The public tendering process for Denmark’s Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Immigration and Integration has resulted in a situation in which the quality of interpreting and translation services provided by professionals to the ministries is at stake. EasyTranslate, the company that was chosen to be the sole contractor, has weakened terms for its subcontractors in the name of improving efficiency in such a way that interpreters and translators are now protesting.
According to the Danish newspaper Politiken, hundreds of interpreters and translators have voiced their dissatisfaction with the new terms. Some say that the terms have even meant a drop of 60% in their fees. Before the tendering process, the Danish police and justice system had their own lists that they used for procuring translation and interpreting services. Now, some 400 interpreters and translators who have been on these lists have said that they will not be available on the terms currently being offered.
Even though Denmark opted out and is not bound by the EU Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings, the provisions of the directive as well as the internationally approved Code of Ethics of the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association EULITA have been drafted to ensure a fair trial. Ensuring language rights is a central aim of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, and Denmark is a signatory of both of these.
The Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters SKTL expresses its support for interpreters and translators in Denmark and wishes them success in their fight for satisfactory working conditions.