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 receive support even after the dismissal or possible acquittal of their case.
Even if the offender has not been convicted of human trafficking, victims of human trafficking may apply for a residence permit for continued residence on humanitarian grounds. The victim may be eligible for such a residence permit if:
- the criminal proceedings are ongoing and the victim has held a residence permit under the Residence Scheme for Victims of Human Trafficking for three years or more;
- there are exceptional, individual reasons to allow the victim to remain in the Netherlands (for example, the risk of reprisal upon return).
During an ongoing application procedure for a residence permit for continued residence on humanitarian grounds, victims will remain entitled to care, shelter and an appropriate allowance.
Victims with lawful residence status in the Netherlands are entitled to shelter and support under the Social Support Act (Wmo). In addition, victims of human trafficking may require support in the area of finance; for example, when applying for housing benefits, social security, debt restructuring, and so on. Such cases usually relate to general provisions which are separate from being a victim of human trafficking, but which do require lawful residence status. Care coordinators and CoMensha are able to advise victims on these matters or refer them to the relevant institutions.
Victims may be entitled to compensation and redress even in the case of acquittal or case dismissal. For more information, please see the Compensation page.