Sunday, August 10, 2008

Newsflash!

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A nice translation by me of the article 'Amper Zicht op Vrouwenhandel' from the paper Het Parool:

http://www.parool.nl/parool/nl/7/Misdaad/article/detail/26721/2008/08/09/Amper-zicht-op-handel-in-vrouwen.dhtml

Barely insight in trafficking in women.
Paul Vugts, August 9th, 2008

The government barely had insight in trafficking in women during the last years. That for ten years, on de Wallen in Amsterdam and in other red light districts women were exploited on a huge scale, was barely noticed.

That’s what the public prosecutor concluded in the report Schone schijn [~Keeping up appearances], [the report is] a response to the large organization of women traffickers led by the Turkish-German brothers Saban and Hasan B. They recently were convicted because their group exploited with brute force 78 to 120 prostitutes on de Wallen and the red light districts of Utrecht and Alkmaar. [note: Saban was sentenced for 7 and a half years, Hasan for 2 and a half years. 4 others got sentences between 8 months and 3 years. 3 of the 6 suspects are to pay compensation up to 50.000 euros. Well, that will take at most 3 years before 5 of 6 suspects will be free and continue with what they were doing in the first place…….]

Police inspections didn’t bring the serious abuses to light and social workers didn’t sound the alarm. Insiders in the prostitution business, such as the people who rent out the windows, knew about the situation, but did nothing.

“The current prostitution policy is not well equipped to perceive human trafficking,’ conclude the researchers. The government wrongly assumes that inspections and license systems bring human trafficking to light.

The case against the group of the brothers B. shows that ‘even when there are useful signals of human trafficking, these are not always adequately followed up.’

The researchers have nineteen recommendations which should improve the [prostitution] policy so much that women traffickers have no freedom of movement anymore. Following the recommendations which have already been done during the research, the municipality of Amsterdam in the mean time works hard on improvements.

The size of trafficking in women is unknown. Specialized inspectors of the police in the three cities, who inspect all the window brothels four times a year, estimate that ‘fifty to ninety’ percent of all window prostitutes work involuntarily. In Amsterdam that would mean at least four thousand victims, since in the city there work according to the municipality between eight and ten thousand prostitutes. After keep-asking the researchers learned that the police [inspectors] based their estimate ‘on their underbelly’, not on substantiated countings.

The number of cases that the judiciary in Amsterdam received during 2001 and 2005, are in big contrast to the estimates of the inspectors. In those five years the public prosecutor received ‘only’ 92 cases, in 2005 itself it were eleven. Regarding these numbers the researchers notice that in all three investigated cities cases are lying ‘on the shelf’, while in the Aanwijzing Mensenhandel [Direction on Human Trafficking] of the national judicial summit this is explicitly prohibited.

That's interesting! So estimates like the '90 percent' of the Eastern European prostitutes being 'in the power' of 'pimps, madams and human traffickers' made by TAMPEP could also be based on underbelly feelings? That would make my quest it bit easier; just remove all the guesstimates! Too bad that subtiantiated countings are also unreliable. Most prostitutes that are forced will tell that they are doing fine anyway.

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