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  • Polish cleaning women case

    Country: the Netherlands

    Court: The Hague District Court

    Sentenced date: 05/10/2007

    Purpose of exploitation: Forced labour or services

    In this case, the Defendant is accused of aiding and abetting human trafficking (charge no. 1) (Article 273f (1) (i) (iv) and (vi), of the Dutch Criminal Code. The Defendant recruited several Polish women to come and work as domestic staff in the Netherlands and arranged work for the women as cleaners.

    The Explanatory Memorandum states that exploitation in the sense of this Article refers to modern types of slavery. The legislator has left further definition of the concept of exploitation to the courts. This Court is of the opinion that interpretation of the concept of exploitation should be modelled on the fifth report of the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, which contains a number of (non-exhaustive) indicators that could be a sign of exploitation. The Court is of the opinion that there are indications of misrepresentation, poor working conditions and multiple dependencies. Nonetheless, in the judgement of the Court, there is no question of a situation of excesses which would constitute an infringement of fundamental human rights.