Trafficking in Human Beings (THB)

Human trafficking:
6.250 victims each year

Sex trafficking:
3.000 victims (1.320 girls)

Task Force on Human Trafficking

National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children

The National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children reports on the nature and extent of human trafficking and sexual violence against children in the Netherlands, and on the effects of the government policies pursued.

Wegwijzer mensenhandel

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Monitoring Target 16.2 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

A multiple systems estimation of the numbers of presumed human trafficking victims in the Netherlands in 2010-2015 by year, age, gender, form of exploitation and nationality.

Victims of Human Trafficking.
Periodical Report 2012 2016. Summary

Domestic sex trafficking is the most common form of human trafficking in the Netherlands: each year there are approximately 3,000 victims. Dutch girls, specifically, make up a big group: annually 1,320 girls are victimized. They are also the least identified, which means they do not get the protection they need. This is presented in the publication Victims of Human Trafficking Periodical Report 2012-2016.

The estimated number of victims of human trafficking is five times as big as the number of identified victims and comes down to approximately 6,250 victims each year. This is the first time the Dutch National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking releases a substantiated estimate of the true number of victims of human trafficking, based on a research undertaken together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Up till now, it was only possible to report on the number of registered victims. The actual number is much higher, because human trafficking often takes place under the radar.

Council of Europe

GRETA publishes second report on the Netherlands

19 Oct 2018
The positive steps taken by the Netherlands include the setting up of a national network of regional co-ordinators of assistance provided to victims of trafficking and the increased funding for police and prosecution services dealing with trafficking cases, as well as for the labour inspectorate SZW which is competent to detect and investigate cases of trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. The creation of the Victim Identification Board, an independent multidisciplinary body tasked with the identification of victims of human trafficking, is another welcome development. Further, the report commends the awareness-raising campaigns concerning trafficking for different forms of exploitation and the steps taken to strengthen co-operation in the field of labour migration. Particular attention has been paid in the Netherlands to victim compensation and there have been many decisions by courts ordering perpetrators to pay compensation to victims of trafficking.

U.S. Department of State

Trafficking in Persons Report 2018: Netherlands

As reported over the past five years, the Netherlands is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. The largest group of identified victims are Dutch girls enticed by young male traffickers, known as “lover boys,” who coerce vulnerable girls into sexual exploitation, often through a sham romantic relationship. Women and child refugees and asylum-seekers are vulnerable to sex trafficking. Men and women from Eastern Europe, Africa, and South and East Asia are subjected to labor trafficking in industries such as inland shipping, agriculture, horticulture, hospitality, domestic servitude, and forced criminal activity. Criminal groups force Romani children into pickpocketing and shoplifting rings, and refugees and asylumseekers, including unaccompanied children, are vulnerable to labor trafficking. The Netherlands is a source country for child sex tourists.

The BES islands are municipalities of the Netherlands and a transit and destination area for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Women in prostitution and unaccompanied children are highly vulnerable to trafficking. Local authorities believe men and women have been subjected to domestic servitude and forced labor in the agricultural and construction sectors. Some migrants in restaurants and local businesses may be vulnerable to debt bondage.

The BES criminal code criminalized both sex and labor trafficking under article 286f, prescribing penalties ranging from six to 15 years imprisonment. Authorities did not initiate any new trafficking investigations or prosecutions in 2017.
The prosecution of Bonaire’s first trafficking case, involving Colombian women in forced prostitution, was initiated in October 2012 and remained ongoing at the close of the reporting period. The mandate of the Netherlands’ national rapporteur did not extend to the BES islands, so the office could not conduct local research. Local governments on the BES islands ran multidisciplinary anti-trafficking teams, which cooperated with each other and with Dutch counterparts. Victims of violence, including human trafficking, were eligible for compensation from the Violent Offenses Compensation Fund.

Nationaal Rapporteur