'Loverboys' recruiting at care centres

18th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — Young pimps known as 'Loverboys' have found a new recruitment ground, centres for people with learning difficulties, according to radio programme.

18 May 2006

AMSTERDAM — Young pimps known as 'Loverboys' have found a new recruitment ground, centres for people with learning difficulties, according to radio programme.

The programme makers based their findings on interviews with various organisations that have encountered the phenomenon. It is not known how extensive the problem is.

The term loverboy is used to describe a young man - often Moroccan - who becomes romantically involved with a young woman to persuade her to work as a prostitute for him. There are ongoing campaigns in Dutch schools about these pimps who shower their 'girlfriends' with gifts and attention before forcing them into prostitution.

Radio programme 'De Ochtenden' uncovered accounts of loverboys masquerading as friends of young female residents. Young women living in individual residential units are preferred targets.

A staff member of a Amsterdam organisation told the programme how one pimp kept up the charade he was the boyfriend of one of the girls for weeks. "That at a certain stage we discovered that she was no longer going to school for two or three weeks, but was working behind a window in the Wallen [Amsterdam's Red Light district]."

The programme also established that the loverboys sometimes persuade a female to go to an establishment to seek new victims. "I know of one centre where three girls were recruited for prostitution in this way," Lou Repetur of Pretty Woman said. Pretty Woman is a foundation that offers help to girls exploited by loverboys.

Girls with mild learning difficulties make an attractive target for the pimps because they often lack the social skills and awareness of other girls their age. Some also come from difficult family backgrounds which makes them more vulnerable to manipulation.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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