18 June 2007
BRUSSELS – One sixth of all European dossiers on human trafficking comes from Belgium – a disproportionately large share of this trafficking in Europe as a whole. This has emerged from a report from the US state department.
Last year the Belgian courts handled 451 cases involving human trafficking. In Europe as a whole courts heard 2,950 cases of human trafficking and 1,821 traffickers were convicted. The figures show that Belgium handles about one sixth of all European human trafficking cases. That is a relatively high percentage.
The state department report estimates the total number of people smuggled from one country to another at no fewer than 800,000. “Belgium is a transit country and final destination for men, women and girls who are trafficked in order to be forced into labour or commercial sexual exploitation,” the report says.
“Most of the women smuggled into Belgium come from Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and the People’s Republic of China. Many are also trafficked from Belgium on to other European countries, like Great Britain. Male victims who are smuggled to Belgium usually end up forced to work in restaurants, cafés, illegal workshops and the construction sector.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news