Underage male prostitution a hidden problem in Eindhoven: report
At least 70 boys and young men between the ages of 14 and 22 years are active in prostitution in and around Eindhoven, and not all of them willingly, according to a study by welfare organization Lumens. The municipality of Eindhoven is shocked by these figures, alderman Renate Richters said to Nieuwsuur.
For this study, Lumens researchers spent 18 months speaking to boys and young men in places where they offer themselves. "We had a boy who was being exploited by his family", researcher Danielle van Went said to Nieuwsuur. His family dropped him off with men who he had to have sex with, and the extorted those men with videos of the encounter, she said.
Another boy told the researchers that there is a great demand on all kinds of websites, especially for young, underage boys. "I think that they find the new guys who come online, who are also the youngest, the most interesting", the boy said. "I got the question in several cities where I lived whether I wanted to prepare minor Moroccan boys for sex."
The municipality of Eindhoven is shocked. "This is actually completely under the radar. We actually know very little about it", alderman Richters said to the broadcaster. "It is horrible that young people can be exploited in this way."
According to Ina Hut, director of the coordination center on human trafficking CoMesha, this problem is not limited to Eindhoven. "I made inquiries with our care coordinators and it also happens in The Hague, Delft, Gouda, Groningen, Utrecht and Rotterdam. But it is not only something of the cities, it also happens in rural areas", Hut said to Nieuwsuur. According to her, the investigative services need to pay more attention to this group. "They have to do very active investigation on this group. This has to happen with the people who offer help to the victims of human trafficking. They can win the victims' trust and make sure they report to the police."
Herman Bolhaar, the National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence Against Children, also calls for more investigation into underage boy prostitution. Better training for aid workers and police officers working in this field is also necessary, he said.