Rules eased for human trafficking victims

19th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 October 2007, DEN HAAG – Under some specific conditions victims of human trafficking need not file charges against an alleged perpetrator in order to obtain a residence permit for the Netherlands. State Secretary Nebahat Albayrak will make an exception for distressing cases.

19 October 2007

DEN HAAG  – Under some specific conditions victims of human trafficking need not file charges against an alleged perpetrator in order to obtain a residence permit for the Netherlands. State Secretary Nebahat Albayrak will make an exception for distressing cases.

In such cases the state secretary can grant a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, a spokesperson for Albayrak said on Thursday. The rule however remains that victims of human trafficking, such as foreign women who are forced into prostitution in this country, should, for the sake of the investigation, first file charges before being eligible for a residence permit.

There could be situations however in which the victims dare not file charges because they are being seriously threatened and fear retaliation.

In these cases Albyayrak will stand by these women, according to her spokesperson. When the public prosecution department (OM) or the police have determined that this person is indeed a victim, the state secretary can grant a residence permit on humanitarian grounds. The requirement to first file charges will be dropped in that case. Albayrak will adhere to the criterion that the circumstances need to be distressing in order to not make it easier on human traffickers to get women to the Netherlands.

The European Commission has decided to mark 18 October as the European Day against human trafficking. On that day ten organisations launched a campaign called "People are not commodities". They have called on the government to put the right of victims first in the policy against human trafficking.

Corinne Dettmeijer, National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking pointed out that victims who do not want to play a role in the investigation and prosecution of their exploiters, should be entitled to care and guidance. Up until now these people are usually held in the alien detention where they await the return to their country of origin.

Dettmeijer believes that the position of the victims who do cooperate with the police, as witness in a criminal case, for instance, should be improved. Dettmeijer’s agency is investigating the possibility of claiming compensation or damage.

[Copyright Expatica News +ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news

 

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