Organized crime and trafficking in women from Eastern Europe in the Netherlands

Gerben J.N. Bruinsma*, Guus Meershoek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The prostitution sector is becoming more international. After the fall of the Iron Curtain the number of prostitutes from eastern and central Europe in the Netherlands increased rapidly. This contribution presents the results of an empirical study on trafficking in women from central and eastern Europe, conducted by researchers of the University of Twente in close cooperation with a team of policemen and crime analysts of a special inter-regional criminal investigation department on organized crime from East Europe and Turkey. Based on empirical data from 1994 to 1996, police sources, information from local police units concerned with supervising prostitution, and interviews with victims and with persons involved in the prostitution business, special attention is given to the modus operandi and nature of the criminal groups involved. Although most of the women leave their country voluntarily, once in the Netherlands they have to work under bad conditions, are more or less imprisoned, and earn only a very small fraction of the amount of money they were promised in their home country. Not all arrested offenders for trafficking in women are members of organized crime groups. A more differentiated picture emerges from the data. The Dutch police files show small, loosely organized cliques of professionals as well as larger organized crime groups having their center in eastern and central Europe or in the Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIllegal Immigration and Commercial Sex
Subtitle of host publicationThe New Slave Trade
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780203044551
ISBN (Print)9780714648323
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2012

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