Monday, May 6, 2019
Christen-Unie/ SGP: European ban on Pimps Is Necessary to Protect Vulnerable Women
The current European rules fighting human trafficking are insufficient, says CU-SGP MEP and candidate Peter van Dalen. According to him, a European ban on pimps is necessary to combat this cross-border crime. “In The Netherlands alone, an estimated 1200 foreign victims of human trafficking are sexually exploited. Multiply that to the whole of Europe. These (mainly) women and girls are often recruited elsewhere in Europe and become prostitutes or online sex workers here. A ban on pimps will help with arresting the pimps”, says van Dalen.
In the current European directive on preventing and combatting human trafficking it is written that it is forbidden to recruit people into prostitution for personal gain, especially in case of violence. For ChristenUnie-SGP this is not enough. Van Dalen: “Human traffickers work in sophisticated ways. They use multiple avenues, such as blackmailing and extortionary loans to make women work for them in prostitution. Or by seducing them as a so-called “loverboy”. While a vulnerable woman is forced to do this humiliating work, the pimp picks up the largest part of the money. These perpetrators cannot go free simply because they committed their crime in another country. Therefore, all forms of recruiting should be punishable.”
Every year in Europe around 5000 victims of sexual exploitation are registered. The real numbers are much higher, since in The Netherlands alone there are around 3000 victims of sexual exploitation which is related to human trafficking. Half of them are minors and around 1200 victims originate from abroad says the National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking.
“The stories of the abuse of women and girls are sick and degrading”, says SGP party leader Kees van der Staaij. “Behind these stories is a world of sadness and brokenness. We have to remove this abuse from The Netherlands, Europe and preferably, from the world. The perpetrators have to be punished.”
Bert-Jan Ruissen, SGP candidate for the European Parliament agrees that a European ban on pimps is necessary: “Free movement of people and goods gives pimps a world of opportunities. Human traffickers put Eastern European girls easily behind Western European windows. Therefore, a ban on pimps is needed. The pimps should be behind bars, instead of the women behind windows.”
The Dutch government is currently working on a ban on pimps. “Having a ban means we can finally prosecute the pimps and the so-called “loverboys” who seduce the women and pressure them to work in prostitution”, says ChristenUnie party leader Gert-Jan Segers. “But it is of the utmost importance that we can also punish the perpetrators abroad. Therefore, I support wholeheartedly the initiative of the colleagues in Brussels and will promote it in The Netherlands”.
In Europe the discussion on prostitution and human trafficking is changing. Peter van Dalen therefore sees concrete opportunities to get this initiative on the European agenda during the new mandate. “I want to do everything possible to solve this problem. Together with my colleagues from the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM), but also with partners from Scandinavia, France and leftist groups, I want to form a broad coalition of people for whom the fight against human trafficking and prostitution is the main point.”
In Europe there is wide support for addressing these abuses. “The Swedish and French ministers of foreign affairs are working on a European coalition against human trafficking. They are leading in this matter as they try to solve the problem at its source, by making it illegal to buy sex. I will sit down with my colleagues from these countries to make progress in this matter. Especially from The Netherlands, which is a destination for a lot of vulnerable women from other European countries; here we have the responsibility to act”, van Dalen stated.