Combating human trafficking

The government takes a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking, enlisting all parties that can help. It also offers victims support.

A broad approach

Victims of human trafficking face coercion, violence and deception. Often they are afraid or even incapable of going to the police. So a key part of the government’s approach is working with partners to identify possible victims.

Task Force on Human Trafficking

The Task Force on Human Trafficking was set up to carry out the government’s comprehensive approach to the problem. The Task Force implements measures to prevent human trafficking and watches out for signs that it is taking place. The Task Force also works to make it difficult for traffickers to operate, for example by imposing criminal penalties.

Role of municipalities in combating human trafficking

The local authorities are responsible for providing shelter and care for victims of human trafficking within their municipality. These arrangements are governed by the Social Support Act and the Youth Act.

It is up to municipalities to use this approach to tackle human trafficking. For example by making active efforts to identify cases of human trafficking and by developing policy and regulations that support the approach.

A set of basic requirements for the administrative approach to human trafficking has been drawn up to support municipalities. Various organisations affiliated with the Task Force helped shape this tool.

Helping the victims of human trafficking

The government has developed a national referral mechanism for the victims of human trafficking (in Dutch). This project is designed to improve the supply of – and access to – assistance and support for all victims of this practice.

In June 2015, as part of this referral mechanism, the government launched the website Wegwijzer Mensenhandel, an online guide (in Dutch) for professionals working with victims of human trafficking. The website offers an overview of victims’ rights and lists the relevant legislation.

There are numerous organisations that identify and assist the victims of human trafficking. They too can be found at the website Wegwijzer Mensenhandel.

Improving the approach to human trafficking

The Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children reports to the government on the nature and scale of these problems in the Netherlands. The Rapporteur produces an overview of policy on human trafficking and makes recommendations aimed at improving the Netherlands’ approach.

In order to produce its reports the office of the National Rapporteur collects information from various parties involved in preventing and combating human trafficking and sexual violence against children, and in offering victim support services. The Rapporteur also maintains contacts with organisations abroad and international bodies.

The reports of the National Rapporteur can be found on its website.