Last Updated: Monday, 28 July 2014, 16:37 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Belgium

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 12 July 2001
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Belgium, 12 July 2001, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7291c.html [accessed 29 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Belgium (Tier 1)

Belgium is a transit and destination country for trafficked persons primarily from sub-Saharan Africa (especially Nigeria), Central and Eastern Europe (especially Albania), and Asia (especially China). Victims are primarily young women trafficked for purposes of prostitution or, in the case of victims from China, young men destined for manual labor in restaurants and sweatshops.

The Government of Belgium meets the minimum standards for combating trafficking in persons. A 1995 law specifically prohibits trafficking in persons. The penalty for trafficking is commensurate with those for rape or sexual assault. The Government actively investigates and prosecutes cases of trafficking. From January 1, 1998, through August 31, 1999, the authorities issued arrest warrants for 429 persons. In the same period, verdicts were rendered in 142 cases, 104 of which resulted in convictions. Sentences averaged from 2 to 6 years' imprisonment and fines were between $2,200 and $22,700. Victims of trafficking are given temporary residence for 45 days to decide whether to testify in court against the perpetrators. During this time they are allowed access to a range of services and shelter provided by three NGO's with Government support. The Government assists victims in returning to their country of origin if they decide not to testify in court. Victims who agree to testify receive a temporary work authorization and continued assistance from the designated NGO's. Victims who cooperate with the investigation are usually granted permanent residence in Belgium upon completion of the trial. The Government works closely with and provides funding to NGO's and international organizations for anti-trafficking activities.

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