Human trafficking ≠ smuggling
Human trafficking is the act of exploiting people for financial gain. It is essentially a form of modern slavery. Exploitation can be sexual – prostitution for example – or economic: construction, hospitality, or the domestic sector. Human trafficking is separate from human smuggling. The latter can be defined as the act of helping people to illegally cross a border for one’s own financial gain.
Both human trafficking and migrant smuggling are punishable in Belgium. This has been the law on human trafficking since 13 April 1995. In 2005 a new law on human trafficking was enacted, prompting Belgium’s new international and European mechanisms that had been established in those years to undergo legislative change and adapt to the new law. As a result, human smuggling and trafficking now have clear definitions.
Defining human trafficking
The new article 433d of the Penal Code defines human trafficking as : the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, habouring, and accommodating someone, putting them under someone else’s control in order to exploit them.
The operating segments are listed exhaustively:
- prostitution or child pornography exploitation
- exploitation of begging
- degrading working conditions
- organ removal
- forced crime or other offenses (e.g. some types of theft or drug trafficking)
Defining human smuggling
Human smuggling is defined by the new article 77a of the Act of 15 December 1980 on foreigners as: the act of facilitating, in some way or another, be it directly or by an intermediary, the unauthorized entry, transit, or stay of a non-EU citizen into or through a EU member state, in violation of state law, directly or indirectly, for financial gain.
2020 Annual report trafficking and smuggling of human beings
In its annual report entitled Behind closed doors Myria hightlights the need to raise awareness on the exploitation of domestic workers, the special attention that needs to be paid to diplomatic domestic staff and the COVID-19 aspect.
Myriadoc 10: Belgium, on the road to the United Kingdom
In this publication, Myria focusses on transit migration, and specifically on transit migrants who want to get to the United Kingdom.
2019 Annual report trafficking and smuggling of human beings
Justice for human trafficking victims has a long way to go. With its annual report, Myria wants to contribute to their empowerment and has put together concrete recommendations for the attention of public authorities.
[Brochure] Family reunification with beneficiaries of international protection in Belgium
This brochure explains the family reunification procedure for beneficiaries of international protection in Belgium. The latest update is from autumn 2019
Socio-demographic profile and socio-economic careers of people granted international protection in Belgium, 2001-2014
What is the socio-demographic profile and the socio-economic careers of people who obtained a status of international protection in Belgium? The Belgian Contactpoint of the European Migration Network (EMN) publishes a study on labour market participation of beneficiaries of international protection. The research was done by the demographic research centre DEMO (UCLouvain) in cooperation with Myria.
2018 Annual report trafficking and smuggling of human beings
Myria, the National independent rapporteur on human trafficking assesses in its latest report the detection, reception and support of child victims of human trafficking. According to the findings of Myria Nigerian minors are a particularly vulnerable group.