Netherlands

Context

How is it possible that human trafficking and forced prostitution of young girls is so common in  the Netherlands? We are astonished. What is happening in our own backyard is a serious problem. That is why we are committed to fight against human trafficking and the prostitution of young girls in The Netherlands. Numbers presented by the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children showed that in 2014, 1.561 victims of human trafficking were registered. Of these 1.561, 84% were female and 486 victims had a Dutch nationality. Out of all the Dutch victims, 145 were minors. It is important to remember that these numbers represent the registered victims, which only provide us a vague image of the actual, dark numbers. Another trend observed in preceding years is that the majority of human trafficking victims are exploited in the sex industry.

Causes

There are many cases of loverboys and lovergirls: a new category of pimps’ who lure Dutch girls (from the age of 12) into prostitution and into an invisible branch of prostitution that occurs in private houses and escort services.

The girls that are trafficked to the Netherlands from abroad are typically from Romania (14%), Hungary (10%) and Bulgaria (6%). In addition to these countries, many girls originate from West African countries. Some of these girls are forced into prostitution in the Red Light District. In particular, minor girls disappear into the invisible circuit of prostitution.

Projects

  • Free a Girl supports a partner organisation that offers legal assistance to minor, foreign victims of trafficking and prostitution
  • Free a Girl carries out awareness campaigns to ensure that human trafficking and forced prostitution of young girls is placed on the agenda, but also demands the media to accurately inform the general public.