The Dutch government has known for over five years that Vietnamese children go missing from protected shelters. Signs of human smuggling and trafficking have also been clearly reported to the authorities. This is shown by quarterly reports of protected reception centers Jade and Xonar, that Argos and Lost in Europe have obtained.
House of Representatives briefed incorrectly
The continued disappearance of young Vietnamese asylum seekers has been debated between organizations involved in the placement of minors in protected shelters. Actions towards local police, team human trafficking North, the EMM and International Organization for Migration (IOM) were undertaken.
The information provided in the quarterly reports differs from statements made by former Secretary of Justice and Security Mark Harbers. When Argos discovered in 2018 that at least sixty Vietnamese children had gone missing in five years, Harbers informed MP’s that ‘at this moment there is no known information suggesting that a network of smugglers is involved in the disappearance of underage Vietnamese migrants’.
Human trafficking arrests
The Dutch public prosecutor’s office and border police have known about human smuggling by Vietnamese since at least 2017. In that year they arrested three suspects of Vietnamese heritage after receiving a tip from France. In January of this year, two suspects were sentenced by the court in Zwolle. The case file shows how one of the suspects smuggled three girls and a boy (two of whom were underage) from France to The Netherlands in 2016.
This is a summary, read the full Lost in Europe research article here.
More publications on the missing Vietnamese minors that fall into the hands of human traffickers can be found on the Lost in Europe website.
Do you want to support the journalists in their investigations? Do you have tips or evidence that can assist them in revealing more stories on human trafficking? You can reach them via this ‘tip’page.
Photo: © Argos.