Monday, February 11, 2013

Dutch legislature still has hands to flutter

We talk about human trafficking, but really, what’s human trafficking about? Do you know? I didn’t (at least not exactly) and I’m working as a paralegal. So, I kinda have a thing with rules and law and all that stuff. Next to being a skater I’m a dedicated NSO and also a ref-to-be. This kinda shows that also in rollerderby I’m scrutinizing the rules with the main purpose to simply understand how things work and how things are to be dealt with. (Of course there a huge fun factor but that’s not what this blog is about). Being involved with this project triggers my curiosity big time, also because human trafficking isn’t exactly my workfield. Soooo, let’s find out what it is and how it’s arranged in Dutch Law (generally). Is all arranged or does the Dutch legislature still has hands to flutter?

Human trafficking is a serious crime, often in the context of a (transnational) organized crime committed offense. It involves a gross violation of fundamental human rights.The main purpose of human trafficking is exploitation with financial gain. Human trafficking is the comprehensive term for crimes involving the aforementioned purpose and objective and where fundamental human rights are violated.

The Convention of the Council of Europe on anti-trafficking of the European Parliament and the Council and in the State Gazette define human trafficking as followed: the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or reception of a person, by the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or provision or receipt of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person to obtain for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or similar practices, servitude or the removal of organs. Let me explain: this is European Law and the Dutch have ratified this into their own law in more or less the same words.

One of the crimes within trafficking is sexual exploitation through prostitution. Believe it or not, on the Zandpad in Utrecht and on the ‘red light-districts’ in Amsterdam for example are many women against their will. These women are raped several times a day, every day again and again. Often these women are put under pressure, threatened, misled, deceived by the so called pimp. The man, and perhaps sometimes women, or an organized group, behind the prostitute nobody ever sees. People usually don’t even know what that person (or persons) looks like. The only thing that the outside world sees is a whore .... What people don’t or won’t see is that there is a woman whose freedom has been taken away by gross violation of her fundamental rights.

Previously I have already mentioned the Council of Europe (2005), the Gazette from 2008 and the Directive of the European Union from 2011. It strikes me that the European Union Member States are encouraged to work together against trafficking in human beings.This cooperation should take place in the following areas: taking measures to provide coordination between the various bodies charged with this subject, to establish or strengthen. Member States shall develop and / or support effective policies to prevent trafficking through research, information, awareness and education campaigns, social and economic initiatives and training programs (particularly for personnel who are involved with trafficking and for professionals also involved with trafficking).

Being short, cooperation and performing are the key words for the Member States of Europe and so also for the Dutch.

Another thing that strikes me, are the dates of reporting. Particularly, take the Directives of the European Union.  This one stipulates that not later than 6 April 2015 a report should be issued by the Commission assessing the extent to which Member States have taken the necessary measures to comply with the Directive. No later than 6 April 2016, the Commission should have submitted a report assessing the extent to which existing national legislation on criminalization on human trafficking has an impact on the prevention of trafficking.

Legislatively speaking, and also socially, the subject is really alive. Nowadays and in view of the deadline for the final report, the Dutch legislature has a few years to flutter their hands well.
I'm just wondering if the ladies on the Zandpad still have a couple of years to wait, or might it just be a little too late for them?

Moonlight Malice

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