Fair compensation for victims of human trafficking? A case study of the Dutch injured party claim

Any person who has been a victim of human trafficking has a right to compensation. Compensation entails the reimbursement of material and immaterial damages a trafficked person has suffered. In spite of the internationally recognized right to compensation, the number of trafficked persons in Europe...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:International review of victimology
Main Author: Cusveller, Jeltsje (Author)
Other Authors: Kleemans, E.R. (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2018
In:International review of victimology
Year: 2018, Volume: 24, Issue: 3, Pages: 297-311
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Any person who has been a victim of human trafficking has a right to compensation. Compensation entails the reimbursement of material and immaterial damages a trafficked person has suffered. In spite of the internationally recognized right to compensation, the number of trafficked persons in Europe having actually received any reimbursement is very low. The present study identifies obstacles to compensation by analysing the Dutch injured party claim. It uses 190 case files covering the period 2013-2014. The empirical results show several issues. Only an estimated 4% of all registered victims claim compensation in the criminal court. A fifth of these claims are inadmissible. Admissible claims are on average awarded only half of the claimed amount. A major reason for this is how difficult it is to estimate damages accurately. This is, in many cases, related to a lack of proof, caused by for example lack of records, insufficient financial investigation, and incomplete testimonies, which result in only minimum amounts being awarded. Additionally, judges are often inclined to dismiss the claim or award a minimum, even in those cases where evidence is available. As a result, compensation is often not in line with damages that have actually been suffered.
ISSN:2047-9433
DOI:10.1177/0269758018758427