Sexual Exploitation and Violence Against Women: Unaddressed Problems In Northern Europe

By • on October 1, 2013

***Video footage of the following intervention to follow shortly***

OSCE submission by BPE-Austria.  This can also be found on the OSCE website.

Sexual exploitation and violence against women: Unaddressed problems in Northern Europe

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

Working Session 3 Tolerance and Non-Discrimination II

Prevention of violence against women and children

Warsaw, September 24th, 2013

As quoted in the Annotated Agenda, the Ministerial Council Decision 15/05 on “Preventing an Combating violence against Women”:

emphasizes the persisting level of violence against women and girls in the OSCE region, as well as at human and political costs of this phenomenon.

Furthermore, 15/05 stresses

that participating states have a duty to prevent, investigate and punish perpetrators of such violence, as well as to protect victims, especially women and children […].

BPE-Austria is deeply concerned by the fact that in some participating States these commitments are not sufficiently upheld, in spite of the Charter for European Security explicitly stating that

in order to prevent such crimes, the participating States decided […] to promote the adoption and strengthening of legislation to hold accountable persons responsible for these acts as well as to strengthen the protection of victims […].

Unfortunately, there are significant problems on the ground, including within countries in northern Europe, where where the problem seems to be growing rather than diminishing. Some examples from North European will show the undesirable trend:


Today Sweden has the second highest rape rate in the world, trailing only South Africa, which at 53.2 per 100,000 is six times higher than the United States. Statistics now suggest that 1 out of every 4 Swedish women will suffer the experience of rape. In 2003, Sweden’s rape rates were 9.24 times the average, but in 2005 they shot up to 36.8 and by 2008 were up to 53.2. (FrontPage Magazine, January 29th 2013). In 77.6 percent of all cases the perpetrator is a Muslim immigrant (quoted from BRÅ, where recent figures are available).

Sweden’s National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ) shows that the number of reported rapes of children is on the rise. The figures have nearly doubled in the last ten years: 467 rapes of children under the age of 15 were reported in 2004, compared with 258 in 1995 (The Muslim Issue, August 20th 2012). Over the last seven years, the number of rapes in Sweden has nearly tripled. During the first seven months of this year, a thousand rapes were reported in Stockholm – a 16 percent jump from last year. In three hundred cases, the victims were girls under age 15 (FrontPage Magazine, August 22nd 2013).

In addition to the raw numbers, an independent study concludes that 85 percent of rapists in Sweden are foreign-born – primarily from North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia (Before It’s News, June 18th 2013). As Scandinavia’s rape crisis has intensified, new features have emerged. For one thing, it has spread from the cities to the provinces. There has been an uptick in types of rape – such as gang rape – that were hardly ever seen in Scandinavia before. Today’s rapes, moreover, tend to be more violent than yesterday’s.


In Oslo 100 percent of all perpetrators are non-western immigrants and 100 percent of all victims indigenous Norwegian women or girls. In 2011 there was an increase of 30 percent and in 2012 an increase of 96 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous year (Aftenposten, April 16th 2012).

United Kingdom:

Child grooming has become a rapidly growing list of cases in the past few years. British children are being sexually abused by Muslim paedophile gangs. The reality is that police, social workers, teachers, neighbors, politicians and the media have for decades downplayed the severity of the crimes perpetrated against British children because they were afraid of being accused of “Islamophobia” or racism. This constitutes an open violation of the above-mentioned commitments. According to government estimates that are believed to be “just the tip of the iceberg,” at least 2,500 British children have so far been confirmed to be victims of grooming gangs, and another 20,000 children are at risk of sexual exploitation.

British Children’s Minister, Tim Loughton, says that we should ask ourselves very troubling questions about the attitude of the perpetrators, all but one of whom were from Pakistani backgrounds, towards white girls. The Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England, Sue Berelowitz, has hard evidence of children being sexually exploited.

In particular, Commissioner Berelowitz said of the situation:

“That is part of what is going on in some parts of the country. It is very sadistic. It is very violent. It is very ugly.” Gatestone Institute

Best practices:

Fortunately, not all news on these topics is bad. Proper application of the Law is paramount, and for criminal immigrants, deportation is a very effective tool. As an example, Danish courts are making extensive use of such deportations, reaching a total of 1379 such verdicts in 2012, a 35% increase over the 1019 such verdicts in 2011 (Danmarks Radio, June 26th 2013). Deportation is a punishment that tends to be feared more than jail time; it protects peaceful citizens from further crimes, and can usefully be considered in all criminal cases involving foreigners.

Regarding the sex grooming gangs in Britain, these are now systematically being broken by British police, following public pressure to take action against them. A total of 54 such gangs have been identified and investigated by police forces lately, the largest of them having 45 members, many of whom are described as “Asian men” (Mirror, August 18th 2013). Bringing the perpetrators to justice, regardless of their faith or ethnicity, is urgent – for the alternative is that vigilante groups such as

Letzgo Hunting take matters in their own hands (Daily Mail, September 17th 2013).

Recommendation to ODIHR

In addition to the high numbers, BPE-Austria is concerned over the apparent pattern that the native majority population is targeted by Muslim immigrants, a trend that calls for more research and investigation. Therefore BPE-Austria recommends for participating States:

• That relevant agencies conduct information campaigns targeting immigrant communities, making it clear that rape is an inexcusable crime, that woman reporting such crimes will be protected by the state, and that perpetrators will face the full force of the law, including possible deportation.

• Victims and witnesses should be protected as soon as they have reported a crime. Threats and intimidation intended to silence witnesses need to be systematically punished.

• That law enforcement is encouraged to do their best, and that lack of proper investigation must be treated as complicity to crime. Fear of being labeled ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobic’ is no sound excuse.

• Deportation should be considered as a punishment whenever possible.

• Finally, BPE recommends that agreements be negotiated with foreign countries so that foreign criminals can serve their sentences in their home countries.