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    Wand-erful times awaiting at the Harry Potter Festival

    Wand-erful times awaiting at the Harry Potter Festival


    Every autumn holiday, witches and wizards fill the streets of Odense as the Harry Potter Festival begins. The whole family can enjoy magical activities for all ages. Begin by browsing shops offering everything you need to be a wizard from robes and wands...

    Every autumn holiday, witches and wizards fill the streets of Odense as the Harry Potter Festival begins.

    The whole family can enjoy magical activities for all ages. Begin by browsing shops offering everything you need to be a wizard from robes and wands and mix elixirs for Snape’s potions class.

    Later on, participate in or watch a game of quidditch, or write a story for the Daily Prophet.

    After you’ve worked up your appetite, head to Honey Dukes or Madam Nuttetrut’s for delicious treats.

    Wizard, witches and muggles of all ages are sure to enjoy this magical festival!

    Prostitution could be eradicated if prioritised, claims Danish trafficking victim support group

    Prostitution could be eradicated if prioritised, claims Danish trafficking victim support group


    Today is Anti-trafficking Day in Europe, and according to a Radikale candidate in next month’s municipal elections, not enough political priority is being given to the fight – particularly with regard to the situation of foreign prostitutes on...

    Today is Anti-trafficking Day in Europe, and according to a Radikale candidate in next month’s municipal elections, not enough political priority is being given to the fight – particularly with regard to the situation of foreign prostitutes on streets like Istegade in Copenhagen.

    David Zepernick, the current chair of the Safe and Alive Foundation, an organisation working to assist victims of trafficking, is concerned the work of the women, who primarily come from Nigeria and Romania, poses a health risk to themselves and others.

    READ MORE: New arrivals are assets not liabilities, argue proponents of integration

    Successful clinic
    During his time as chair of the foundation, Zepernick has overseen the setting up of a free health clinic for foreign women in prostitution. Since its foundation in 2010, the ‘Tuesday Clinic’ has had about 250-300 consultations a year.

    “The women, who are here illegally, obviously have no health insurance, which when you take their risky line of ‘work’ into consideration, constitutes a health risk to themselves and everybody else,” Zepernick told CPH POST.

    “The clinic is the only local initiative addressing that problem. On top of its specific health-related services, the clinic also serves as a point of entry for women with a history of  sex trafficking, where they can receive a helping hand from the relevant national authorities.”

    David Zepernick is seeking election to Frederiksberg Municipality next month

    US State Department advice
    Zepernick believes Denmark needs to take a lead from the US State Department, which has directly advised Denmark to “increase incentives for victims to co-operate in the prosecution of traffickers, including by permitting temporary residency for victims while they assist law enforcement” and “cease the penalisation of victims for crimes committed as a direct result of being subjected to trafficking, such as migration offences”.

    Zepernick is adamant that a lot can be achieved. “If we work together, we could eradicate sex trafficking in Denmark,” he said.

    “But to do that would require a dedicated effort and a victim-focused approach, as suggested by our friends in the US State Department, whereby you stop treating the women as illegal immigrants and criminals and start treating them as victims of a serious crime.”

    Shared optimism
    And Zepernick is not alone in his optimism. TED Talk presenter Kevin Bales, who in collaboration with the US Embassy gave a lecture on the subject at City Hall in 2013, believes Denmark’s small well-regulated society is an ideal environment to take decisive action in.

    “Denmark has unique conditions to become the first country to eradicate sex slavery and trafficking in general,” he said in his talk.

    Copenhagen unions call for 30-hour week for municipal workers

    Copenhagen unions call for 30-hour week for municipal workers


    Eight of the unions representing Copenhagen Municipality employees want a pilot project set up to try out a 30-hour working week. The unions claim this would prevent many employees developing stress, cut absences due to sickness, and help people balance...

    Eight of the unions representing Copenhagen Municipality employees want a pilot project set up to try out a 30-hour working week.

    The unions claim this would prevent many employees developing stress, cut absences due to sickness, and help people balance their work and family lives better, reports DR Nyheder.

    “We know from a trial in Sweden that a 30-hour week helped both employees and the institutions to cope better with the pressure of work,” said Henriette Brockdorff, the head of BUPL, the union representing pedagogues in Copenhagen.

    As well as the pedagogues, the eight unions represent health and social assistants, social workers, teachers, office personnel, kitchen employees and cleaners.

    Unrealistic productivity demands
    Brockdorff agrees that the present 37-hour week is already rather short by international standards, but contends that the pressure on workers these days is extreme due to overly-high productivity demands.

    As well as a shorter working week, the unions also want workers to be compensated salary-wise. That would mean an increase in costs of around 20 percent, so the unions would like to see Copenhagen Municipality setting aside 12 million kroner for the project.

    Weiss prefers the Danish model
    However, the group chair for Socialdemokratiet at Copenhagen Municipality, Lars Weiss, rejects this idea.

    “We have a ‘Danish model’ through which agreements are made on salaries and employment conditions every second year, and I’m not going to start negotiating on these matters in the run-up to a local election.”

    Weiss also said that calculations made by the municipality’s finance department suggest that a 30-hour working week would cost 3.6 billion kroner per annum.

    “This would severely impact our service levels. We would see higher numbers in school classes and kindergartens, and that would put even more pressure on the employees.”

    Swedish results inconclusive
    Alternativet, Enhedslisten and SF have all indicated they would be in favour of a 30-hour week, although the latter two parties would like to see it phased in gradually.

    However, the Swedish experience was not all positive, reports Finans.dk and Berlingske.

    In 2014, Gothenburg experimented with a six-hour day at one of the municipality’s care homes, which resulted in fewer sick days, increased productivity and happier nursing staff. Toyota in Gothenburg also tried a 30-hour week in 2002 with a resultant increase in productivity of 20 percent.

    On the other hand, a more recent experiment at a care home in the Swedish city of Umeå resulted in a greater number of absences due to sickness.

    Unmitigated disaster: Denmark’s World Cup qualifier cancelled

    Unmitigated disaster: Denmark’s World Cup qualifier cancelled


    The high-profile conflict between the Danish football association DBU and the women’s national team has reached incredible new heights. Denmark’s critical World Cup qualifying match against rivals Sweden has been cancelled following a breakdown in...

    The high-profile conflict between the Danish football association DBU and the women’s national team has reached incredible new heights.

    Denmark’s critical World Cup qualifying match against rivals Sweden has been cancelled following a breakdown in talks between DBU and the players’ association, Spillerforeningen.

    “It’s a historically bad day for the women’s national team and for Danish football in general,” said Kim Hallberg, the head of DBU Elite.

    “It’s lamentable, but also completely grotesque that we find ourselves in a situation where the players won’t turn up for important national team games even though we’ve offered them better conditions and invited them to further negotiations after the match.”

    Hallberg said that the team and Spillerforeningen were holding the national team games and the fans hostage in the negotiations.

    READ MORE: Sports News in Brief: Ladies romp to win as conflicts nears end

    Punishment pending
    The consequence of the cancelled game will be immense. Aside from automatically losing the game to Sweden, Denmark also risks being thrown out of the qualification to the 2019 World Cup in France. The situation could also have ramifications on the 2020 Olympics Games and qualification to Euro 2021.

    DBU said it was awaiting disciplinary action from FIFA, which could be of a financial nature, deduction of points or the expulsion from qualification proceedings.

    Despite the negotiations persisting for over a year, the parties involved have failed to reach an accord regarding a new wage agreement structure for the women’s team. A similar conflict is ongoing with the men’s under-21 team and DBU only recently come to an agreement with the men’s full national side.

    Meanwhile, the head of Spillerforeningen, Thomas Lindrup, maintained that the team was training and that “nothing is over until the fat lady sings”.

    Denmark’s glowing performance at the 2017 Euros, which was supposed to act as a springboard to capitalise on the popularity of women’s football in Denmark and propel interest in the Danish team into the stratosphere, now seems completely redundant.

    Immigrants risk pension poverty, report says

    Immigrants risk pension poverty, report says


    A new report from the Danish centre of applied social science, VIVE, warns that a lot of immigrants are going to be substantially worse off when they reach the pension age compared to their Danish counterparts, reports Avisen.dk The study looked at...

    A new report from the Danish centre of applied social science, VIVE, warns that a lot of immigrants are going to be substantially worse off when they reach the pension age compared to their Danish counterparts, reports Avisen.dk

    The study looked at immigrants from Turkey, Iran Pakstan and Vietnam who came to Denmark in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and are now over 60 years old.

    READ ALSO: Future of Danish workforce hinges on 70,000 foreigners

    The researchers used the OECD’s definition of poverty that defines it as an income of less than 50 percent of the median income in the country.

    Peder J Pedersen, a research professor at VIVE, explained: “They’ve been worse off job-wise, and also with regard to pensions from employers, the state-run ATP, and private pensions.”

    “We had a situation in Denmark where old age was no longer synonymous with poverty, but now we are seeing a growing number of groups in society who are living in poverty.”

    Over 65s worst off
    Poverty is especially prevalent in the 65 to 74-year-old age group. Only 1 percent of native Danes in this group are poor, but for elderly people from Turkish origins the figure is 29 percent, whilst 27 percent of Pakistanis are considered poor.

    Pedersen points out that one of the main reasons is that many immigrants have not spent as long in the Danish job market: they either arrived here already middle-aged and/or they have spent longer periods unemployed.

    “The majority of the ‘guest workers’ came here and went straight into a job, but those who came before 1974 ran into the first oil crisis and many of them lost their jobs. A lot of them were employed in sectors that were very hard-hit.”

    Immigrants have had difficulty earning pension pots as large as Danes, as a lot of them have not been in Denmark long enough or have been away from the job market. Women tend to especially lag behind the men.

    Women do worse than men
    Gender roles also play a part. In cases in which families are reunited, it is usually the man who comes first and gets a job. The woman will typically end up working in the service sector, where language capabilities don’t play such a large role. That also influences wages and, by extension, pensions.

    “It could be cleaning or training as a social and health assistant. There are of course also some who take a higher education, but a lot of the female non-western immigrants who come here as adults are not educated much above primary school level,” said Marie Louise Schultz-Nielsen from the Rockwool Fund

    Keeping immigrants at work
    The immigrant organisation Foreningen Nydansker points out that if the trend is to be stopped the focus should be on keeping immigrants working.

    The head of the organisation, Torben Møller-Hansen, explained: “We can see that many immigrants get work and then drop out of the employment market again. It is when they’ve got a job that we ought to do something because it is difficult to get them back into the job market again when they reach 60.”

    Denmark has highest percentage of single parents in Europe

    Denmark has highest percentage of single parents in Europe


    According to a new survey conducted by the newsletter Momentum, Denmark leads Europe when it comes to single parent families. The survey is based on figures from EU stat keepers Eurostat and shows that nearly 30 percent of Danish families with children...

    According to a new survey conducted by the newsletter Momentum, Denmark leads Europe when it comes to single parent families.

    The survey is based on figures from EU stat keepers Eurostat and shows that nearly 30 percent of Danish families with children are single parent units. Second-placed Sweden has 25 percent, while the UK and Lithuania also scored over 20 percent.

    “There are more single parents because we have more opportunity to be single parents. They don’t have that option in many other countries,” Martin Kruse, a researcher with the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, told TV2 News.

    “There is also a cultural aspect to it. We have the option to choose to be alone and that isn’t viewed in the same way in southern Europe.”

    READ MORE: Danish research: ADHD increases the chance of teenage parenthood

    Resource and time issue
    The majority (54 percent) of single parent families in Denmark have just one child, while 36 percent have two and just 9 percent have three or more kids.

    According to family researcher Per Schultz Jørgensen, single parent families can be just as good at raising children than two-parent families – although they can come with additional challenges.

    “The emotional closeness and stable framework surrounding the upbringing of children can just as well be provided by single parents, but families with single parents don’t have the same strength and resources, and they are vulnerable to illness and time constraints,” Jørgensen told Momentum.

    Meanwhile, the percentage of single parent families in Finland, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia, Greece and Croatia (lowest with 5 percent) were all under 10 percent.

    Autumnal visitors: Hello darkness, my old friends

    Autumnal visitors: Hello darkness, my old friends


    The story of two young boys from Queens, New York, who went on to become the world’s most successful duo, is coming to Copenhagen. Director Peter Aude promises that this depiction of the life and career of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel is more cabaret...

    The story of two young boys from Queens, New York, who went on to become the world’s most successful duo, is coming to Copenhagen.

    Director Peter Aude promises that this depiction of the life and career of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel is more cabaret than a theatre play.

    And while the duo will converse in Danish, the songs are in English.

    Given how Simon and Garfunkel often fought over artistic differences, their output is truly their bridge over troubled water.

    HPV vaccine extremely effective in the long term, new study shows

    HPV vaccine extremely effective in the long term, new study shows


    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually-transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer and every year, 375 Danish women die from this disease. Fortunately, vaccination is freely available and new figures show that the vaccine works. A new...

    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually-transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer and every year, 375 Danish women die from this disease. Fortunately, vaccination is freely available and new figures show that the vaccine works.

    A new study carried out by the Danish cancer society, Kræftens Bekæmpelse, has followed a group of more than 2,000 women from Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden who were given the vaccination before it was approved. The results show that it is still effective – ten to twelve years after first being administered.

    None of the vaccinated women show signs of pre-cancerous cervical lesions or cervical cancer related to the four types of HPV that the vaccine protects against.

    READ ALSO: Side-effects stories affecting HPV vaccination numbers

    A message to doubters
    The leader of the research, Susanne Krüger Kjær, is extremely happy with the results. “This is the longest follow-up period we have in relation to the HPV vaccine, and these women were vaccinated around four years before the vaccine was made readily available.”

    “It is also a very encouraging message to those who subsequently chose to have themselves or their children vaccinated,” she added.

    Sports News in Brief: Denmark draw Ireland for World Cup playoffs!

    Sports News in Brief: Denmark draw Ireland for World Cup playoffs!


    One team. Two games. That’s what Denmark’s 2018 World Cup venture boils down to. And the team blocking Denmark’s road to Russia is Ireland. That’s the result of the draw for the playoffs held just moments ago in Zurich. The first game will take...

    One team. Two games.

    That’s what Denmark’s 2018 World Cup venture boils down to.

    And the team blocking Denmark’s road to Russia is Ireland.

    That’s the result of the draw for the playoffs held just moments ago in Zurich. The first game will take place in Copenhagen between November 9-11, with the return leg being played in Dublin three days later.

    The result of the draw must be pleasing for Denmark coach Åge Hareide, who said last week that he would prefer to draw Northern Ireland or Ireland. A strong Sweden side and an unknown Greece were teams he wanted to avoid.

    Presumably the Danes are hoping that the matches will go better for them than the last time they met the Irish, which resulted in a 0-4 hammering in a friendly in Aarhus in 2007.

    While the Irish are probably pleased about missing out on Italy and Croatia, the same can’t be said for the Swedes and the Greeks. Sweden faces Italy, while the Greeks take on Croatia. In the final match-up, the Swiss drew Northern Ireland.

    Thor with Redskins
    Andreas ‘Thor’ Knappe is tantalisingly close to being the first Dane since Morten Andersen to play in the NFL. The Danish giant has been snapped up by the Washington Redskins and added to the team’s practice squad following a successful trial. Knappe, however, will still need to make the active roster before having the chance to play in a game. But a giant foot in the door at least.

    Patrick pummelled
    Once considered Denmark’s best boxing hope apart from Mikkel Kessler, Patrick Nielsen now has a career that looks on the brink of being finished. Nielsen was dominated and knocked out in the fifth round at Wembley Stadium by British fighter John Ryder. Nielsen now has two losses in 30 bouts and his promoter, Nisse Sauerland, said that he won’t continue working with Nielsen unless he gets his act together.

    Excellent Ehlers
    It’s been a good month for Danish NHL player Nicolaj Ehlers. First the young gun signed a million-kroner contract extension with the Winnipeg Jets and then he went out and scored five goals and notched two assists over the past week, including the game winner against the Carolina Hurricanes. The 21-year-old’s performance was good enough for the NHL to vote him First Star of the Week (the league’s equivalent of player of the week).

    Pål’s haul
    You may not have heard of Pål Kirkevold before now, and that’s understandable considering the Norwegian plays his football in tiny startup Hobro. But actually, Kirkevold has just set a new Superliga record that will likely stand for quite some time. The striker’s goal against Horsens over the weekend means he has scored in nine consecutive Superliga games in a row, enough to break a three-way deadlock with legends Ebbe Sand and Peter Møller.

    Danish food waste prevention app looks to US market

    Danish food waste prevention app looks to US market


    Back in 2015, a group of friends in Denmark had the brilliant idea for an app to help people buy food that otherwise would have been thrown in the dustbin. This became ‘Too Good To Go’. The app has since spread to cover 4,500 restaurants and shops...

    Back in 2015, a group of friends in Denmark had the brilliant idea for an app to help people buy food that otherwise would have been thrown in the dustbin. This became ‘Too Good To Go’.

    The app has since spread to cover 4,500 restaurants and shops and the company has grown from 15 to 70 employees. So far, the app has managed to prevent two million portions of food that otherwise would have been thrown out from going to waste, TV2 Nyheder reports.

    ‘Too Good To Go’ now has its sights set on the US market, where food waste is a huge problem.

    READ ALSO: Danish initiative to combat food waste launched in New York

    Keeping it green
    The app works by allowing users to order surplus food from local restaurants, cafes, hotels, bakeries and shops to be picked up an hour before closing time in biodegradable packaging delivered by the company to keep things as ‘green’ as possible. The food costs around 30 kroner.

    According to the United Nations, 40 percent of all the food produced in the world ends up being thrown away. As the ‘Too Good To Go’ website says, “our mission is to prevent food from being thrown in the dustbin and by doing this, make our contribution to minimising the enormous effects food waste has on the environment.”

    Helping out worldwide
    Klaus Pedersen, a founder of the company, is now looking outside Denmark in order to build a business that can help alleviate waste worldwide.

    “When we started, I had absolutely no idea that we could get as far as we’ve done now, so it’s rather overwhelming that so many people and businesses have supported our idea to reduce food waste,” he said.