The so-called 'wanderers' are being asked to give as much information about the exploitation of minors under the motto 'Wanderer? Don't close your eyes... You are a hero if you report teen prostitution!' The banners are appearing online on Monday evening December 10th on the some of the largest sex advertisement websites in the Netherlands such as: sexjobs.nl, sexmarkt.nl, hookers.nl and kinky.nl. Other websites and gay dating sites will follow afterwards.
The banners direct the person reporting to the contact point of Watch Nederland. 'We are requesting all clients suspicious of the use of minors not to look away, but rather to report the abuse. People that would rather not call the police can do that discreetly or if necessary anonymously via the contact point of Watch', says Gideon van Aartsen from Terre des Hommes, project leader of the Watch Nederland research unit.
Almost 20 percent of reports of teen prostitution come from Brabant
Since the opening of the contact point of Watch Nederland in 2017, the alliance has taken on 116 cases. In 24 of the cases, the perpetrators or victims came from Brabant. From each report, a file is created by the forensic ICT research team of the organization. With enough information, this file is then given to the police.
In the last five years there have been 2422 reports of sexual exploitation by the police, according to research by the Nationaal Rapporteur Mensenhandel (National Rapporteur of Human Trafficking). From those reports, 467 of them came from East-Brabant, this is almost 20 percent. The police unit Zeeland-West-Brabant made 252 reports.
Part of the explanation for the high number of victims and perpetrators of teen prostitution and sexual exploitation in Brabant has to do with the cross-border traffick. 'Brabant shares a border with Belgium', states Gideon van Aartsen from WATCH Nederland, "there is less control on prostitution there in comparison to the Netherlands. Belgian brothels are in need of new prostitutes, preferably as young as possible. Therefore, they are sometimes also picked up from the Netherlands."
This is why Watch Nederland is organizing a special theme-night about teen prostitution and human trafficking on Monday 10th of December in the evening in the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven.