Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2014, 13:11 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Belgium

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 5 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Belgium, 5 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d78c7e.html [accessed 18 April 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 destination and transit country for trafficked persons primarily from sub-Saharan Africa (especially Nigeria), central and Eastern Europe (especially Albania), and Asia (especially China). Nigerian and Albanian victims are usually young women, between the ages of 21 and 30, destined for prostitution in Belgium's largest cities, or in transit to other European Union countries for the same purpose. Chinese victims are often young men destined for manual labor in restaurants and sweatshops.

The Government of Belgium fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. Belgium has a law that prohibits trafficking, the definition of which is quite broad. Belgium vigorously investigates and prosecutes trafficking cases. The Belgian courts handed down many convictions. Protections include financial assistance, shelter and temporary residence permits for victims of trafficking who are willing to testify against their exploiters. Extended residence permits and continued financial assistance are available to victims who continue to cooperate with authorities. Victims are generally granted permanent residence status and unrestricted work permits in Belgium at the conclusion of legal proceedings against traffickers. The Belgian government provides funds to three regional NGOs authorized to provide aid and shelter to trafficking victims. The government also provides funds to assist in the repatriation of victims who wish to return home. In order to prevent trafficking, the Belgian government posts anti-trafficking liaison officers to Belgian embassies in several source countries. The government funds an international organization to conduct information campaigns in source countries. The government works closely with local and national NGOs and international organizations in the fight against trafficking. An interdepartmental committee coordinates anti-trafficking activities in Belgium's three distinct regions, as well as with its French, Dutch, British, German and Luxembourg counterparts. A national magistrate coordinates judicial anti-trafficking activities and a special unit of the national police force is assigned to fight trafficking and alien smuggling.

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