Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

GRETA publishes first report on the Netherlands

Link to the report

Strasbourg, 18 June 2014 - The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has published today its first evaluation report on the Netherlands.

In its report, GRETA welcomes the steps taken by the Dutch authorities to combat trafficking and support victims, including the adoption of relevant legislation, the appointment of an independent National Rapporteur, and the setting up of co-ordination structures and specialised units. The report further commends the introduction of the system of advance payment of compensation to victims when the convicted trafficker has not paid the full amount of compensation eight months after the court judgment.

However, the report highlights the need to further strengthen efforts to tackle trafficking for labour exploitation, including with a view to limiting the dependency of workers on their employers when recruited through employment agencies.

GRETA is concerned that the identification of victims appears to be on occasion linked to the prospect of successful prosecutions and calls on the Dutch authorities to place the assistance and protection of victims at the heart of the identification procedure. Further, GRETA asks the authorities to strengthen multi-agency involvement in the identification of victims of trafficking, in particular by formalising the role of NGOs and other professionals in this process. The authorities should also develop a proactive approach to identification of and assistance to child victims of trafficking.

Specialised shelters for foreign victims of trafficking have been set up with a view to providing adapted assistance during the three-month reflection period. However, GRETA calls on the Dutch authorities to improve the transition from these shelters to other follow-up shelters after the reflection period and to ensure continuity in psychological and medical support.

The report notes that the rate of conviction and the severity of sentences for trafficking offences have increased and invites the Dutch authorities to further support the specialisation of judges on human trafficking.

Prior to drawing up its evaluation report, GRETA held consultations with the relevant authorities and non-governmental and international organisations active in the field of combating trafficking in human beings in the Netherlands. A confidential first draft of the report was sent to the Dutch authorities and their comments were taken into account in the final evaluation report adopted by GRETA. This report is published together with the final comments of the Dutch authorities, as provided for by the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. On the basis of GRETA’s report, the Committee of the Parties to the Convention will consider adopting recommendations addressed to the Government of the Netherlands.

[Click here for more information on the Netherlands and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings]

Media coverage

19/06/2014 -

19/06/2014 –'Nederland moet meer doen tegen mensenhandel'

19/06/2014 - Reformatorisch Dagblad / Nederlands: Nederland, doe meer tegen mensenhandel'
Nederland moet de strijd tegen mensenhandel opvoeren. Ons land doet het al goed in de bestrijding van mensenhandel, maar nog niet goed genoeg. Dat staat in een rapport van de Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (Greta), die deel uitmaakt van de Raad van Europa, meldde Trouw vanmorgen. De Europese groep experts vindt dat ook de opvang van minderjarige slachtoffers beter kan.

19/06/2014 - HP de Tijd / Nederlands: Wat Nederland moet doen tegen mensenhandel