Netherlands: Study of 'Wife-buying'

Trouw published a couple of columns about human trafficking in the Netherlands in the past couple of weeks. A recent report shows that Dutch citizens are the largest group of victims, followed by citizens of Nigeria, Bulgaria and China. Forced marriages is on the increase, but most victims are brought in for prostitution or work, or are victims of 'lover-boys'.

There were 579 cases of documented human trafficking in the Netherlands in 2006, and 716 in 2007, an increase of 123%, and authorities suspect it's just the tip of the iceberg.


Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin will study how often Turkish and Moroccan men buy a wife in their land of origin. According to the minister it's 'completely unacceptable'.

Ballin was speaking in the weekly question-hour in Parliament, following up on a report by newspaper Trouw. From data of the Coördinatiecentrum Mensenhandel (Comensha, Coordination Center for Human Trafficking) is appears that there are more and more forced marriages. Especially Turkish and Moroccan men regard their bought wife, who often doesn't have residence status, as their property and keep her like a slave at home.

Hirsch Ballin will check whether this is true. Where necessary he will discuss the issue with the authorities in the land of origin. The PVV (Party for Freedom) spoke of "Middle-ages practices". The minister pointed out that the countries from which the victims come don't accept the practice either.

He also said that women who are brought to the Netherlands must take a naturalization course. If they don't turn up it's a sign that something is wrong. The authorities must then act. The minister would raise the issue with his colleague, Minister of Integration Ella Vogelaar.

Labor parliamentarian Khadija Arib, who had called Hirsch Ballin to parliament, also asked to pay attention to the fate of victims of lover-boys and youth prostitution. She asked to set up a separate reporting hotline. According to the minister Comensha functions as such a hotline , but it obviously must be made more public.

Sources: Telegraaf; Trouw 1, 2 (Dutch)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What on earth is the difference between a "bought wife" and a regular Muslim wife, who are bought anyway or else the marriage is invalid? All marriage in Islam is sex slavery/prostitution, since the marriage contract is an agreement between two men regarding a piece of property (a woman/vagina - same thing in Islam) and money, so I fail to be able to make this distinction. Can anyone clarify this for me?