Children and youth

Boys and girls have equal rights and are to have the same opportunities in life. Children are to be treated with respect. They also have the right to be cared for and to be safe. Adults are not allowed to hit children. In Denmark, it has been illegal for parents to hit their children since 1997.

Parents bear the responsibility of ensuring that their children have a place to live and that they are seen to by a doctor if they are ill in a manner that requires medical treatment. Parents are also responsible for ensuring that their children get an education and that they are protected from violence and abuse.

In Denmark, boys and girls have the right and duty to attend school for nine years. It is the parents' responsibility to cooperate with the school, so that the child gets the best possible schooling.

The parents are responsible for the upbringing of the child and ensuring that the child has a good childhood. For girls as well as boys, a good childhood is one in which they participate in social activities such as children's birthdays, playdates and hanging out with friends [both boys and girls] and going on camps. It is therefore important that you, as parents, provide your children with such opportunities.

You can always contact your children's class teacher if you have questions about your children's schooling.


Children's Rights
Children's Rights (Børns Vilkår)  is a privately run humanitarian organisation that works towards ensuring the rights of children to a good childhood and a good life, and towards all children in Denmark can get the help they need. If you visit their website (Danish only) you will find information on how they can help and where you can get the best advice. They provide services for both parents and children. You are welcome to call the "parents' telephone" anonymously and talk about your concerns or problems regarding your children.

Parents' Telephone
Telephone 35 55 55 57 weekdays 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., weekends 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
You can also fill out the form on the website. However, if you do so you will no longer be anonymous.

If your children have problems, you can tell them to contact:

The Children's telephone
The children's telephone offers free and anonymous counselling for children and youth.
Telephone: 116 111

LOKK's youth counselling
Information is also available at



  • Children have the same right as adults to be protected against violence. 
  • Children have the right to be cared for, to be safe and not to be hit.
  • Children must be respected as individuals and independent beings, irrespective of their race, religious beliefs, culture and gender. 
  • Girls and boys have the same rights.

If a child is under 18 years of age

  • She/he has the right to food, clothes and a place to live.
  • She/he has the right to be brought up to interact with other people and take part in society.
  • She/he has the right to go to school, have time for leisure and play.
  • She/he has the right to protection, e.g. against violence, abuse and exploitation.
  • She/he has the right to co-determination, such as influence on matters concerning her/his own life and freedom of speech.

When you are 18 years of age, you can

  • Vote and run for election.
  • Sign contracts.
  • Make decisions about your own finances.
  • Get a driver's licence.
  • Get married.
  • Get your own home.

In Denmark, the age of criminal responsibility is 15 years of age. If you are younger than 15 years of age and commit a crime, you cannot be punished. Instead of going to jail, you may be sent to an institution for young offenders.

Parents are responsible for their child until she/he turns 18 years of age, which means that it is the parents' responsibility to ensure that

  • The child is looked after.
  • The child is fed, clothed and has a place to live.
  • The child is protected against violence and abuse.
  • The child receives tuition and an education - and is provided with the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. 

It is the parents' duty to collaborate with the child's school. This means that parents must participate in parent/teacher consultations and school events and help with homework. They also have to make sure that the child gets enough sleep and that she or he is given a packed lunch to take to school.

Children have the right to

  • Nine years of tuition.
  • Free tuition in the Danish public school (folkeskole).
  • Books and other educational materials.
  • Special education and other special help, if needed.
  • Help with interpretation, if needed.

All children have the opportunity to get a free education in Denmark. This means that you, as parents, do not have to pay for your child's education when he/she attends the Danish public school (folkeskolen), highschool (gymnasiet), technical college (erhvervsskole) or university.


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