[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

THE NETHERLANDS (Tier 1) Extracted in part  from the U.S. State Dept 2023 TIP Report

The Government of the Netherlands fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.  The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, if any, on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore the Netherlands remained on Tier 1.  These efforts included increasing investigations and new prosecutions, drafting and funding a new NAP – the first time the government dedicated money directly to NAP implementation, and deploying additional law enforcement officials to the Dutch Caribbean.  The government took several measures to increase child trafficking prevention and protection efforts, including dedicating an annual budget to the National Rapporteur for Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children.  Although the government meets the minimum standards, courts convicted fewer traffickers compared with 2021 and the government identified the lowest number of victims since 2018.  The government provided only limited, time-restricted support services for foreign victims without legal residency who did not cooperate with law enforcement investigations.

Prioritized Recommendations

Increase efforts to proactively identify victims, including victims of forced labor.

Provide all potential trafficking victims, including foreign nationals without legal residency, with care services, regardless of their ability to cooperate with an investigation.

Seek adequate penalties for convicted traffickers, which should involve significant prison terms.

Improve coordination and information-sharing with anti-trafficking counterparts across the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including in Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten.

Establish and implement policies to formally disconnect identification procedures and official victim status from investigations and prosecutions.

Improve data collection quality for law enforcement and ensure the timely release of victim identification data for policy evaluation.

Continue efforts to strengthen the child protection system to protect against vulnerability to trafficking.

Incorporate measurable goals into the NAP.

Implement results-based training and mentoring of officials in the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (BES) to increase identification of victims and prosecution of traffickers.

Expand the rapporteur’s mandate or assign another independent body to evaluate anti-trafficking efforts and assess trafficking prevalence in the BES islands.