Belgian legal instruments
The law introduced a series of amendments to certain articles of the Criminal Code. It is not required that the author makes use of any form of coercion and the consent of the victim became indifferent, to incriminate the offender. Moreover, the trafficking of women such as men and children for prostitution or debauchery is penalized.
The law of 13 April 1995, also punishes the dissemination of child pornography online. However, the production and the import of pornography materials featuring children are criminalized only when such acts are committed for the purpose of purchase or distribution.
With the law of 10 August 2005, the legal provisions on human trafficking have been profoundly changed. The offence of human trafficking is taken, as an autonomous offence in Articles 433quinquies to 433nonies and is defined for the first time, explicitly, in the Criminal Code. Consequently, aliens as well as Belgian citizens can be considered as potential victims of trafficking in human beings. Trafficking is not exclusively transnational it can be “national” and they are both punishable.
Moreover, human trafficking for sexual purposes such as other kind of exploitation can be incriminated.
In order to make the definition of human trafficking as complete as possible, the law significantly changes the article 433quinquies of the Criminal Code.
This law provides higher fines based on the number of victims; the fine will be multiplied by the number of victims exploited. Any form of sexual exploitation is now punishable, including sexual exploitation for personal gain.
Child sexual exploitation
This law inserts new provisions on the protection of child victims by ensuring accompaniment required to the minor during his hearing.
Act of 28 November 2000 regarding the penal protection of minors (link only in French)
This law complements the provisions included in the Belgian Criminal Code in 1995 regarding the sexual exploitation of children. It also introduces a new article 10ter on the principle of extra-territoriality. It is now possible to prosecute in Belgium, nationals or foreigners who commit sexual offences abroad, at least that they were committed on the person of a minor under 16 years of age.
National action plans
The Action Plan recommends particularly the education and training of all stakeholders who may come into contact with child victims of trafficking and the preparation of a simplified information tool to facilitate the referral of trafficking victims.
Shelters for victims of trafficking
Three are three centres specialised to provide assistance and protection to victims of trafficking:
- Pag-Asa, in Brussels (www.pag-asa.be)
- Sürya, in Liège, in the Walloon Region (www.asblsurya.org)
- Payoke, in Antwerp, in the Flemish Region (www.payoke.be)
The child victims are normally housed in centers for unaccompanied minors / victims of trafficking:
- Esperanto (Wallonia)
- Minor-Ndako & Juna (Brussels & Flanders).