Human trafficking targeted in new plan to prosecute pimps, unlicensed escort firms

Unlicensed escort agencies and pimps in the Netherlands will soon face criminal prosecution, according to agreements made by the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie in their government formation talks, RTL Nieuws reports. The new government wants a harsher approach to illegal prostitution as part of the fight against human trafficking, sources confirmed to the broadcaster.

Under current Dutch law, illegal prostitution companies can get an administrative fine for working without a license. In the future they will face criminal prosecution, with prison being a possible punishment. 

In practice unlicensed prostitution businesses are relatively often guilty of abuses, including things as serious as human trafficking. According to RTL Nieuws' sources, the four parties in the new government has different views on the "reality" of the sex sector. But they all agreed that fines are not effective enough to combat human trafficking.