Maximum punishment for human trafficking to be increased

Minister Opstelten of Security and Justice intends to increase the maximum punishment for human trafficking from eight to twelve years. This is evident from a legislative proposal today sent to the Lower House by the Minister. The proposed increase better expresses the seriousness of the crime and will make it easier to hold defendants in pre-trial detention, according to the Minister.

Human trafficking is a crime that often constitutes a long and very serious violation of the human dignity and integrity of victims who are scarred for life as a result. The measure is in line with the objective of the coalition agreement to investigate and combat human trafficking more intensively.

As the criminal activities of lover boys come under human trafficking, this group will be dealt with more harshly as well. Social indignation about this form of modern slavery is very great with good reason. After all, the victims of lover boys are the weakest in our society.

Opstelten also increases the term of imprisonment for those whose business or habit it is to employ illegal foreign nationals. Said maximum will be raised from three to four years. There will be additional investigative powers to facilitate the investigation of this type of crime. Illegal work often leads to exploitation and has an attractive effect on illegal immigration. Combating human trafficking would be served by an effective approach to illegal employment. After all, human trafficking is often intertwined with illegality.

Furthermore, hindering air traffic by means of a laser light is made a separate offence. There are increasingly often incidents during which laser pointers are aimed at aircraft immediately before landing or during takeoff. This can cause extremely dangerous situations.