Human trafficking and prostitution

Concerning O.O.A (represented by Jens Rye-Andersen) vs Denmark for violation of articles 2, 3, 6, 7, 13, 14, 18, 26 and 27 of CCPR.

The author is of Urhobo ethnicity and professes the Christian faith. In 2009, she met a married couple, Mr. P.B. and Ms. B.O who resided in Denmark. Mr. P.B. hired the author as an Au pair, issued her a work permit and paid for her flight from Nigeria to Denmark. In Denmark, the author was raped by Mr. P.B. and beaten by Ms. B.O. To pay off her debt to them for bringing her to Denmark, she was forced into prostitution. The author reported the couple to the police and they were arrested. However, Mr. P.B.’s brother who resided in Nigeria, called to tell her that she would be killed if she ever came back to Nigeria. Thus the author applied for asylum in Denmark.  

The Danish authorities rejected the author’s application for asylum as they pointed out that, although she claimed that she had received a death threat from Mr. P.B.’s brother on one occasion, she had not provided any detailed information and had failed to render probable that he wanted to or was able to carry out his threat. Thus a complaint was sent to CCPR.

The Committee is of the view that, in the particular circumstances of the author’s case, the State party has failed to take into due consideration the special vulnerability of persons (in this case, the author) who have been subjected to human trafficking, which often lasts for several years even after they have been rescued or are able to free themselves from their aggressors, and the author’s particular status as witness in the criminal proceedings against her aggressors. The State party has also not taken into due consideration the specific capacity of the Nigerian authorities to provide the author, in her particular circumstances, with protection to guarantee that her life and physical and mental integrity would not be at serious risk. Therefore, in the circumstances, the Committee considers that the author’s deportation to Nigeria would constitute a violation of her rights under CCPR.

24. March 2020

CCPR 2288/2013
  • Decision: 15. September 2015
  • Comm: Human Rights