Report: Sex traffickers targeting young women asylum seekers

There are concrete indications that sex traffickers are requiting young women into prostitution around the asylum centers in the Netherlands, the Volkskrant reports.

"One thing is certain: there are indications of human trafficking and smuggling around asylum centers in the Netherlands", a spokesperson for the National Police said to the newspaper. The police are inquiring about all incidents in and around the asylum centers in the country, in an effort to get an idea of the scale of the problem.

The central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA agrees that such abuses are taking place. The agency heard about abuses in Drenthe town Oranje, Nijmegen and Rotterdam. The COA went to the police last week regarding abuses surrounding the Eritrean church in Rotterdam.

The COA would not comment to the newspaper regarding how many cases they know of. Other involved agencies are also hesitant to talk about it, because the scale of the problem is still unknown and because they want to protect the identity of the victims.

According to the newspaper, past experience shows that traffickers often target asylum centers. Unaccompanied minor asylum seekers are easy targets because they have little money, are easily convinced and do not know the Netherlands well. The COA therefore warns employees to be alert for signs of human trafficking. As far as is possible, unaccompanied minor refugees are placed in a safe, well-protected shelter.

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