Danish government proposes anti-grooming law

Denmark’s government wants to criminalise grooming with provisions for punishments of up to two years in prison.

Danish government proposes anti-grooming law
A file photo pf the Danish parliament at Christiansborg Palace. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Grooming – cultivating a relationship with a minor with the objective of sexually assaulting them – should be a criminal offence punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years, the government proposes.

The government on Wednesday tabled a bill that will make grooming a crime under Danish law, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.

A bilateral majority in parliament supports the legislation, according to the ministry.

“By criminalising grooming we are sending an important signal to our children and young people that it is never their fault when they are the victim of a sexual assault,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said in the statement.

“We must crack down on these digital child predators who move in the virtual communities which our children and youths are part of,” he said.

The bill also proposes stricter rules against extorting someone for sex and tougher punishments for tricking somebody into sex.

The General Secretary of charity Save The Children Denmark, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, said the bill “updates the criminal law for digital reality”.

The charity has “fought for years” for the various elements of the bill, Schmidt-Nielsen said in an Instagram post.

The tabling of the bill in parliament means today is a “fantastic day for all children”, she also wrote, noting that it means “far more attackers can be convicted with the new law”.

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Denmark to add war crimes to criminal code

Denmark is to give international war crimes a specific paragraph in its criminal code, ending its position as one of the last European countries not to have specific laws on war crimes.

Denmark to add war crimes to criminal code

The government confirmed on Tuesday that it supports a motion by the opposition Socialist People’s Party (SF) to introduce a war crimes paragraph.

“I think it’s important to say first and foremost that war crimes are already illegal in Danish criminal law,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard told news wire Ritzau.

“It is not written in as specific clauses in the criminal law, but all offences that are war crimes are criminal,” he said.

“But with all that said, I think that SF has an important point in saying that the time has now come for us to introduce an independent criminalisation of war crimes. I think that would send out an important message to the world, and especially to victims,” he said.

“I will therefore, when the motion is discussed tomorrow [Tuesday, ed.] say, that the government backs criminalising war crimes independently under Danish law,” he said.

Hummelgaard plans to initiate a committee to look into how laws against war crimes can be written and added to the criminal code.

The committee will also consider whether sentences for war crimes should be higher than existing sentences given from crimes such as murder and torture.