A girl who is forced by a loverboy to have sex with strangers in a basement storage room in Schiedam, a Dutch man who has children in the Philippines perform sexual acts in front of the webcam and a Guinean child who is employed as a house slave by a family in The Hague: child exploitation also exists in The Netherlands. The official figures refer to hundreds of victims, but this just seems the tip of the iceberg. Therefore Terre des Hommes also applies its knowledge and experience, gained during our global fight against child exploitation, in The Netherlands.

Child trafficking in The Netherlands

In 2012 alone, over 1,700 reports of potential human trafficking were filed whereby both adults and children were forced to work in horticulture, the catering industry or prostitution*. Aid for victims of child trafficking is fragmented and inadequate. Children affected by these traumatic experiences do not receive the aid they desperately need. Therefore Fier and Terre des Hommes combine their knowledge and expertise in the new Centre against Child and Human Trafficking (CKM), which also offers temporary shelter for victims. This allows us to take decisive measures and combat child trafficking more efficiently.

Sexual exploitation of children in The Netherlands

Sexual exploitation of children is also a major problem in the Netherlands. It has become increasingly easy for loverboys and prostitution rings to blackmail and recruit children for prostitution. They blackmail minors with sexually tinted photos and videos, threaten to use violence, offer their victims on the Internet and get away with it, just like their customers. For some considerable time now, Terre des Hommes has been addressing this problem in Asia and is now also using this experience in the Netherlands. Together with the Centre against Child and Human Trafficking and the Fier Foundation, we are launching WATCH Nederland, a hotline and an observation and action unit. The Centre against Child and Human Trafficking will be in charge of the hotline while Terre des Hommes will be in charge of the observation and action unit. This unit investigates and actively maps out the supply of child sex and its customers. The Fier Foundation specializes in violence in dependency relationships and will take care of the victims.

*Source: Comensha, 2012

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