A group of 67 women from Greenland is seeking compensation from the Danish government for the involuntary birth control campaign that occurred in the 1960s. This campaign aimed to limit

birth rates among the indigenous population, resulting in at least 4,500 women, including teenagers, being fitted with contraceptive coils. The women, some of whom are now in their 70s, are calling for immediate compensation of 300,000 kroner (£34,880; $42,150) each.

Greenland, which is currently a semi-sovereign territory of Denmark, was a Danish colony until 1953. The shocking scale of the campaign was exposed last year in a podcast by Danish broadcaster DR. National archives revealed that between 1966 and 1970 alone, intrauterine devices (IUDs) were forcibly inserted into women, some as young as 13, without their knowledge or consent.

According to the government of Greenland, by the end of 1969, 35% of women in the territory who could potentially bear children had been subjected to this forced contraceptive measure.

A commission established by the Danish and Greenlandic governments to investigate the program is not expected to release its findings until May 2025. The women involved in the compensation claim argue that they should not have to wait for the results and are pushing for immediate action.

Psychologist Naja Lyberth, who initiated the compensation claim, emphasized the urgency, stating that the affected women are growing older, with some approaching the age of 80. Some women faced severe health complications or infertility due to improperly fitted devices, while others were unaware of the IUDs until recently discovered by gynaecologists.

Lyberth accused the Danish government of that time of attempting to control Greenland's population size to reduce welfare costs. She argued that it is evident that the government violated human rights and caused significant harm.

Mads Pramming, the lawyer representing the women, has submitted a claim on their behalf to Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's office. If the government refuses the request pending the commission's results, the group intends to pursue legal action.

Last year, Denmark issued an apology and compensation to six Inuit individuals who were separated from their families in the 1950s as part of an effort to establish a Danish-speaking elite within Greenland. Greenland, with a population of just 57,000, is the world's largest island and northernmost land area, possessing its own flag, language, and prime minister, while Denmark maintains control over its currency, justice system, and foreign and security affairs. Photo by James E. Petts, Wikimedia commons.