Legal information - Question 1

To which provisions is a victim of human trafficking entitled during criminal proceedings?

All victims are entitled to proper and timely information. Victims of serious crimes, including human trafficking offences, shall be entitled to information on the execution of any prison sentence (e.g. regarding any first release on temporary licence or definitive release of the offender) following the end of criminal proceedings.

  • Victims are entitled to request from the court that it sentences the accused to pay damages.
  • Victims of human trafficking are entitled to legal assistance from a lawyer free of charge.
  • Victims that have an insufficient command of the Dutch language are entitled to an interpreter during court proceedings. Victims may request an interpreter from the Public Prosecution Office.
  • During criminal proceedings, victims of human trafficking have the right to be heard or to submit a written victim statement.

In addition, the Instructions for Human Trafficking stipulate that there should be adequate protection of the victim’s privacy, safety and security, and health. These instructions mean that if it is in the victim’s interest:

  • police interviews should take place without unnecessary delays;
  • the number of interviews should be limited;
  • the police must avoid any interview from being repeated;
  • visual contact between the victim and the accused should be avoided;
  • calling the victim as a witness in an open court – with unnecessary questions being put to them about their personal life – should be avoided.

For more information on victims’ rights, please see the topic Victim Support Policy on the Government website.