Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

Prostitution policy: Legalised


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.

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.