Human trafficking is a serious crime and forms a gross violation of human rights. Exploitation is central to this concept and the circumstances, in which victims of trafficking often find themselves, are shocking. Exploitation of human beings exists in different varieties and sectors. The best known form is exploitation in the sex industry. Victims, mostly women, in this sector are often lured from another country with false promises.

Once in the destination country, they are employed under slave -like conditions, and they often have to do other work than what they were told they would be doing before they left. Nowadays, there is a much increasing attention for other forms of exploitation in the workplace. Many people in other sectors seem to work under similar slave-like conditions. Also men and children are often victims of human trafficking worldwide.

What all cases of human trafficking have in common is that the trafficker attracts economic benefit from one's position of dependence under duress or deception. Thereby it is also looked upon whether there are degrading conditions whereby the fundamental human rights - physical integrity, mental integrity or personal freedom - have been violated.

Worldwide this topic is receiving increasing attention and priority. Also in Curaçao this development is noticeable. Since the entry into force of the new Penal Code of Curaçao, the article of Human Trafficking has been expanded (Article 2:239 of the Penal Code). Where previously the trafficking of women was made punishable, (Article 260 Old Penal Code), now the exploitation of men and women in other sectors is also punishable.

Human smuggling is often mentioned in one breath with Human Trafficking. It has been found that these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Human smuggling is the facilitation of unauthorized entry, transit or residence. It is (primarily) not focused on exploitation and almost always involves cross-border crime. The link between the two concepts arises because the smuggled person can end up in a situation of exploitation, to be able to pay off his or her debt to the smuggler.

In the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation to prevent and combat human trafficking and human smuggling, which was drawn up between the countries within the Dutch Kingdom, the Attorney General is being held responsible for the implementation of the agreements in the area of criminal enforcement of human trafficking and other forms of migration crime, such as human trafficking. In the various policy documents of the Public Prosecutor, yearly is to be seen, what the Prosecution has done and what the objectives will be for the future in this area. In addition, the Prosecutor gives priority to cooperation with chain partners concerning this issue. Finally, the Prosecution wants to contribute to a broader awareness of this issue within the society. The Prosecution will therefore, also in the media where possible, actively pay attention to this distressing and often poorly visible form of crime.

Slachtofferhulp (Victim Assistance)
Korps Politie Curaçao (Police Force Curaçao)