Human trafficking is modern day slavery. It is the exploitation of people as cheap labour by coercion or deception. This can happen in the hospitality industry, agriculture and horticulture and the cleaning industry, but also in the sex industry. People were brought to the Netherlands under false pretences or they are migrant workers who, once here, got into trouble. Dutch citizens, however, can also be exploited.

Victims are not able to escape because they are completely dependent on their trafficker and are sometimes even being held captive. Not only do they get paid too little or nothing, but they are also frequently abused or threatened. Their passport is often taken from them and the employer often charges extremely high fees for their travel, housing or food. Victims are usually unaware of their rights.

Exploitation in prostitution is the most common form of human trafficking. Human trafficking nevertheless occurs in all conceivable sectors, such as horticulture, cleaning and temporary employment. Since 2005, labour exploitation – a form of human trafficking – is also punishable by law in the Netherlands.