General information

What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is the recruitment, transport, relocation or harbouring of a person through the use of force or coercion, with the goal of exploiting the victim. Human trafficking is a serious crime and may take different forms, such as sexual exploitation or labour exploitation. The Government is committed to addressing human trafficking in several ways, with victims receiving assistance and shelter. There are severe penalties for human trafficking offences.
For more information on human trafficking, please visit https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/mensenhandel-mensensmokkel/inhoud/bestrijden-mensenhandel and www.nationaalrapporteur.nl.

What is the National Referral Mechanism?

The National Referral Site is a component of the National Referral Mechanism for Victims of Human Trafficking, which was launched in October 2013. The National Referral Mechanism itself is an interdepartmental initiative of the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.

Its purpose is to improve the range of aid and support services – and the access to such services – for all victims of human trafficking offences. This improvement is achieved by the effective mapping and detection of the aid and support available, the applicable regulations and the rights of victims of human trafficking, as well as by flagging potential obstacles. In addition, the detection and protection of victims is a key component of the initiative. Furthermore, the referral mechanism is a crucial tool for the successful investigation and prosecution of perpetrators. Adequate protection contributes to the willingness of victims to report these crimes and, as such, to the successful prosecution of human traffickers.

The National Referral Mechanism is directed at all forms of exploitation: sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, exploitation through forced begging or stealing and exploitation through forced confinement.