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Human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Belgium 2008-2019

In Belgium, the Federal Police registers a steady number of human trafficking cases for sexual exploitation. Around four to five hundred cases are reported each year. In 2019, Belgium’s Federal Police registered 414 sexual trafficking cases. By contrast, 146 economic trafficking cases were filed during that year. This difference in numbers supports the European Commission’s conclusion: nowadays, most European human trafficking cases involve sexual exploitation.

Human trafficking for sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation covers crimes such as forced prostitution, forced marriage, and infantile pornography. Although men and women can be sexually exploited, this form of trafficking affects primarily women, and, regardless of gender, children. For instance, the neighboring Netherlands registered four child prostitution cases in 2018.

Sexual exploitation can have permanent effects on one’s quality of life. Physical health and mental health can be impacted. Regardless, Belgium compromises protecting the victims with fighting criminal organizations. The country offers victim protection in return for their collaboration with the authorities. Thus, reporting the offense is mandatory.

Victims of Human trafficking in Belgium

The country has implemented a comprehensive approach to human trafficking with specialized actors such as police officers, labor inspectors, prosecutors, specialized shelters for victims, and immigration offices. Since the early ‘90s, Belgium delivers a residency permit to human trafficking victims, given that they withdraw from exploitation. Victims must also attend one of the three Belgian support centers which provide physical and psychological help.

Registered cases of human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Belgium from 2008 to 2019

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Release date

May 2020



Survey time period

2008 to 2019

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Statistics on "Crime in Belgium"

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