Holland is a source ref Human Trafficking

Holland is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to human trafficking

The Netherlands is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically for forced prostitution and forced labour. A significant number of underage Dutch residents continued to be subjected to sex trafficking in Holland.

The top seven countries in 2012 where persons have been identified as victims of forced prostitution who come to The Netherlands are, Hungary Nigeria, Romania, Bulgaria, Sierra Leone, Poland including Holland. Victims also come from other African countries besides those mentioned already, China, and other parts of Asia.

Men and boys are subjected to forced prostitution and various forms of forced labour, in many areas of the Dutch economy, including in the maritime sector, agriculture, horticulture, catering, food processing, cleaning, construction, and illegal narcotics trafficking. Domestic workers employed in the Netherlands remain vulnerable to forced labour including by foreign diplomats posted in the Netherlands.

The aforementioned is noted in the United States 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the U.S. Department of State.

The U.S. does recognize that the Government of the Netherlands fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The report continues to say that the Dutch Government continued to employ a multidisciplinary, whole of government approach to its anti-trafficking efforts and maintained an effective and independent national anti-trafficking rapporteur.

The new Sint Maarten Minister of Justice Hon. Dennis Richardson mid-July stated that the authorities will be taking measures to strengthen control at the country’s borders. Minister Richardson met on July 10 with reps from the Police Force, Coast Guard, Customs, Immigration and Border Protection Service and the Attorney General.

Sint Maarten’s Immigration and Border Control Service and the Coast Guard have been asked to draw up plans of action for the airport, seaport and beaches. This includes a risk analysis of the ports and beaches, as well as an inventory study on the implementation of a radar system or other similar modern technologies for monitoring of ship movements.

The purpose of the meeting is to prevent human smuggling, human trafficking and the infiltration of the community by persons with less than good intentions. The aforementioned Sint Maarten institutions of law enforcement were given a one-month period to draft the plan of action and submit it to the Minister.

Sint Maarten law enforcement is making an effort to combat human trafficking and protect its borders. The country of course faces challenges just like any other country including the Netherlands. Therefore, Holland should have more understanding for the challenges that the country faces and be realistic when it comes to certain areas.

Nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labour and human trafficking, including almost a million in the European Union member States, according to the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO).

Country Sint Maarten with its lack of resources at this point in time will have some choices to make once the plan of action has been drafted and the risk analysis completed.

Holland’s unproductive attitude and comments of late does not bode well for developing good relations and working more efficiently and effectively together. As can be seen from this U.S. State Department report, Holland has its share of challenges just like Sint Maarten, a small island developing state.

More emphasis and efforts should be brought to bear on working together rather than making unsubstantiated statements and being judge and jury at the same time. Holland has been recognized by the U.S. with respect to continuing to pursue innovative approaches to prevent trafficking and address demand for commercial sex acts and forced labour.

Holland’s multi-agency human trafficking taskforce coordinates the country’s anti-trafficking response and this organ could work with local authorities in this area in this global fight which is not a fight of one country alone but of the international community of nations which includes the Kingdom comprising of the country’s Sint Maarten, Aruba, Curacao and the Netherlands.

Roddy Heyliger