Gov't not fighting off human trafficking: Official

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Authorities in the Netherlands are not doing enough to tackle the issue of human trafficking. With the information available, the police, Royal Military Police (marechaussee) and labour inspection should be working harder to stem the problem, according to a report from the National Human Trafficking Reporter, which minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice will receive today. 

Reporter Corinne Dettmeijer analyzed 77 investigations, to find that more should be invested in the fight against gangs as well as legal organizations who are implicated - knowingly or not - in making human trafficking possible.

In less than half of these cases, the police, marechaussee and labour inspection knew about human traffickers, but did barely anything with the information they had. Every link should be taken on in human trafficking, the reporter writes, but this does not happen in practice.

According to the report, legal organizations, such as hotels or window operations such as those in the red light district of Amsterdam, are consciously or unconsciously responsible for half of the human trafficking cases. A project has now begun to make hotel staff aware of the signs of human trafficking, the NOS reports.

The money made by this business of human trafficking is often not mapped properly, the reporter states. If it were, the crime would be easier to trace and counter.

The actual number of victims in the Netherlands is not known for last year. In 2o12, however, there were 1700 registered victims, 500 more than the previous year.

Human trafficking suspects are Dutch in almost half of all cases. After that, Hungarians make up 8 percent, as well as Bulgarians. Romanians 6 percent as well as Surinamese. Most of these suspects are men, with an average age of 32.

Victims are women 88 percent of the time, and are on average 25 years old. A quarter of the victims are Dutch, followed by Bulgarian (18 percent), Hungarian (13 percent) and Romanian (8 percent). There is no trustworthy data about victims of West African origin.