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2004-03-02 06:20:00
Embassy The Hague
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 20 THE HAGUE 000521 




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: (A) STATE 7869 (B) 03 STATE 218687

1. Part one summarizes progress achieved during the year
(Reftel B) and Part two is the fourth annual report on anti-
trafficking in persons (TIP) for the Netherlands. The
report follows the format outlined in reftel. Preparation
time is about 200 hours (FSN - 110; FS-02 - 80; FS-02 - 10

2. Embassy's points of contact are Capie Polk and Mieke
Gronheid in the Global Issues Section. They can be reached
at 31-70-310-9289/269 (phone), 31-70-310-9348 (fax), or
email, and


Part 1 - Summary


3. Working with a receptive government willing to commit
significant resources (in difficult economic times) to the
fight against TIP and a strong NGO community, we have noted
considerable progress on TIP issues during the past year:

- Justice Minister Donner proposed legislation in late 2003
which would bring Dutch law in accordance with UN and
international TIP standards. The legislation expands the
definition of people trafficking to include labor
trafficking and raises the maximum penalties for violations.
Passage and implementation is expected by June 1, 2004, in
compliance with EU deadline.

- The Office of National Rapporteur has received funding
through 2004.

- Using an October 2002 amendment to the Public Morality
Act, the Netherlands arrested a Dutch citizen in October
2003 for sexually abusing minors in the Gambia. In
addition, the travel industry and MFA have prepared
materials and conducted outreach to educate the public about
the problem of sex tourism. The government has committed
significant resources to funding anti-TIP programs in source
countries, from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia. The
government and NGOs have initiated public information
campaigns against young prostitutes and lover boys in the

- A senior MFA official told U/S Dobriansky TIP would be a
Dutch priority during their priority, building upon their
strong TIP record as OCSE chair. The Dutch police TIP team
is already developing a Joint Investigation Team with
certain EU members to target Bulgarian traffickers.

- Recognizing the importance of victim protection, Dutch
government increased funding for women's shelters (open to
Dutch and non-Dutch TIP victims) in 2004. Police and
prosecutors received additional training on dealing with TIP
victims and informing them of their rights and the
assistance available to them. The government is revising
its rules to permit TIP victims to work while in B-9 status.

- The "Ama" problem has largely been resolved.

- The government continued its no tolerance policy with high
profile investigations, prosecutions and convictions of
lover boys and traffickers. Prosecutors and police are
increasingly focusing on targeting the profits from

4. The Dutch government remains politically committed to
combating trafficking in persons and has a sustainable,
broad based action plan to achieve results. We look forward
to working with the Dutch to build on these achievements
domestically and internationally.


Part 2 - Overview


A-1. The Netherlands is both a destination and transit
country for international trafficking in persons (TIP),
mostly women and girls for the purpose of sexual
exploitation, although some labor trafficking occurs.
Trafficking victims are also "recruited" internally by so-
called "lover boys," primarily Moroccan or Turkish young
men/boys living in the Netherlands, who seduce young, mostly
immigrant girls into prostitution. The problem with the
disappearances of single underage asylum seekers (AMA's)
mentioned in previous reports has been almost completely
resolved thanks to tighter immigration regulations and
controls and security at refugee centers.

A-2. The Netherlands has an advantage in the difficult task
of obtaining accurate numbers on TIP victims in the
Netherlands. The Bureau of the National Rapporteur for
Trafficking in Persons (NRM - "National Rapporteur") is a
government-supported independent voice focusing only on the
TIP issue. It consults the broadest range of people (from
police to NGOs to victims), has access to the greatest
number of information sources and uses the most scientific
methods in reaching its conclusions. It estimates about 20%
of the 25-30,000 prostitutes in country in 2000 were
trafficking victims (at least 3,500 persons - the NRM's
third annual report containing the most recent TIP figures
is not yet published). There is no agreement on numbers
within the NGO community however, with one NGO putting its
estimate as high as 80%.

A-3. The Dutch Foundation against Trafficking in Women
(STV), which is the national reporting center for
registration of and assistance to TIP victims in the
Netherlands, registered 343 TIP victims in 2002, compared to
284 in 2001. Of these, about 12 percent were underage

B. According to the STV, 170 came from Central and Eastern
Europe, 105 from Africa, 21 from Western Europe, 13 from
Asia, 11 from Latin America, and six from the Middle East
(17 had an unknown origin). The top five originating
countries in 2002 were Bulgaria (59), Nigeria (45), Romania
(22), the Netherlands (18), and Russia (16). For 2003, the
STV registered 257 victims (a 25-percent decrease from 2002
numbers), of whom 134 were from Central and Eastern Europe,
64 from Africa, 16 each from Latin America and Asia, and 13
from the Netherlands. Of the 257, 20 were under 18 years.
The top five originating countries in 2003 were Bulgaria
(47), Romania (32), Nigeria (22), Russia (15), and Brazil

C-1. The STV attributes the drop in reported victims to a
new registration system that became operational in 2003 and
enables it to keep more accurate records (diminishing
possibility of double counting). It is also true that in
2003, the government and the public showed a much greater
awareness of the problem of internal trafficking,
particularly the "lover boy" method, and began several
studies and awareness campaigns to define and tackle the
causes of this primarily psychological form of enslavement
into prostitution. According to the national TIP
prosecutor, about 25 percent of investigations in 2002
related to internal trafficking.

C-2. The new STV registration system also allows STV to
categorize more details of reported victims - such as their
legal residency status. STV urges caution when relying upon
its numbers, however, because not all victims are reported
to it. For example, everyone does not yet know STV's
function as a national referral center. According to the
STV, there was more focus on youth prostitution in 2003.
However, youth organizations do not sufficiently recognize
these young prostitutes as possible TIP victims. They
appear to consider them more as victims of prostitution.
So, they do not necessarily report victims to STV.

D. The NRM, set up in April 2000, is an independent
government agency, led by a judge with a staff of two
analysts. It receives about 500,000 dollars per year from
five different ministries (Justice, Internal Affairs,
Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs, and Health). NRM
published its first annual report in May 2002, followed by a
second in January 2003. Publication of the third report has
been delayed to spring 2004. Funding for the NRM has been
guaranteed through 2004 and future funding will be discussed
in Parliament in spring 2004.

E. According to the reports by the NRM and police,
practically all trafficked women are forced to work in the
illegal prostitution sector.

E-1. There are no data about other forms of labor, but a
study by the Social Affairs Ministry's Labor Inspection
(published in January 2004) showed that more than 18 percent
of the 654 agricultural and horticultural companies
inspected in 2002 were employing illegal immigrants. They,
however, were not considered TIP victims. According to the
Ministry, 101 companies were officially charged, and 18
received warnings. Most of the illegal laborers came from
EU accession countries, such as Poland and the Czech
Republic. The Social Affairs Ministry will raise the number
of labor inspectors in 2004 by 80 to 180 in an effort to
fight illegal labor. In addition, in September 2003, the
government submitted a bill to parliament enabling labor
inspectors to penalize employers hiring illegal workers
directly. Currently, violations of the Labor Law are
punishable only by criminal sanctions. The maximum civil
fine under the pending legislation will be 45,000 euros.
The bill is still awaiting parliamentary approval. In
January 2004, Immigration Minister Verdonk announced that
families who make their au pairs work longer than 30 hours a
week can expect a substantial fine and a five-year ban on
employing au pairs. Research showed many host families do
not keep to the regulations with girls often performing
heavy duties, which is not permitted.

E-2. The 2002 NRM report shows exploiters have many ways to
control their victims and keep them from contacting the
police or counseling agencies. These include:

- threat of or actual violence, rape and/or ill-treatment;
- threat of or actual violence against the victim's family;
- coercion by debt bonding;
- withholding of money for a return ticket and seizure of
identification papers;
- confinement of victims at their workplace;
- constant monitoring and prohibition of any contacts with
family or friends;
- tattooing of victims, especially in the case of "lover
boys," as a sign of "ownership";
- Sale of the victim, or threat of sale to another pimp;
- instilling fear of police, justice and victim support
- forced use of alcohol and drugs; and
- voodoo practices in the case of victims from Africa,
particularly Nigeria and Malawi.

F. TIP victims are recruited both domestically, in the case
of "lover boys," and internationally.. The victims of
"lover boys" are mostly underage girls and young women of
Moroccan and Turkish descent. The internal and external
lines are blurred in the case of EU member countries and EU
accession countries where there are numerous legal work and
residency arrangements. According to the national TIP
prosecutor, most TIP victims are legally resident in the
Netherlands. The national prosecutor described traffickers
as primarily engaged in small networks, involving
independent and interchangeable entrepreneurs, not highly
organized and institutionalized. Despite this "small
network" characterization, both the national prosecutor and
the national police TIP team leader believe there is
substantial money made from trafficking and intend to focus
law enforcement efforts on tracking and denying these

G-I. The Dutch government is making serious and sustained
efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons.
At the same time, the media keeps this issue at the
forefront of public awareness and encourages government and
NGO efforts to work against TIP. There are no resource or
legal limitations on the government's ability to address the
problem in terms of prevention, protection and prosecution,
other than the continuous balancing of priorities in tight
budgetary times. There is adequate police funding (the
total number of police involved in TIP cases is mentioned in
Prosecution paras F-G), and the government subsidizes many
Dutch and foreign NGOs working with trafficking victims (see
below). The STV receives about 375,000 dollars per year
from the Ministries of Health, Welfare and Sports and
Justice for its basic organization - and much more for its
programs and projects; the National Rapporteur receives
about 500,000 dollars per year from the Justice and other
Ministries. Regional governments fund shelters, victim
protection programs and local education programs.
Anecdotally, these are more than adequate while actual
funding statistics are not available.

There are no reports of government officials' involvement in
or tolerance of trafficking activities, nor are there any
other reports of corruption in this area.

J. All anti-trafficking efforts are monitored and assessed
by the National Rapporteur.

K. Prostitution for individuals 18 years of age and older
is legal and regulated. In October 2000, Article 250a of
the Dutch criminal code was amended to strengthen penalties
on forms of organized prostitution involving violence,
misuse of power, deception and the exploitation of minors
(under 18). At the same time, the general ban on brothels
was lifted as a means to fight trafficking in persons. The
aim was to set up a licensing system for brothel operators
and improve working conditions for prostitutes, thereby
lowering the sector's susceptibility to crime, particularly
the victimization of prostitutes by pimps and traffickers.
An important additional factor was the belief the licensing
system would make the sector more transparent and easier for
the police to monitor. According to the national police TIP
team leader, the policy has been successful. As a result of
strict controls and licensing requirements, the sector has
become "cleaner and much more transparent . . . You no
longer find illegal aliens or TIP victims working in
brothels." The STV concluded legal prostitution had become
unattractive for illegal prostitutes, because of the strict
licensing criteria and most TIP victims were now found in
the illegal prostitution sectors: illegal escort services,
street walking and home prostitution. Government ministry
officials and parliamentarians support the experiment in
legalized prostitution for these reasons and state it is
still too early for a complete analysis of success or
Clients who knowingly engage prostitutes who are TIP victims
can be prosecuted under trafficking and vice laws (for
benefiting from a criminal activity), but there have been no
prosecutions of this type due to the difficulties in proving
prior knowledge of the prostitute's status as a TIP victim
by the client.

In December 2003, Amsterdam closed its specially designated
street-walking zone for prostitutes (distinct from
prostitutes working from licensed brothels and windows).
The Hague has limited the hours of its street-walking zone
as of October 2003 and will close it down completely in

2005. Rotterdam has also proposed closing down its zone as
well in 2005. According to the cities' mayors, the zones,
originally intended as places where drug-addicted
prostitutes only could work (and get some protection and
assistance), had become too busy with other women, mostly
from Eastern Europe, who often were illegal and/or suspected
TIP victims. Amsterdam Mayor Cohen said he no longer wanted
to "lend a helping hand" to criminals.

L. There is no practice of buying or selling child brides
in the Netherlands. A few years ago the Cabinet proposed
raising the age at which marriage candidates from foreign
countries are allowed access in the Netherlands from 18 to
21 years. That legislation is still pending. The increase
in age is meant to curb the inflow of young brides and
grooms from Morocco and Turkey.




A. The Dutch government recognizes the seriousness of TIP
crimes in the Netherlands and considers trafficking in
people a flagrant and unacceptable violation of human
rights. High-priority government measures include support
for the National Rapporteur's office, a more aggressive
prosecution policy and extensive law enforcement (judges,
prosecutors and police) training to identify and protect
victims, as well as closer international cooperation and
significant funding for foreign TIP programs.

B. The Ministries of Justice, Internal Affairs, Foreign
Affairs, Health and Welfare, and Social Affairs and the
Bureau of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons
(NRM) are involved in anti-trafficking efforts.

C. The Dutch government attaches great importance to
information and education campaigns, particularly aimed at
building up the defense and self-esteem of young people in
situations of (sexual) abuse of power, including abuse by
"lover boys." These "defense courses" (Marietje Kessels
courses), financed by the Justice Ministry, were initially
meant for elementary schools. A similar curriculum has been
developed for high schools in the context of the Justice
Ministry's Stimulation Scheme for Crime Prevention. In
addition, the Amsterdam-based "Scarlet Cord" organization is
giving prevention lessons in schools throughout the country
in the context of its "Beware of Lover Boys" project.
Similar local initiatives are described in the manual on
"Prevention of and Assistance to Girl Prostitution," which
has been widely distributed among Dutch municipalities. The
manual was published in the context of the National Action
Plan on Sexual Abuse of Children, which is coordinated by
the Justice Ministry. In January 2004, Justice Minister
Donner indicated willingness to subsidize a national
expertise center aimed at combating the "lover boy" problem.

At the end of 2003, the Second Chamber of the Dutch
Parliament adopted a resolution asking the government to
start a national awareness-raising campaign among
prostitutes, which should include a central (stepping-out)
phone line for prostitutes having questions about
assistance, etc. Justice Minister Donner promised the
Chamber an inventory of existing campaigns and of witness
protection programs in the first half of 2004. The Justice
and Health Ministries also subsidized information campaigns
by the "Red Thread" Foundation, an NGO that defends the
interests of prostitutes.

In January 2004, Justice Minister Donner started the nation-
wide "anonymous crime reporting" hotline after a similar
experiment in five police regions proved successful.
Although most tips concerned drug trafficking, people also
reported (alleged) cases of trafficking.

In order to fight (child) sex tourism, the Dutch Foreign
Ministry's website includes travel information warning
tourists of this problem. Moreover, the National Travel
Agents' Association (in which 90 percent of all Dutch travel
agencies participate) together with ECPAT Netherlands have
developed a travel agency "code of conduct" against
trafficking as well as public awareness campaigns aimed at
Dutch tourists and travel agencies, which are meant
primarily to combat sexual exploitation of children. In
addition, the Netherlands has participated in the Interpol
"specialists group on crimes against children" since 1992.
The Public Morality Act penalizes Dutch nationals in the
Netherlands, who abuse minor children in foreign countries,
even if the offense is not a crime in the country where it
took place. See below for a recent prosecution under this

D-1. The Dutch government supports domestic and foreign
programs promoting the empowerment of women. Dutch
embassies in countries of origin try to warn women who are
potential victims of trafficking by working through foreign
NGO's and the IOM. Moreover, the Dutch government attempts
to prevent trafficking by carrying out projects that aim to
foster economic self-reliance among women in developing
countries with which the Netherlands has bilateral
assistance programs. "Gender mainstreaming" is an important
aspect of Dutch foreign policy. Following are some projects
to prevent trafficking in persons funded from the Dutch
Foreign Ministry's development cooperation budget:
-- The "La Strada" program for the prevention of trafficking
in women in Central and Eastern Europe. The money is
channeled via the STV to NGOs in 12 Central and Eastern
European countries. The Netherlands committed about USD 1.5
million to the project's second phase (2001-2004).

-- Albania: The "TIR Anti-Trafficking Campaign" and the
"TIR IOM Reintegration" projects. Total contribution: Over
USD one million. Implementing agency: IOM.

-- Armenia: The "Capacity Building Support and Victim
Assistance" project. Contribution: USD 305,000.
Implementing agency: UNDP/UMCOR.

-- Bulgaria: The "Capacity Building and Program
Development" project and the "Crisis Counseling and Social
Rehabilitation"/continuation of the Bulgarian TIP project.
Implementing agency: Dutch co-financing organization Novib.

-- Croatia: The "Prevention of Trafficking in Women and
Children" project. Contribution: 10,000 euros (large part
of the total budget is financed by USAID). Implementing
agency: IOM.

-- Latvia: "Youth Workers Education on Prevention of Human
Trade." Contribution: 1,534 euros. Implementing agency:
Valmiera Youth Support Fund.

-- Lithuania: "Prevention of Trafficking in Women in
Lithuania: Interactive Consultations via Internet and
Telephone." Contribution: 11,183 euros.

-- Macedonia: "SKO IOM Trafficking/Victims." Contribution:
478,146 euros. Implementing agency: IOM.

-- Ukraine: "Creating Videoclip: National Toll Free Hotline
for Prevention of Trafficking." Contribution: 1,759 euros.
Implementing agency: La Strada Ukraine.

-- Poland: "Child Prostitution" project. Contribution:
6,210 euros. Implementing agency: Pro-ECPAT.

-- Romania: "TIP Prevention through Student Campaign."
Contribution: 9,610 euros. Implementing agency: FAM-Net

-- Serbia and Montenegro: Several projects including the
"Referral and Counseling Center" (109,000 euros - OSCE);
capacity building program at Social Affairs Ministry, Serbia
(USD 440,000 - UNDP); the "Montenegro Democratization"
project (47,750 euros - OCSE); the "Open your Eyes" project
(49,497 euros - ASTRA, local NGO); and the "Network of Trust
to Fight Gender" (48,945 euros - Incest Trauma Center, local

-- In Cambodia, the Netherlands finances several projects:

USD 645,969 to the "Law Enforcement against Child
Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking" (LEASEC) project,
a cooperation initiative of UNICEF with the Cambodian
EUR 589,914 to the UNDP/Netherlands Partnership for
Gender Equity;
USD 300,000 to Licadho, an NGO that fights sexual
exploitation of children;
USD 450,000 to Adhoc, an NGO that protects human
USD 450,000 to Legal Aid Cambodia.

In addition, the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, which covers four
countries (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Burma), contributes
to the PKP ODA programs in relation to anti-trafficking
efforts in Cambodia and Laos; to Healthcare Center for
children in Phnom Penh; to the Cambodia Prostitute
Collective; to a street children project in Phnom Penh, to
the Cow Bank for the Handicapped in Pailin, which aims at
raising community awareness concerning the issue of
trafficking; and to a pilot project aimed at commercial
sexual exploitation of children implemented by Sihanoukville
Response Network.

-- The Foreign Ministry contributes some USD 500,000 to the
Esperanza Foundation in the Netherlands for the prevention
(over a multi-year period) of trafficking in women in

-- The Netherlands annually contributes to the UN Women Fund
(UNIFEM). Its 2002 commitment was about USD 4 million and
USD 3 million in 2003.

The Netherlands is also tackling the problem in partnership
with other EU member-states.

D-2. In the Netherlands, education is compulsory for boys
and girls between the ages of 5 and 16. Participation in
education beyond compulsory school age has shown a
progressive rise in recent years, especially among women.
As a result, women around the age of 18 are now actually
"over-represented" in full-time education.

E. Yes, the Dutch government actively supports prevention
programs (see above) even in times of budgetary restraints.

F. There is a close relationship between government
officials, NGOs and other relevant organizations on the
trafficking issue. Private-public partnerships are a common
feature of Dutch society in this and many other fields. The
national and local governments provide much of the financial
support for TIP NGOs throughout the country.

G. Under the Schengen agreement, the Netherlands has opened
up its borders with neighboring EU countries. In addition,
its central geographical position and role as a major air
and sea transfer nexus make it difficult to monitor all
Dutch borders, but the Dutch commit major resources and
priority to this issue. The Royal Military Police (Kmar) is
responsible for border controls. The Dutch Immigration and
Naturalization Service (IND) monitors immigration flows.
Dutch law enforcement agencies respond appropriately (and
have engaged in TIP training this past year) should there be
any evidence of trafficking. The National Rapporteur
monitors these immigration patterns and includes them in her

H. The Netherlands has an interdepartmental working-group
on TIP representing experts from the Ministries of Foreign
Affairs, Interior, Justice, Health and Welfare, and Social
Affairs. The NRM acts as a mechanism for coordination and
communication. The Rapporteur reports annually to the
government on the nature and extent of TIP, latest
developments and the effects of policy. The NRM advises the
government on how to improve the TIP fight and prevention
methods. In 1999, the Dutch police set up the "Prostitution
and Trafficking in Persons Project Group," which brings
together representatives of all police regions as well as
the national police, the Royal Military police and the
national TIP prosecutor. A steering group including the
NRM, the mayor of The Hague, and the national prosecutor
monitors this police project. The Netherlands also has a
public corruption task force.

I. The Dutch government actively participates in
multinational and international working groups and efforts
to prevent, monitor and control trafficking. It placed the
topic high on the agenda of the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which the Dutch chaired in
2003, and successfully shepherded through an Action Plan on
TIP, establishing a mechanism to combat TIP. In addition,
the Netherlands currently chairs the Council of Europe
(November 03-May 04), and one of its priorities is be the
draft European trafficking convention. According to the
Foreign Ministry, TIP will also be a priority for the Dutch
EU presidency in the second half of 2004. The Dutch
government has close ties with Europol, which is
headquartered in The Hague.

J. The annual reports by the Rapporteur and its
recommendations are considered the national action plan of
the Dutch government to address trafficking in persons. The
Rappporteur consults widely in preparing her reports -with
government agencies and officials and with the law
enforcement officers, NGOs, victims and academics. The
reports are presented to and discussed in Parliament. They
are available over the internet and copies provided to
anyone who is interested. In addition, the Dutch government
published a national plan of action to fight sexual abuse of
children in April 2000.

K. The National Rapporteur - see H.


Investigation and prosecution of traffickers


A-1. Article 250a of the Dutch criminal code defines as
punishable offences:

-- forcing another person to engage in prostitution by means
of violence, or by means of the threat of force or another
act of violence, or by abusing his or her authority ensuing
from an actual relationship, circumstance or by
misrepresentation, or who undertakes any action which he or
she knows or could reasonably suspect, may bring the other
to perform sexual acts;

-- inducing a minor to engage in prostitution;

-- recruiting, abducting or taking a person to engage in
prostitution in another country (pursuant to the 1933
international convention for the suppression of the traffic
in women of full age);

-- receiving income from prostitution involving a minor or a
person forced to engage in prostitution;

-- forcing another person to surrender income from

A-2. On November 12, 2003, Justice Minister Donner
submitted to the Second Chamber of Parliament the "bill on
smuggling and trafficking in persons" to bring Dutch law in
line with other international treaties. The bill expands
the definition of people trafficking to all forms of modern
slavery and the removal of human organs. It defines
exploitation as "exploitation of another in prostitution,
other forms of sexual exploitation, forced or compulsory
labor or services, slavery and practices that can be
compared to slavery or bondage." Exploitation of minors,
defined as people under 18, is always punishable, even if
there is no coercion. The bill raises the maximum penalty
for all types of trafficking to 12 years in case of serious
physical injury and 15 years in case of death, which is
commensurate with penalties for other grave crimes (i.e.,
rape). The bill currently is in the final stages of the
customary legislative process and passage is expected. The
Justice Ministry anticipates the new legislation will be in
place by June 2004.

A-3. In addition to the anti-trafficking law, the
Netherlands also has national legislation penalizing slave
trade and abduction, as well as strict labor laws. Taken
together, these laws are fully adequate to cover the full
scope of trafficking in persons. In addition, this year, a
district court in Heerlen used public nuisance ordinance to
fine a man for driving slowly through the streets asking
streetwalkers for their prices. The appeals court upheld
the decision.

B. The current maximum sentence for trafficking in persons
is six years. In cases involving minors, severe physical
violence or organized trafficking, the maximum sentence is
ten years. The pending legislation raises these penalties
to a maximum of 15 years.

C-1. Article 242 of the criminal code says any person who
by means of violence or other means or threat of violence or
other means, compels another person to submit to an act
which includes or constitutes physical penetration, shall be
guilty of rape and liable to a term of imprisonment not
exceeding 12 years and/or a fifth-category fine (15 years in
the case of death). Similar penalties are set forth for
serious trafficking offenses in the pending legislation.

C-2. Article 246 of the criminal code says any person who
compels another person to commit or submit to an indecent
act, by means of violence or the threat of violence or any
other means, shall be guilty of indecent assault and liable
to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 8 years and/or a
fifth-category fine, 12 years in the case of serious
physical injury, and 15 years in the case of death.

D. There is an active investigation and prosecution policy
against traffickers. Some examples of successful recent
investigations/prosecutions include:

-- In February 2004, the Rotterdam court convicted three
"lover boys" to maximum prison sentences of 3.5 years;

-- In October 2003, the Dutch police arrested a Dutchman for
sexual abuse of minors in Gambia committed between 1999 and

2002. Prosecutors are still investigating the case;

-- In November 2003, 200 police officers searched 18
premises throughout the country in a major investigation and
disruption of a child porn network. Seven arrested suspects
are accused or producing and distributing child porn and
organizing sex trips to other countries. The investigation

-- Since January 2003, the Supra-Regional Police Team
"Haaglanden-Hollands Midden" has been investigating a major
case against a group of Bulgarians and a Dutchman suspected
of having trafficked at least 10 Bulgarian women to the
Netherlands, who were put to work as prostitutes;
-- In a separate case, in November 2003, the Alkmaar court
imposed a three-year sentence on the two main Bulgarian
suspects of a people trafficking network. The group of five
men and one woman were found guilty of forcing Bulgarian
women into prostitution;

-- In July 2003, the Breda district court sentenced the
female manager of a sex club to 18 months in prison. The
woman was accused of having smuggled at least 14 women from
Eastern Europe into the Netherlands and forced them to work
as prostitutes.

Unfortunately, the latest data on prosecutions and
convictions will not be available until the publication of
the National Rapporteur's third annual report later this
spring. We will forward the latest statistics as soon as
they are available. In addition to the National
Rapporteur's report, the Police Monitor of the National
Project Group on Prostitution and Trafficking in Persons
will also not publish its information before this
submission's March 1 deadline. This means, for the time
being, we have only last year's data:

The number of completed police investigations into TIP, that
were sent to the public prosecutor's office, rose from 25 in
2000 to 48 in 2001 (latest available statistics), of which
36 were transnational cases and 12 were domestic. The
number of suspects rose from 129 in 2000 to 142 in 2001.
The average duration of a police investigation in 2001 was
six months.

A data analysis shows that in the period 1995 through 2001
some 892 TIP cases were registered with public prosecutors.
In 2001, there were 132 cases, of which 27 related to
underage victims. This compares to 138 and 36,
respectively, in 2000. In the period 1995 through 2001
Dutch courts settled 516 TIP cases (primary charges). Below
follows a survey of the settlements by the prosecution and
courts as compiled by the National Rapporteur. Note that,
as settlements may have taken place in a later year than the
year of registration with the public prosecution, the
distinction made so far by year (of registration) in the
tables relating to settlements, is no longer used:

1998 1999 2000 2001





Settled by the public prosecution
Total number of cases: 105 139 99 163
of which:
--summoned 57 84 77 103
--dismissed 44 45 17 46
--other (settlement) 4 10 5 14

Settled by the court 63 63 84 86
of which:
--convicted 56 52 71 75
--acquitted 3 6 11 7
--other verdicts 4 5 2 4

The sentences imposed varied from two weeks to 10 years.
The average (unconditional) imprisonment of cases with a
single TIP offense was 17.2 months; the average for multiple-
offense cases was 34 months. In the Netherlands two-thirds
of a sentence are usually serviced, except for very serious
forms of crime. The Netherlands doesn't have a plea
bargaining system.

E. A 2001 police investigation showed that almost half of
arrested suspects were of Dutch nationality, but most of
them were born outside the Netherlands. Proportionately,
many suspects came from (former) Yugoslavia, Albania,
Nigeria, and, to a lesser extent, Ghana. A majority of
suspects of domestic trafficking were of Moroccan origin.
Reports by public prosecutors also mentioned suspects from
Bulgaria, Turkey and Russia. According to the police, the
percentage of suspects illegally residing in the Netherlands
is rising rapidly. About 75 percent of suspects arrested in
2001 belonged to a criminal network. These networks are
mostly small interchangeable networks with branches
throughout Europe. Some 58 percent of police investigations
in 2001 involved criminal networks, 25 percent individuals
and 17 percent "isolated criminal groups." Of the suspects
arrested in 2001, 12 percent were sex club operators.
According to police estimates, average profits per suspect
amounted to some 210,000 euros in 2001. However, the figure
is not representative for profits of an average trafficker.
The national TIP prosecutor and national police TIP team
leader indicate there is a new investigation and prosecution
strategy focusing on attacking the profits of trafficking.
In 14 percent of TIP investigations in 2001, victims have
sought compensation through a judge.

F. The Dutch Justice Ministry, public prosecutors and the
police actively investigate trafficking cases. The police
use the full array of investigative tools available to them:
electronic surveillance, telephone tapping, undercover
agents and sting operations. According to the police, Dutch
law allows mitigated punishment for cooperating suspects
only in highly exceptional cases, but not in trafficking
cases. Use of criminal informers is not allowed in the
Netherlands, except in serious terrorism cases. All 25
regional police forces have established units with special
expertise to combat trafficking in persons. Regional and
national police experts have set up a regular plan for
cooperation and consultations. In addition, the national
police service has a four-person TIP team. The Netherlands
has a National Public Prosecutor especially charged with
coordinating efforts against trafficking, smuggling in
people and child pornography. This national TIP prosecutor
also leads the Trafficking in Persons unit, which is part of
the new National Crime Squad (Nationale Recherche) set up in
2003, adding more investigative resources. In addition to
the National Prosecutor, each regional prosecutor's office
has its own TIP prosecutor.

G. As set forth in the National Police Policy Plan, the
police pay special attention to TIP. In 1999, the police
set up the Prostitution and Trafficking in Human Beings
Project Group, in which all regional police forces are
represented. The project group has published a manual with
information on how to recognize TIP victims and investigate
TIP cases. Since the introduction of the new prostitution
act in October 2000 (legalizing brothels), police schools
have started special "prostitution control" courses, whereby
attention is paid to detection of and assistance to victims
of trafficking. According to the police, all 500 to 600
police officers engaged in TIP investigations received such
training. This has led to an increase in criminal
investigations as well as reports to the police. The police
have also developed a similar training module for public
prosecutors, which includes victim identification and
protection. The pilot program in September 2003, in which
some 20 prosecutors participated, proved successful and will
be continued this year.

According to the national police TIP team leader, the
stricter controls and licensing requirements of brothels
have been successful. These (legal) sex houses no longer
employ illegal aliens, minors or TIP victims. The police
have now started to target the illegal sector, such as
illegal escort services, with several high-profile
investigations in 2003. The police have developed a new
plan of action, which includes measures such as sting
operations and restrictions on advertising by escort
services. The national police TIP leader has also made use
of the media to send strong messages about enforcement
efforts in this area.

H. The Dutch government cooperates closely with other
governments on this issue. The Balkenende government
intends to make TIP a priority issue during the Dutch EU
Presidency in the second half of this year. The Dutch are
already in the process of forming a ground-breaking Joint
Investigation Team (JIT) under the new EU MLAT with Belgium,
the UK, Germany and Europol targeting Bulgarian traffickers.
Chief police commissioner Jan Wiarda, who will be the police
coordinator during the Dutch EU Presidency, leads the
negotiations. The JIT, which is expected to be in place by
April 2004, will include repatriation, reintegration and
prevention components. Under the PHARE Program for EU
association countries, the Netherlands (and the UK) will
assist the Czech Republic in combating TIP. This
assistance, under the EU's Twinning Project, will include
all aspects of TIP. Turkey has also invited the UK and the
Netherlands for a similar twinning project, but this still
needs to be approved by the European Commission.

I. Yes, the Netherlands extradites persons charged with
trafficking, as long as there is a bilateral extradition
treaty with the requesting country. No such extradition
requests, however, have been received recently. In
September 2003, Justice Minister Donner sent a bill for
approval to the Second Chamber implementing the new European
arrest warrant. This will simplify and expedite extradition
procedures among EU member-countries.

J. There is no evidence of government involvement in or
tolerance of trafficking.

K. Not applicable.

L-1. The Netherlands signed and ratified ILO convention
182, 29 and 105.

L-2. The Netherlands signed the Optional Protocol on the
Sale of Children, supplementing the Rights of the Child
Convention in September 2000. Ratification is pending in
the Council of State awaiting passage of the new Dutch TIP

L-3. The Netherlands signed the Trafficking Protocol to the
UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime in
December 2000. Ratification is in the Council of State
awaiting passage of the new Dutch TIP legislation.


Protection and assistance to victims


A-1. In 1988, a special ruling was obtained under the Dutch
Aliens Law to prevent persons illegally residing in the
Netherlands, who may have become victims of trafficking,
from being deported before related investigations have been
carried out. Paragraph B-9 of the Aliens Law states that
"at the mere suspicion of trafficking, a victim will be
allowed time (three months) to consider pressing charges.
When the victim has done so, he/she will be allowed to stay
in the Netherlands legally until the whole juridical process
has been completed." During this period, the victim
receives legal, financial and psychological assistance.
He/she is entitled to a safe shelter, medical check-up and
social security benefits. This provision for trafficking
victims also applies to witnesses who are willing to testify
for the prosecution in trafficking cases. People in B-9
status are not allowed to work in the Netherlands, but in
November 2003, Immigration Minister Verdonk told Parliament
she and Labor Minister De Geus had agreed TIP victims in B-9
will be allowed "to participate in the regular labor process
(except for prostitution activities)," which is in line with
a draft EU directive. The new rule is expected to become
effective before summer 2004. STV is currently working with
government officials to draft appropriate language to permit
work and educational opportunities for B-9 participants.
In reaction to criticism by the National Rapporteur that
only five percent of TIP victims make use of the B-9
regulation, Minister Verdonk asked the Justice Ministry's
research center to study the bottlenecks and report by
spring 2004. She also improved the information flow about B-
9 procedures to all police and immigration officers via
newsletters, according to police and prosecution contacts,
in response to parliamentary criticism the alien police
deport illegal women who may be TIP victims too quickly
without pointing out to them the B-9 regulation. This
spring a meeting will be organized for experts involved in
this issue, including NGOs such as the STV, to improve
communication and coordination of B-9 procedures.

In addition to the proposed change in the B-9 procedure, the
STV has requested the Justice Ministry to increase
protection of TIP victims who are not/don't want to
participate in the B-9 program. The problem in the
Netherlands is that illegal aliens, including TIP victims
who are not in B-9, are not eligible for shelters, social
welfare and other assistance. The STV has asked the Justice
Ministry to adopt a social program for these victims similar
to one in Italy, which is aimed at providing time and
resources for reintegration and safe return.

In February 2004, the STV, together with the Dutch
Interchurch Development Cooperation Organization (ICCO),
organized an international conference of NGOs working with
TIP victims, which was funded by the Dutch government. The
outcome of this conference was to lobby the Dutch to use
their upcoming EU presidency (second half of 2004) to set
minimum standards in the EU for safe return and
reintegration of TIP victims. These harmonized standards
should include a first-risk assessment, shelter and training
possibilities. The participants agreed to make an inventory
of best practices of reintegration projects.

If a victim decides not to press charges after the three-
month period, the person must return to the country of
origin. Repatriation is arranged by the police or by the
immigration service, and the Justice Ministry pays for the
trip. For reasons of privacy, the victim's identity papers
do not show the reason for expulsion. Victims also have the
possibility to request a permanent residence permit on
humanitarian grounds. Over the past three years however,
only 28 such requests were made. A recognized cause of this
low rate is the requirement victims themselves prove the
risks associated with repatriation (although publicly
provided legal aid is available). Verdonk has now agreed
the government will work with victims, prosecutors and
(foreign) NGOs to collect evidence to support the claim.
The Dutch government (and public opinion) is reluctant to
give victims, who are in the B-9 program automatic,
permanent residence fearing it would attract illegal aliens
to the Netherlands. However, this spring Verdonk will
submit a more critical assessment of the risks of
repercussions to victims in their native countries.

The Netherlands has an extensive network of victim support
organizations. The STV is the national reporting/referral
center for registration of and assistance to TIP victims in
the Netherlands. The National Rapporteur has identified
some 155 organizations and pressure groups having connection
with victim support. In 2000, these organizations came into
contact with some 608 victims, of whom 470 were non-Dutch.
In the Netherlands, there are no separate shelters for TIP
victims. For reasons of safety, victims of household
violence and trafficking victims are put together. In 2004,
the Dutch government boosted its support for women's
shelters by 1.2 million euros, for a total of 45.9 million
euros. It will continue to add money to the regularly
budgeted amount, achieving a 4 million increase by 2007.
These extra funds will increase the capacity of these
shelters. According to the STV, there is a good
infrastructure of shelters, but more sustained funding is
needed. Voluntary HIV/Aids testing is offered, but results
are considered private information.

B. The Ministries of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and of
Justice subsidize the STV and fund numerous specific
programs and projects in which STV and other NGOs
participate. Local governments fund most private
organizations. The government supports national and
international projects, such as the "La Strada" program for
the prevention of trafficking in women in Central and
Eastern Europe, and the European network of anti-trafficking
organizations. During his visit to the La Strada
organization in Warsaw, Poland in October 2003, PM
Balkenende reconfirmed political support for La Strada's
activities and continued funding. In September 2003,
Minister Verdonk opened a shelter for single underage asylum
seekers (Ama's) in Angola. The shelter is for Angolan youth
who have been denied refugee status in the Netherlands and
are repatriated. The shelter, paid for with Dutch aid
funds, is a joint project of the Foreign Affairs and Justice
Ministries and was built by the IOM. If the shelter program
proves successful, Verdonk intends to set up similar
shelters or orphanages in other countries, e.g., Togo,
Congo, Somalia, China and Afghanistan.

C. As soon as the police have any suspicion of trafficking,
the victims must be informed of their eligibility for B-9
status (noted above), meaning they would be given three
months to consider pressing charges, during which period
they are not detained, jailed or deported. During the
initial three months and the criminal proceedings, the
victim (whether legal or illegal, of Dutch, EU or third
country nationality) has access to shelters and social
services. The victim is granted a temporary residence
permit for the duration of the criminal proceedings.
Victims are not fined or prosecuted for violations of other

D-F. The focus of national policy is twofold: (1) encourage
victims to press criminal charges; and (2) give witnesses
the best possible protection. It is often difficult for
victims to press charges, given the risks of being harmed
upon their return home and the financial cost of abandoning
their source of income. According to the national TIP
prosecutor, prosecutors have a serious interest in victim
protection, because their case is always better served if
victims give statements in courts and participate in
prosecution. A problem in protecting witnesses is that
victims often do not want to give up their identity and go
into witness protection. Despite complex procedures to hide
victim identities, there is fear the traffickers will
discover their police cooperation and retaliate against them
or their families. According to police and prosecutors,
these obstacles have led them to have a greater focus on
informing victims right at the beginning about their rights,
social services, the legal process, etc. A study by the
Clara Wichman Institute (2003), however, shows the problem
of victims or witnesses being threatened is non-existent in
the Netherlands, and, according to Justice Minister Donner,
the Netherlands has sufficient possibilities to offer

According to the national TIP prosecutor, TIP victims can
file a civil action in the Netherlands for simple damages in
connection with a criminal case. In fact, the judge in the
criminal case can sentence the perpetrator and collect the
money for the victim for material and immaterial damages

G. The police and prosecutors provide specialized training
to help law enforcement officials, including judges, to
identify and assist trafficked victims. STV and other NGOs
also sponsor specialized training to social workers and
educators to assist TIP victims. Dutch diplomatic missions
carry out prevention projects and work closely with foreign
NGOs that assist trafficked women.

H. Not applicable.

I. The STV, set up in 1987, is the national expertise
center. It is an independent organization offering social
support, legal advice, medical aid, safe shelters and
psychosocial counseling to victims of trafficking. The STV
has developed regional networks of relief services for
trafficked victims. It also provides training and
information programs. The STV was one of the initiators of
the "La Strada" program. In addition, the National
Rapporteur has identified about 155 organizations that give
support to victims. Several organizations have set up
special projects to help underage TIP victims, such as the
Christian "Scarlet Cord" organization working in Amsterdam's
red-light district. Another Dutch NGO is the "Working
Group of the Devout against Trafficking in Women," which
tries to warn women in 60 foreign countries of the dangers
of trafficking by distributing informational brochures. In
the larger Dutch cities, municipal services and local police
have set up special projects to assist victims of
trafficking. For example, Dutch NGOs Humanitas Rotterdam
and Novib have started the "Bonded Labor in the Netherlands"
(BLIN) project, offering care to victims both at home and