October 18: Day against human trafficking

Special attention for forced domestic labour

Human trafficking is a crime with many faces. In the Caribbean Netherlands the most common forms of exploitation are in trafficking in human beings: forced household labour, forced labour and sexual slavery.

Inspections

In the first half of 2015 the Caribbean Netherlands Labour Inspectorate carried out 31 inspections in accordance with the observance of the laws on foreigners who work as domestic workers. There were at the time 5 possible cases of labour exploitation of domestic workers. These 5 cases were reported to the Dutch Caribbean Police Force (KPCN) and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Two situations have led to an official complaint by the victim to the police. The police have, in one of these two situations, removed the maid from the exploitative situation. In a third situation, the Unit of Social Affairs and Labour gave the victim the opportunity to search for another job and the foreigner was also successful in this. The other two cases are still pending at the Labour Inspectorate.

Action against labour exploitation is priority

The fight against trafficking in human beings has a high priority both at KPCN, as well as the Labour Inspectorate. The Labour Inspectorate reports any suspicion of labour exploitation to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and KPCN. The Public Prosecutor’s Office takes into consideration if there should be criminal charges. If this is not the case the case is administratively dismissed by the Labour Inspectorate. The employer will then be given the opportunity to get things in order.

Prevention is better than cure

It has been found that individuals, who use a maid in the household, generally are not well aware of the rights and obligations, which they must take into account. Social Affairs and Labour and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) will therefore give information to employers and employees. This includes information about rights and obligations regarding compensation, working hours and breaks, housing and other do’s and don’ts for domestic workers.

Report abuses

If you know someone who works in the home and

– outside of working hours is not free to go and come where he/she wants (restricted),

– is tricked by another representation of the work to be performed in

practice or

– is threatened by an employer or a relative, for example, by saying that the employment permit will be revoked, then this person can be the victim of labour exploitation.

You can report to the police by calling 717 8000 or 715 8000 (Bonaire) 318-2333 (St. Eustatius), 416-3737 (Saba). Violations of the working hours and rest periods and the minimum wage can be reported to the Labour Inspectorate: arbeidsinspectie@RijksdienstCN.com.

Press release RCN.

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