Why human trafficking convictions dropped in the Netherlands

EPA/Marcel van Dorst - MaRicMedia

Dutch police search a Spanish truck at the border after nine refugees were rescued from the freezer of the vehicle in Hazeldonk, the Netherlands, 09 February 2017.

Why human trafficking convictions dropped in the Netherlands


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The number of people convicted of human trafficking in the Netherlands has dropped 25% between 2016 and 2015.

Official data show that 139 people were jailed for human trafficking in 2015 and around the same number in 2014. Last year, only 103 convictions were recorded.

As reported by Dutch News online, experts have different explanations. Tilburg University professor Conny Rijken said the police have focused more efforts on stemming the flow of refugees and tackling people smugglers instead. This, she said, has resulted in fewer human trafficking cases being brought before the courts.

However, others argue that the decline suggests the police are managing to tackle the trafficking gangs and their leaders.

Not so, according to Utrecht University criminology professor Dina Siegal. She said it’s becoming tougher to prove human trafficking.

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