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EACEA National Policies Platform


4. Social Inclusion

4.3 Strategy for the social inclusion of young people

Last update: 28 November 2023
On this page
  1. Existence of a National Strategy on social inclusion
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority
  4. Revisions/ Updates

Existence of a National Strategy on social inclusion

In Denmark, several strategies and initiatives address the question of social inclusion. The following are particularly relevant when it comes to the question of social inclusion of young people.


Strengthened rights and possibilities for LGBTI persons

In August 2020, the Danish government presented a proposal called ‘Freedom to diversity – Strengthened rights and possibilities for LGBTI persons’ with 10 legislative initiatives aimed at strengthening the rights and possibilities for LGBTI persons.

The main part of the proposals will be presented in parliament for adoption in the 2021/2022 parliamentary session (October 2021 – May 2022). Two initiatives are expected to be presented in the 2022/2023 parliamentary session (October 2022 – May 2023).

Danish title: Frihed til forskellighed – Styrkede rettigheder og muligheder for LGBTI-personer.


Strategy on social inclusion in healthcare

In Denmark, equality in health (care) is considered pivotal to enjoying a standard of living and well-being that is considered normal in the society. However, there is no strategy on equality in health. Rather, equality in health (care) is a fundamental underlying principle in all measures in the Danish healthcare system.

In September 2018, the 2016-2019 government launched an action plan for psychiatry up until 2025. The main part of the strategy is being implemented in the 2019-2022 period.

The top-level document is a national action plan.

The Danish title of the action plan is “Vi løfter i fællesskab. En samlet handlingsplan for psykiatrien frem mod 2025”

The English translation is, We Accomplish Together. An Overall Action Plan for Psychiatry up until 2025.


Strategy on parallel societies

The type of document: Strategy

A national strategy: Ét Danmark uden parallelsamfund – Ingen ghettoer i 2030

A Denmark Without Parallel Societies. No Ghettos in 2030

Time of introduction: 2018

Six agreements have been established:

  • Better allocation in day-care institutions, May 2018
  • Children from vulnerable residential areas must be in day care, May 2018
  • People on social security should not move to transformation neighbourhoods (former ‘hard ghetto’ areas), May 2018
  • Agreement in the primary and lower secondary schools, May 2018
  • A break with parallel societies – Housing initiatives preventing parallel society, May 2018
  • Agreement on the financing initiatives preventing parallel societies, May 2018

The agreements are all translated into legislation.


Scope and contents

Strengthened rights and possibilities for LGBTI persons

Denmark is a frontrunner in the adoption of equal rights for LGBTI persons. For instance, same-sex marriages became legal in 1989. However, LGBTI persons in Denmark still experience harassment and discrimination and, in several areas, have a poorer well-being than the rest of the population.

The government’s objective is a society where all are equal and are met with respect. All citizens must have equal opportunities, protection from discrimination and the right to respect regarding their private and family life.

The government have proposed 10 initiatives within three focus areas:

Focus area 1: Discrimination, hate crimes and hate speech

  1. Strengthened protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation outside the labour market.
  2. Explicit ban on discrimination of transgender and intersex persons outside the labour market.
  3. Explicit ban on discrimination of transgender and intersex persons within the labour market.
  4. Explicit protection of transgender and intersex people against hate crimes and hate speech.

Focus area 2: Family law

  1. It should be easier to change one’s first name to match the gender identity.
  2. Transgender persons to become parents according to their legal gender.
  3. Increased flexibility when registering co-motherhood.

Focus area 3: Legal gender recognition

  1. The option of legal gender change for minors under the age of 18.
  2. Abolishing reflection period related to legal gender change for adults.
  3. Options for X as a gender marker in the passport for intersex persons and persons who identify as neither male nor female.

The main part of the initiatives may be relevant for young people. No. 8 directly targets children and young people under the age of 18 years.



Strategy on social inclusion in healthcare

The number of Danes with mental problems is rising. In the 2017 National Health Profile, one out of five persons in the 16-24-year age group experiences poor mental well-being.

In the action plan, the former government established 43 initiatives divided in six focus areas:

  • More people are reached with early and accessible measures
  • The competences of the staff are upgraded
  • The quality in social-psychiatry is improved
  • The most ill patients receive better and intensive treatment
  • More coherence in the course of treatment
  • More research and innovation

In order to ensure an up-to-date psychiatric system, the government established six targets:

  • By 2025 at the latest, the share of young people with poor mental health must be reduced by 25%
  • By 2015 at the latest, the use of force in psychiatric treatments must be reduced by 50% compared to the 2017 level
  • Up to 2025, the number of people with poor mental health trying to commit suicide must be reduced
  • By 2025 at the latest, the number of acute readmissions of psychiatric patients must be reduced by 15%
  • Up to 2025, the number of psychiatric patients that were in employment one month before the hospitalisation, and again six months after their hospitalisation, must be increased by 10%
  • More people who are subjects of a measure regarding social problems or psychiatric difficulties in the Act on Social Services (Lov om social service, LBK nr 1548 af 01/07/2021) must be in education or employment.

The target group is, amongst others, young people with mental problems.


Strategy on parallel societies

In 2018, the 2016-2019 government presented a goal of breaking down ‘parallel societies’ in the sense of neighbourhoods where residents only have little contact with the surrounding Danish society and the broader Danish culture. This is, among other reasons, because residents in parallel societies more often than the average population receive social security benefits.

The governmental strategy presented 22 initiatives in four areas:

  • Demolition and restructuring of socially deprived living areas
  • A firm regulation of who can live in a socially deprived living area
  • Strengthened police measures and higher penalties for crime
  • A good start in life for children and young people’

The initiatives formed the basis for political negotiations and agreements, which are translated into legislation within the four areas. In relation to young people, the following provisions are relevant:

  • People on cash benefit (kontanthjælp), education benefit (uddannelseshjælp) or integration benefit (integrationsydelse) are not allowed to move to transformation neighbourhoods (former ‘hard ghetto’ areas)
  • The parents’ responsibility is underlined: Parents whose children do not participate in primary and lower secondary education (Folkeskole) may receive a notification and a discontinuation of the children’s allowance if the children are illegally absent from classes for 15% or more of the time in a quarter
  • Focus on primary and lower secondary educations (Folkeskole) and upper secondary education institutions with poor results in tests. As a last resort, schools may be closed down
  • Furthermore, the minister may obligate schools to stop accepting pupils with low academic skills.
  • Increased penalty for breach of public authorities’ duty to report the abuse and neglect of children and young persons.




Responsible authority

Strengthened rights and possibilities for the social inclusion of LGBTI persons

The Minister for Equal Opportunities has the coordinating responsibility for the LGBTI area. The Minister for Equal Opportunities, the Minister for Social Affairs and Senior Citizens and the Minister for the Interior and Housing will submit the specific bills.


Strategy on social inclusion in healthcare

The Ministry of Health is the top-level responsible authority. The healthcare system is the responsibility of the Danish regions.

Since the action plan is not yet fully implemented and only part of the plan is financed, there is no information on monitoring and evaluation.


Strategy on parallel societies

The strategy is cross-sectoral and involves several ministries – and the agreements cover a large majority in the Danish parliament.

  • The government is the top-level authority.
  • The Ministry of Children and Education is responsible for initiatives regarding children in day-care institutions and children and young people in primary and lower secondary education (Folkeskole) and upper secondary education.
  • The Ministry of Employment is responsible for initiatives regarding people on social security benefits.
  • The Ministry of the Interior and Housing is responsible for the transformation of vulnerable residential areas.

Furthermore, the municipalities are responsible for implementing the initiatives once the initiatives are passed in parliament.

As a part of the political agreement on parallel society, three governmental representatives have been appointed:

  • Three appointed representatives must monitor the measures in the strategy and the effects of the initiatives.
  • The three representatives are assigned competences to submit motions to responsible municipalities where the development is unsatisfactory.
  • The three representatives are obliged to report annually on the measures.
  • The government will conduct an annual report with an overview of the measures.
  • The government will conduct analyses on selected areas.
  • The government will host an annual summit with Local Government Denmark (KL), relevant municipalities, experts and other relevant partners.




Strategy on the social inclusion of LGBTI persons



Strategy on social inclusion in healthcare

There are no revisions of the action plan.

The government is currently working on a 10-year plan for psychiatry


Strategy on parallel societies

In June 2021, the parliamentary majority behind the strategy on parallel societies agreed to extend the efforts to combat parallel societies to also focus on neighbourhoods at risk of being classified as parallel societies. Measures include initiatives to attract more people in employment and education to such residential areas; in this way, changing the composition of the population in neighbourhoods at risk of being classified as parallel societies.

The agreement is called: Mixed residential areas - the next step in the fight against parallel societies.

Regarding the term ‘ghetto’, the political agreement also contains an agreement on changing the terminology from ‘ghetto’ to ‘parallel society’ and from ‘hard ghetto’ to ‘transformation area’. The Danish government has put forward a bill, which is expected to be passed and enter into force before 1 December 2021.