Successful first international expert meeting on domestic sex trafficking

Successful first international expert meeting on domestic sex trafficking

On the first day of the Dutch Week for Safety of Children the Dutch Rapporteur organised the first ever international expert meeting on domestic trafficking. Thirty experts from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great-Britain, the Netherlands and the United States met in The Hague on Monday November 18th. They engaged in an animated, intensive dialogue on sexual exploitation of young victims by young perpetrators, sometimes referred to as the ‘loverboy phenomenon’.

Domestic trafficking occurs everywhere, but must be sought in order to be seen. Experts in the field of law enforcement, victim protection, research, and public policy exchanged experiences on the manifestations of domestic trafficking in their respective countries. The exchange of knowledge and views engendered new insights into victims and perpetrators, as well as the dynamics between them. That domestic trafficking can always and exclusively be attributed to vulnerability caused by a low standard of living was proven a misconception. Such insights are important for effectively tackling the sexual exploitation of young victims by peers.

A follow-up event will take place next year, when the Dutch Rapporteur will organise a broader conference on domestic trafficking. The Rapporteur will publish several articles on domestic trafficking, focusing in particular on the sexual exploitation of young victims by peers.

The expert meeting coincided with the Dutch Week for Safety of Children as well as the campaign ‘19 Days of Activism for Prevention of Abuse and Violence against Children’, organised by the Women’s World Summit Foundation.