Human trafficking and exploitation

Are you, or someone you know, being forced to work as a prostitute against your will?
Ask for help!

Forced labour
Are you being forced to work as a prostitute against your will and are you being exploited?
This can be the case for you when, for example, one of the following is applicable:

  • You have to do work other than the work you were promised.
  • You are a prostitute and you are younger than 18 (will be raised to 21).
  • You are forced to work as a prostitute, for example by someone who has made the arrangements for you or by a 'loverboy'.
  • The person for whom you work threatens to report you to the authorities because you are an illegal resident in the Netherlands.
  • Your passport or travel documents have been confiscated by someone.You are compelled to pay all or a large part of your earnings to someone else.
  • You must work even when you are ill.
  • You have to repay a large debt to the person whom you are working for.
  • You cannot decide where you work or stay.
  • You continually work in different locations and often don't know where you are.
  • You may not travel between your home and your place of work on your own.
  • You may not go shopping or buy your clothes on your own.
  • You or a member of your family are being mishandled, blackmailed or threatened.
  • You work in poor working conditions.
  • You are forced to have unsafe sex.
  • You are forced to carry out certain sexual acts.
  • You cannot refuse clients.
  • You have to work long hours (more than 8 hours without a break).
  • You can take a break only once you have earned a minimum amount or had a minimum number of clients.

Is one or more of the above applicable to you, or to someone you know? if so, you (or he or she) could be a victim of human trafficking and exploitation.
Don’t let this happen – get help!

Where can you get help?
The social workers in your town can help you get into contact with the Human Trafficking Coordination Centre (CoMensha). This independent foundation organises the provision of shelter for victims of exploitation and human trafficking. Everything you say will be treated in confidence.
E-mail: info@comensha.nl or call 033 – 448 11 86 (9 AM to 5 PM on Mondays to Fridays). You can obtain information in Dutch and English.

You can also seek help from the police (0900-8844).
You can trust the police in the Netherlands. The police also handle applications for residence permits.
Is it difficult for you to go to the police? If so, seek help from social workers: they can tell the police about your situation.

If you have information about exploitation or human trafficking but are afraid to contact the police you can submit an anonymous report to Meld Misdaad Anoniem, Report Crime Anonymously, 0800-7000.

What are your rights when you are a foreign victim?
Are you living or working illegally in the Netherlands and are you a victim of human trafficking and exploitation?
You can still report this to the police. You can then make use of the Dutch B8 Regulation.
You are then entitled to:

  • Three month's time to decide whether you want to report the situation. However, you will then already be able to cooperate, in a certain manner, in the investigation and prosecution of suspects. You will not be deported during these three months
  • A temporary residence permit when you file a report with the police and cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of the suspects. You receive this residence permit for the time required to investigate, prosecute and try the suspects
  • Shelter, a benefit and medical aid during the period of your legal stay in the Netherlands.
  • You also have the right to work in the Netherlands during the period in which your residence permit is valid.


Important points

  • Do you still have your passport? Make sure that you always have your passport and that you keep it in a place where you can always get it.
  • Try not to be dependent on the owner for accommodation. Make sure that you always have an address where you can go if necessary.


Watch out for 'loverboys'
You could also be the victim of a 'loverboy' – a pimp.
Loverboys (or pimps) are a well-known phenomenon in the Netherlands. When they first meet you they appear to have your best interests at heart – but their real objective is to exploit you. They charm you by showering you with gifts and attention and try to get you to fall in love with them. They then force you to become a prostitute, not just window prostitution or escort service work, but also at private homes. They also blackmail and threaten you to make sure that you are afraid to seek help or report the situation to the police. Loverboys or pimps can also force you to take out a loan or to act as a drugs courier. In other words, there are many ways in which you can become the victim of a loverboy or pimp.

More information about the rights of victims of human trafficking (formerly B9 Regulation).

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