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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

 

Strategy on the social inclusion of LGBTI persons

The document is a government initiative planned to be presented in parliament for adoption in February 2021. However, by March 2021, the initiative was yet to be presented i parliament.

The initiative was presented in August 2020 and is called ‘Freedom to diversity – Strengthened rights and possibilities for LGBTI persons’. (Frihed til forskellighed – Styrkede rettigheder og muligheder for LGBTI-personer).

 

The following strategies were launched by the former government but were affirmed in broad political agreements in parliament and are currently being implemented. The current government will not necessarily continue the targets.

 

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 the Danish healthcare system.

In September 2018, the former 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 exposed areas must be in day care, May 2018
  • People on social security are banned from moving to ghettoes, May 2018
  • Agreement in the primary and lower secondary schools, May 2018
  • A break with parallel societies, May 2018
  • Agreement on the financing of the initiatives, May 2018

 

Strategy for 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 on inclusion of LGBTI persons

The official document is an action plan. The action plan was introduced in June 2018. The plan is funded with 25 million DKK from the rate adjustment pool agreement 2018-2021. The plan is currently being implemented.

Danish title: Handlingsplan til fremme af tryghed, trivsel og lige muligheder for LGBTI-personer English title: Action Plan to Promote the Safety, Well-Being and Equal Opportunities for LGBTI Persons

 

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

Strategy on the social inclusion of 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 experience harassment and discrimination in society and in the workplace. Furthermore, transgender persons are a particularly vulnerable group and are at risk of loneliness and failure to thrive because many cannot be open about their gender. As a consequence, the suicide rate is particularly high for this target group.

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.

In the strategy, the government presents 10 initiatives within three focus areas:

Focus area 1: Discrimination, hate crimes and hate speech

  • Increased protection from harassment and discrimination due to sexual orientation outside the labour market.
  • Explicit ban on discrimination and harassment of trans- and inter-gender persons outside the labour market.
  • Explicit ban on discrimination and harassment of trans- and inter-gender persons in the labour market.
  • Explicit protection of trans- and inter-gender persons in relation to hate crimes and hate speech.

 

Focus area 2: Family rights

  • Easy access to changing their name in order for the name to be consistent with their gender.
  • Trans-persons should be parents in consistency with their legal gender, and not their biological sex.
  • Easier registration of parenthood in same-sex relationships.

 

Focus area 3: Change of legal gender

  • Transgender children and young people must have the possibility to change their legal gender, civil registration number, etc.
  • Abolition of the 6 months reflection period for change of legal gender for persons over 18.
  • The possibility to have an X in the passport for inter-gender persons, persons who do not identify as either man or woman and persons under 18 years.

 

Focus area 1 and 2 may be relevant for young people. Focus area 3 directly targets children and young people under the age of 18 years.

Since 2016, children and young people under the age of 18 years have had the opportunity to be referred for a diagnosis and hormone treatment, and children and young people can change their first name. Therefore, children and young people can have a name and a physical appearance that do not correspond with their biological sex, the gender in their passport or their civil registration number. Everyday situations like going to the dentist or to the library can cause distress and anxiety for the target group. Therefore, the government intends to allow children and young persons to legally change their gender. For children and young people under the age of 15 years, the legal change of gender requires the consent of the persons with custody of the child/young person.

 

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 1287 af 28/08/2020) must be in education or employment.

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

 

Strategy on parallel societies

The former government wished to break down parallel societies where residents have little contact with Danish society and Danish culture. Furthermore, residents in parallel societies are more often on social security than the rest of the population. The strategy established 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

In relation to young people, the following initiatives are relevant:

  • People on cash benefit (kontanthjælp), education benefit (uddannelseshjælp), or integration benefit (integrationsydelse) are not allowed to move to ghettoes.
  • 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 for 15% in a quarter.
  • Municipal primary and lower secondary educations (Folkeskole) and upper secondary education institutions with poor results in tests. As a final consequence schools may be closed down. Furthermore, the minister may obligate schools to stop accepting pupils with low academic skills.
  • The former government suggested doubling the punishment for violence in the home and honour-related violence.
  • Increased penalty for breach of public authorities’ duty to report on abuse and neglect of children and young persons.

Key political objective in the strategy: It was the former government’s objective that there are no ghettoes or parallel societies in Denmark by 2030.

Specific target groups:

  • Criminals
  • People on social security
  • People with migrant backgrounds
  • Socially marginalised children and young people

 

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 on inclusion of LGBTI persons

It was the former government’s goal that all people must have an equal opportunity to participate in society and to use their talents and gifts. Everyone’s resources must be put into play and no one should experience discrimination based on gender, sexuality, or gender identity.

The government established 12 initiatives within the following focus areas:

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

Political key objectives: The goal of the action plan is to reduce the number of LGBTI persons that experience failure to thrive, verbal harassment or hate speech, physical violence, and prejudice at work, in society, or in education institutions.

Key target group: The key target groups is all LGBTI persons in Denmark. A special focus is on LBGTI persons with minority backgrounds, since they compose a group that is highly at risk of experiencing discrimination and failure to thrive.

 

Action plan against homelessness

The number of homeless people in Denmark was rising up until 2019, especially amongst young people.

The former government launched four focus areas:

  • National distribution of effective measures
  • Prevention of homelessness via housing measures and counselling
  • Easier ways out of homelessness via rehabilitation, support, counselling, and psychiatric help
  • Other initiatives such as the investigation of homeless women and the establishment of acute accommodation

Key political objectives:

  • More people must receive the accurate help
  • The number of young homeless people must be reduced
  • Elderly homeless people 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

Strategy on the social inclusion of LGBTI persons

The minister for equal opportunities is the responsible authority.

 

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 many ministries.

  • 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
  • The Ministry of the Interior and Housing is responsible for the demolition and restructuring of exposed living areas

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

In the strategy, the former government announced that:

  • 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 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 on inclusion of LGBTI persons

The action plan was broad in scope and several ministries are involved.

The minister for equal opportunities has the overall and coordinating responsibility for the LBGTI measures across other ministerial remits.

Other former ministries involved in the action plan:

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
  • The Ministry of Justice
  • The Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs
  • The Ministry of Finance
  • The Ministry of  the Interior and Housing
  • The Ministry of Development Cooperation
  • The Ministry of Employment
  • 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

A cross-sectoral ministerial working group was established in order to ensure knowledge sharing and coordinating. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the chair of the working group.

The action plan is not integrated in other strategies.

Several evaluation measures are mentioned in the action plan:

  • The cross-ministerial working group is charged with the responsibility of a review of the Danish legislation regarding the need for regulations or new legislation.
  • A dialogue forum is established to strengthen the dialogue and cooperation with civil society. The forum meets twice a year.
  • In 2021, a national well-being and living condition survey will be conducted.
  • Associations and NGOs may apply for funding to projects mentioned in the action plan. All recipients of funding are obliged to evaluate and report on their experiences.

 

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

There are no revisions of the strategy.

 

Strategy for 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.