Warning signs of sexual abuse/human trafficking

The following signals could determine that sex trafficking (forced prostitution) could be occurring:

Below is a list of possible signs that sexual abuse/human trafficking is taking place (the list is not exhaustive):

  • When the travel arrangements and visa requests were not made by the person herself;
  • When the person concerned is lacking travel documents;
  • When they have a false passport or one which was falsified by a trafficker;
  • Illegal stay or arrival can play a role (though not necessarily). Certain victims of sex trafficking have legal residence (or became illegally resident for over-staying a permit) despite having legally entered The Netherlands, initially;
  • When the person concerned is not able to freely manage her own earnings;
  • When healthcare is not sought on behalf of the victim;
  • When the person concerned is forced to pay an exorbitant amount for her travels (sometimes with a steep interest rate) before she can even budget and spend her earnings, with no prospect of leaving the commercial sex industry;
  • The payment of the victim of sex trafficking receives differs from what a legal prostitute would earn under Dutch Law;
  • An obligation to earn a minimum amount of money per day, to benefit an exploiter or a third party;
  • The operator (exploiter) (someone who runs a business from sexual trafficking or connected to those who will gain financially from sexual trafficking) has a purchase price paid for the person concerned and/or is paid a portion of the victim’s earnings (or sometimes even pays a portion of the victim’s earnings) to third parties;
  • Blackmailing or threatening family in the country of origin;
  • Poor economic conditions and/or dependency by the family in the country of origin on the earnings made here;
  • Being forced to work under all sorts of conditions and for disproportionately long hours;
  • Threatened by the use of violence, and showing signs of physical abuse (for example, bruised skin);
  • Being placed at varying locations to undertake sexual work. (Traffickers frequently utilize this method of divergent placement of victims, especially those who are foreign and thus require additional supervision);
  • Fear of getting deported/ thrown out of The Netherlands;
  • Limited freedom of movement (for example not being allowed to go out on their own for an extended period of time, or constantly being watched or accompanied by a guard;
  • Requesting visa on behalf of several other people;
  • Obtaining guarantees for several visa applicants even though only a few are utilized;
  • Excessive cash flow.

 The aforesaid signals are not exhaustive. Even when sexual trafficking appears voluntary, one should also look for the above signs, as well as the following ones:

  • The victim has worked as a prostitute before;
  • The person concerned knew beforehand that she would be working as a prostitute;
  • The victim wishes to return to prostitution even if it has been discovered that she is a victim of sex trafficking.

Report

You can report a case of human trafficking (forced prostitution) with the Moral police (department of sexual offenses) 0900-8844 or you can report anonymously with the special phone line: Report a Crime Anonymously 0800-7000.