Denmark’s injustice towards Greenland doesn’t go unnoticed in Asia

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in March 2022, delivers a face-to-face apology to six living victims of a another 1950s social experiment in which 22 Greenlandic children were taken from their families and sent to Denmark to be integrated into Danish society. Photo: Reuters

In 2022 it came to light that Danish doctors had inserted IUD’s into women and girls from Greenland as young as 13  without their consent in the 1960’s, as part of a birth control campaign. A serious violation of both law and human rights which no longer goes unnoticed – even on the other side of the globe. Asia One, whose primary readers are from Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, reports on the story too.

A total of 4,500 IUDs were inserted between 1966 and 1970. The goal was to limit the number of Greenlandic children and thereby reduce the cost of, for example, day care centers, schools and health facilities for the Danish state.

We will not wait

Now 67 of the women affected are seeking compensation from the Danish authorities, claiming 300.000 DKK each. An official investigation by the Greenlandic and Danish government is not due until May 2025, but the group of women will not wait for compensation. Especially since many of the women affected are now in their 70s and 80s.

“What do we need the investigation for when we clearly know that there have been violations of the law and human rights,” Naja Lyberth said.

She is one of the women seeking compensation and the first one stepping forward exposing that she had an IUD inserted without consent as a 14 year old. And she believes the accept of this economic compensation is an important step in the healing process. 

Source: Asia One and DR

About Sofie Rønnelund

Sofie Roennelund is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Sofie Rønnelund

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