Syrians Top List of Migrant Rapists in Denmark as Rape Charges and Convictions Soar

Police arrive at Copenhagen City Court in Copenhagen on Thursday, December 12, 2019. - Twe
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Over the last eight years, Denmark has seen a surge in convictions and charges for rape, with migrants making up nearly one in four of those convicted for rape in 2020.

According to Danish Ministry of Justice figures, the country saw 987 charges laid for rape in 2020, over twice the number of charges from 2012. In that same period, there were 217 actual convictions — up from 132 in 2012 — 53 of whom were foreign nationals.

Minister of Justice Nick Hækkerup, a member of the ruling Social Democrats, commented on the figures saying, “I look at the numbers very seriously, because rape is a disgusting crime, which unfortunately is committed to an excessive extent,” Danish tabloid BT reports. The vast majority of rapes are not prosecuted — it is reported that around 4,700 men, women, and children are raped in Denmark a year.

The government’s figures also reveal that nearly a quarter of all those actually convicted for perpetrating rape in 2020 were migrants, with Syrians making up the largest number of foreign nationals convicted for rape that year, followed by Turkish citizens and stateless people.

“The figures clearly show that we have a problem of an ethnic slant when a [relatively large proportion] of foreigners are convicted of rape, just as we have an obvious problem when more than half of the inmates in the country’s closed prisons and detention centres are immigrants, descendants or foreigners,” Minister Hækkerup said.

“It challenges our cohesion, and therefore it is also the government’s policy that foreigners without Danish citizenship, who are convicted of rape, must be deported, to the extent that there is a basis for it,” he added.

The crime figures compared to immigration figures show some strange patterns. People with Polish citizenship are the largest foreign group in Denmark, and Syrians are the second largest. Yet Syrians have been convicted of rape nine times more often than Poles in the statistical period.

Naser Khader, a Syrian-Danish MP for the Conservative People’s Party, asked for more clarification on the nationality of the convicts, questioning how many of those included in the cases were not immigrants but people from migrant backgrounds.

“I want to ask the minister how many of those convicted with Danish nationality are actually second or third-generation immigrants, so we can see how many with an immigrant background are actually charged or convicted of rape,” Khader said.

The statistics come months after Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced her government would be doing more to crack down on crimes committed by young non-western migrant men.

“One in five young men from non-Western backgrounds who were born in 1997 had breached the penal code before the age of 21. One in five,” she said in October of last year.

Last month, the Danish government also announced it would be seeking to limit the number of non-western residents of neighbourhoods across the country to prevent ghettoisation in an effort to also combat crime.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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