brothels or homes where the risk of arrest is low. Data on this crime is minimal, with existing research focusing on girls. Despite this, one study done by the Copenhagen City Council suggests that boys are actually more likely than girls to be exploited in prostitution.

In the 1970s, Denmark was one of the main producers of child sexual abuse images and the first child pornography ring using a computer connection was also discovered in Denmark in the early 1990s. More recently Denmark has been making strides to combat the global problem of online child sexual exploitation through large-scale child pornography sting operations and introducing filters designed to block access to websites containing known child sexual abuse images. In 2009, the “Certified Kid” was launched as an innovative approach to stopping online predators. The program provides all Danish children with a digital certificate. These certificates contain information about a child’s sex and age so children are able to verify if the person they are chatting or playing with online is a peer or an adult pretending to be a child.

To understand more about the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Denmark, you can read the full report here.