Criminal prosecution

[SecondaryNavigationDezeHoofdRubriekBevat](EN) 7 [SecondaryNavigationRubrieken](EN):

To address and eradicate human trafficking practices, the offenders must be identified and successfully prosecuted. For this reason, it is vital that victims report human trafficking offences. The criminal justice process can be very distressing to victims, given that they must recount their experiences and be confronted with the offenders in court. As such, victims receive various types of protection and support during criminal proceedings.

Informative interview

Reporting a crime is a crucial first step, yet it is something that may have a profound impact on the victim. To this end, an initial informative interview is always conducted beforehand.

Reporting human trafficking offences

In order to track down and prosecute offenders successfully, it is paramount that victims report human trafficking offences. Reporting such offences, however, can be very distressing to victims, which is why victims are protected in various ways.

Criminal investigation

Following a notification or report of human trafficking offences, a criminal investigation will be initiated. This investigation requires the detection of all signals and indicators of human trafficking. A variety of investigation services may be involved in tracking down potential offenders.

Prosecution

Once the criminal investigation has yielded sufficient evidence, the Public Prosecution Service will begin prosecuting the offenders. During the proceedings, the victim is accorded various rights.

Conviction

Once the court has considered the defendant to be guilty of human trafficking charges, it will pronounce judgement. Although conviction is a key aspect of achieving compensation and redress for the victim, it can also be a crucial factor for them to qualify for certain schemes and facilities.

Dismissal/acquittal

Unfortunately, it is frequently the case in human trafficking cases that insufficient evidence is available to proceed with a criminal prosecution or to prove an offender’s guilt to the court, which subsequently does not yield a conviction. This result does not mean, however, that there is no question of victimhood. For that reason, victims are entitled to support even after the dismissal or possible acquittal of their case.