Openbaar Ministerie-Curacao-Sint Maarten-BES Islands


Human trafficking is often a form of modern slavery. Therefore the Netherlands have already invested a lot in the recent past in the approach to this type of crime, whereby numerous gangs have been dismantled. On the BES islands since 10/10/10 human trafficking is punishable under the BES Penal Code . Since then a lot of attention is given to this by the Public Prosecution and the Investigation Services, which has already resulted in a number of arrests.

In view of the fact that the phenomenon continues to exist, however, that is still not enough. It is important to also develop an approach for the coming years, which effectively pushes back the symptoms of human trafficking and human smuggling. To this end, at large a way will be sought to work in collaboration with the Board and other relevant chain partners such as IND and SZW. The goal is that through a mix of administrative prevention and criminal repression, the space for the human trafficking industry is eliminated.

People are also exploited in many ways on the BES islands. For example, they accept a job under false pretences. Then they work under threat of physical and mental violence, or they are exploited in various ways financially and curtailed from their freedom of movement. Often it pertains to victims who come from other, poorer countries such as Columbia, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Mostly it has to do with people working in prostitution, but also in sectors such as hospitality, construction and in the household.

Human trafficking is often mentioned in one breath with human smuggling, although it concerns a different offense. In human smuggling, people are also illegally transported. Human smuggling is assisting people with illegal border crossing, stay or transit. Hereby smugglers assist people, often refugees, illegally across international borders by paying large sums of money and using false documents. One difference with human trafficking is that with human trafficking, the exploitation of people is key. While with human smuggling the emphasis is on human smuggling. It is not uncommon that both offenses go hand in hand with each other.