Home » More than a hundred Greenland women are suing Denmark for forced contraception

More than a hundred Greenland women are suing Denmark for forced contraception

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© REUTERS

143 women from Greenland filed a complaint against the Danish state on Monday. During the 1960s and 1970s, he placed IUDs in women without their consent. Some of them were barely teenagers.

Source: BELGA

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According to their lawyer Mads Pramming, no response was received to the claim for damages that the women filed in October last year. Then dozens of women each demanded compensation of 300,000 Danish crowns (about 40,000 euros). “Their human rights have been violated,” Pramming said. “They themselves are proof of that.”

“After submitting the claims for damages, more women came forward. The oldest is 85 years old,” said Pramming. During the period of forced contraception, approximately 4,500 Inuit had an IUD inserted without their or their families’ consent. Until recently, Greenlandic gynecologists discovered contraceptives in women who did not know they were wearing one.

In the late 1960s, Denmark rolled out a contraceptive policy to limit the birth rate on the Arctic island. Although the region has not been a colony since 1953, it remained under the control of the Danes. Greenland was given the status of an autonomous area in 2009.

A series of podcasts based on the national archives and broadcast in spring 2022 by the Danish public broadcaster DR revealed the scale of the campaign. A committee of inquiry into contraceptive policy, which started last year, must publish its findings in 2025. “As far as their case is concerned, the committee and its outcome are not important,” the lawyer said. “She will not rule on whether their rights have been violated, but the court will be able to do so.”

In 2022, six Inuit received an apology and compensation, more than seventy years after being separated from their families to take part in an experiment to create a Danish-speaking elite on the island.

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