Greenland women who were subjected to forced contraception in the 1960s are now seeking compensation from Denmark. These women, who were just teenagers at the time, had intrauterine devices (IUDs) inserted without their consent as part of Denmark’s efforts to control the birth rate in the Arctic territory. In response, 67 women have filed a compensation request, demanding approximately €40,200 each.
During the late 1960s, Copenhagen implemented a contraceptive policy in Greenland, even though the territory had ceased being a colony in 1953. Danish radio and television broadcaster DR shed light on the scale of this campaign through a series of podcasts aired in spring 2022. This revelation came at a time when Denmark and Greenland were reflecting on their shared history, especially since Greenland gained autonomous territory status in 2009.
An inquiry into the contraceptive policy, initiated last year, is expected to publish its findings in 2025. However, the affected women are not willing to wait for its conclusions. “We do not want to wait for the results of the investigation,” stated psychologist Naja Lyberth, who spearheaded the compensation request. “We are getting older, and the oldest among us, who had IUDs inserted in the 1960s, are approaching 80. We want to act now.”
During the 1960s and 1970s, around 4,500 young Inuit women had IUDs inserted without their knowledge or the consent of their families. Many of these women were unaware of the contraceptive device and, until recent times, Greenlandic gynecologists discovered IUDs in women who had no idea they were wearing them, according to Lyberth.
Lyberth also emphasized that the government’s violation of human rights and the serious abuses committed against these women are already evident. She believes that the government will likely reject their compensation requests until the investigation concludes, at which point the matter will likely be taken to court.
In 2022, six Inuit individuals received apologies and compensation after being separated from their families more than 70 years ago. They were forced to participate in an experiment aimed at creating a Danish-speaking elite on the island. This case highlights the continuing efforts to address historical injustices and provide redress for affected individuals.
Q: What is forced contraception?
Forced contraception refers to the practice of imposing birth control measures on individuals without their consent or against their will. In the case of the Greenland women, they had intrauterine devices (IUDs) inserted without their knowledge or consent during the 1960s as part of Denmark’s efforts to control the birth rate in the region.
Q: Why are the Greenland women seeking compensation?
The Greenland women are seeking compensation for the violation of their rights and the harm caused by the forced contraception they endured. They were subjected to a contraceptive policy implemented by Denmark during the 1960s, which included the insertion of IUDs without their consent. These women are demanding compensation from Denmark to acknowledge the harm they suffered.
Q: What is the status of the investigation into the contraceptive policy?
An inquiry into the contraceptive policy launched last year is currently underway. The investigation aims to examine the scope and impact of the forced contraception campaign in Greenland during the 1960s and 1970s. Its conclusions are expected to be published in 2025. However, the women seeking compensation are not willing to wait for the investigation’s outcome and are pushing for faster redress.
Q: What happened to the Greenland women who had IUDs inserted without their consent?
During the 1960s and 1970s, approximately 4,500 young Inuit women in Greenland had IUDs inserted without their knowledge or the consent of their families. Many of these women were unaware of the contraceptive devices implanted in their bodies. Only recently did Greenlandic gynecologists discover IUDs in women who were unaware of their presence, highlighting the long-lasting impact of this forced contraception campaign.
Q: How will the compensation request be addressed if the government opposes it?
If the government rejects the compensation requests from the Greenland women, the matter is likely to be taken to court. The affected women, supported by psychologist Naja Lyberth, believe that the government’s actions have violated the law and their human rights. They are determined to seek redress for the harm they endured and the violation of their rights through legal means if necessary.
– Danish radio and television DR
– [Associated Press](https://apnews.com/)