Monday 06 July 2020

‘Dutch government was aware Vietnamese children were being trafficked’

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Dutch government has known for more than five years that Vietnamese children are disappearing from specialist refugee centres, investigative journalism programme Argos said on Monday.

Over the past five years, at least 60 Vietnamese children have vanished without trace from the protected housing where they lived because of fears they were at risk of being trafficked.

One of the organisations offering protected housing for young asylum seekers reported in 2015 that the disappearances are ‘a trend’.

‘This is a group with a 100% unknown destination disappearance rate,’ the Jade Zorggroep organisation said in a report to the central refugee settlement agency COA, after all the Vietnamese youngsters in its care vanished.

The four girls all had ‘brown suitcases of the same brand, lots of cash and telephones without simcards,’ the report said. ‘Two of the girls had sexy lingerie in their suitcases and they dyed their hair before they left.’

Last April the justice ministry agreed to a full investigation after it emerged over 1,000 refugee children, mostly teenagers, disappeared from protected refugee centres in the Netherlands between 2013 and 2017.

Herman Bolhaar, the Dutch rapporteur on human trafficking, said last year there is enough evidence that children are being exploited and that the government should be doing more to protect them and to find out what has happened to them.

The justice ministry report into the disappearances is due to be published this week.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.