Skip to main content

YouthWiki

EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Denmark

Denmark

4. Social Inclusion

4.3 Strategy for the social inclusion of young people

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.

 

Strategy for the inclusion of disabled persons on the labour market

The official document is a government strategy. The strategy was launched in September 2018. The strategy is being implemented in the 2019-2022 period. Title in Danish: Flere mennesker med handicap skal i job. Title in English: More Disabled People in Employment.

 

Action plan to promote safety, well-being and equal opportunities for LGBTI persons 2018-2021

The official document is an action plan.

The action plan was introduced in June 2018 and is being implemented in 2018-2021.

The plan consists of 42 initiatives across a wide range of areas and ministries. The action plan is funded with DKK 25 million from the rate adjustment pool agreement 2018-2021 with broad support from the Danish parliament.

Danish title: Handlingsplan til fremme af tryghed, trivsel og lige muligheder for LGBTI-personer

 

Action plan against homelessness

Type of document: action plan

Danish title: Handlingsplan til bekæmpelse af hjemløshed

English title: Action Plan to Fight Homelessness

Time of introduction and time frame: October 2017. The action plan is implemented in the 2018-2021 period.

 

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.

 

Strategy for inclusion of disabled persons on the labour market

Currently, the Danish labour market is experiencing labour shortage in some sectors. Still, only one in three disabled persons are in employment. The government established four focus areas:

  • Less bureaucracy and easier transitions, for instance from education to employment
  • Targeted initiatives to increase the number of disabled persons in employment
  • Improved education possibilities for disabled young persons
  • More knowledge on disability and less prejudice

The main objective of the strategy is to add approximately 13 000 persons with significant disabilities to the labour market by 2025.

The target group is all people with disabilities.

 

Action plan to promote safety, well-being and equal opportunities for LGBTI persons 2018-2021

The 2016-2019 government published the action plan, but the current government has continued its implementation.

The action plan consists of 42 initiatives within the following focus areas:

  • Counselling, network and support
  • Inclusion and openness on the labour market
  • Combatting prejudice among young people and promoting openness in the education system
  • Combatting homophobia and transphobia in public and sports associations
  • Knowledge and counselling services in health and elderly care
  • International responsibility and cooperation

The action plan also includes a number of cross-cutting initiatives, for example a review of relevant LGBTI legislation, dialogue with civil society and a national well-being and living condition survey.

Key political objectives: The goals of the action plan are, among other things, to reduce the number of LGBTI persons who experience failure to thrive, verbal harassment or physical violence, suicide attempts, lack of openness in the labour market and prejudice among young people in school, education or sports.

Key target group: The target group is all LGBTI persons in Denmark. The action plan also contains initiatives targeted at particularly vulnerable LGBTI persons, such as LGBTI persons with a minority background and transgender people.

All initiatives – except an evaluation of a number of projects in civil society – have either been completed or are in the process of being implemented.

 

Action plan against homelessness

The number of homeless people in Denmark increased until 2019, especially among young people.

The 2016-2019 government launched four focus areas:

  • National distribution of effective measures and national guidelines to counter homelessness.
  • Prevention of homelessness via housing measures and counselling, prevention of evictions and housing targeted at young people.
  • Easier ways out of homelessness via rehabilitation, special support to people in prolonged homelessness, counselling and psychiatric help.
  • Other initiatives such as the investigation of homeless women and the establishment of acute accommodation.

Key political objectives:

  • Effective measures must be spread to more municipalities in order to ensure that more people receive the correct help.
  • The prevention of homelessness must be strengthened and the number of young homeless people reduced. Elderly homeless people in prolonged homelessness must receive assistance in order to live a safe and worthy life.

The target group is all homeless people in Denmark, with a special focus on young people, women, and the elderly.

 

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 for the inclusion of disabled persons on the labour market

  • The Ministry of Employment
  • The Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens

The strategy is not integrated in any other strategy but refers to the Strategy for a Stronger Civil Society.

Part of the strategy is that the municipal job centres must report on their disability effort and conduct yearly surveys.

 

Action plan to promote safety, well-being and equal opportunities for LGBTI persons

The Minister for Equal Opportunities has the coordinating responsibility for the LGBTI area. The different ministries are responsible for initiatives within their own area.

The following ministries are part of the inter-ministerial working group in the LGBTI area that is behind the action plan:

  • The Department of Equal Opportunities in the Ministry of Employment (Chair)
  • The Ministry of Employment
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
  • The Ministry of Justice
  • The Ministry of Immigration and Integration
  • The Ministry of Health
  • The Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens
  • The Ministry of Children and Education
  • The Ministry of Culture
  • The Ministry of Higher Education and Science
  • The Ministry of the Interior and Housing
  • The Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs

The action plan is not integrated in other strategies.

The Department of Equal Opportunities is responsible for following the implementation of the action plan and for evaluating a number of projects initiated in civil society.

 

Action plan against homelessness

The former Ministry of Children and Social Affairs (now the Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens) is the responsible authority. The National Board of Social Services is charged with the task of implementing some of the initiatives, for instance a national counselling service and Housing First (see section 4.6).

The Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing is responsible for a fund for housing for young people.

The action plan is not integrated in any other strategy, but the action plan builds on experiences from the homeless strategy from 2009.

A social investment pool and a national counselling service distribute knowledge of effective measures. Local projects must always report on experiences and results in relation to targets set in the application. An evaluation of a fund for housing will be conducted.

 

Revisions/Updates

Strategy on the social inclusion of LGBTI persons

None

 

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.

 

Strategy for the inclusion of disabled persons on the labour market

There are no revisions of the strategy.

 

Action plan on inclusion of LGBTI persons

There are no revisions or updates of the action plan.

 

Action plan against homelessness

There are no revisions/updates of the plan.