Hirsch Ballin opens reception facility for victims of human trafficking

This morning, Minister of Justice Hirsch Ballin officially launched the pilot for the reception and accommodation of victims of human trafficking. Fifty (50) additional reception places were set up in locations spread across the Netherlands. The pilot is taking place under the responsibility of the Ministries of Justice and Health, Welfare and Sport.

The reception facility opened today by Minister Hirsch Ballin forms part of a pilot in which facilities that total forty reception places for female victims and ten reception places for male victims were created. This capacity will augment the already existing municipal reception facilities for victims of human trafficking.

The reception and accommodation of victims of human trafficking is important in order to make it possible to terminate with immediate effect the exploitative situation in which the victims find themselves. They will be accommodated under protected conditions and receive individual assistance at a secret location. For many victims, such protection is an important condition to enable them to find peace and to (dare to) file a report with the police against those who have exploited them. The Ministry of Justice expects that the categorical reception pilot will increase the willingness to report matters to the police and will thus simplify the investigation and prosecution of the offenders.

The reason for the Categorical Reception of Human Trafficking pilot is the shortage of adequate reception and accommodation for this category of victims. The fifty reception places that the Ministries of Justice and Health, Welfare and Sport have now created nationally are expected to remedy a significant part of the shortage of reception places. The Ministries are jointly paying 4 million euros for the extra reception capacity. The money will go to three organisations spread across the Netherlands that all have experience with the reception of vulnerable groups. The primary goal of this reception is stopping the exploitation. In addition, the victims receive individual assistance in order to determine what would be the best follow-up step for them: moving on to another reception facility, moving out to a more independent form of living or returning to the country of origin.

The pilot will have a term of two years and will therefore end in the summer of 2012.