Concern over high reoffending rate for sexual exploitation


People convicted of sexual exploitation are more likely than other criminals to commit another offence within two years, a report by the official watchdog has found.

The reoffending rate is around one in three for enforced prostitution, compared to an overall rate of one in four. Two-thirds go on to reoffend within seven years.

Conny Rijken, the national rapporteur for human trafficking and sexual violence against children, said the problem was particularly acute among offenders under the age of 23 and a separate rehabilitation programme should be drawn up for them.

‘The high, rapid and severe recidivism by often young offenders is very worrying,’ she said.

Reclassering Nederland, which is responsible for the rehabilitation of offenders, accepted the criticism, but said supervision had to be ordered by a judge. A study last year found that only around one-third of 450 people convicted of human trafficking were the subject of a supervision order.

Forced labour

Rijken’s latest report also called for more criminal cases to be brought against people accused of other forms of exploitation, such as forced labour.

More than 100 cases of exploitation of workers are brought each year, most of which are dealt with by an administrative penalty such as a fine.

Rijken said the threshold for criminal prosecutions should be lowered. ‘Offenders need to know that exploitation will not go unpunished,’ she said. ‘A fine doesn’t make a difference.’

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