Before he came to work for the IND, he was already involved in the combating human trafficking in in Albania and Kosovo. Richard: "I cannot stand injustice. Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. Victims of human trafficking are being exploited terribly and often made completely dependent on the human traffickers by means of force. It is unacceptable that this is still happening today."
Under certain circumstances victims of human trafficking can claim a (temporary) residence permit. "That's badly needed, because those people - whether they are being exploited in prostitution or other sectors - are usually afraid of their exploiters. When potential victims are willing to cooperate with the criminal investigation against these exploiters, the Dutch Government gives them protection and that is a good thing. "
IND personnel are trained to recognise signs of human trafficking. More and more partnership is being brought about to counter human trafficking both in the Netherlands and in a European context. Richard: "human trafficking is usually within the domain of organised crime. Criminals constantly find new ways of placing and keeping people in situations that leave them vulnerable to exploitation. That underlines the importance of close cooperation in the migration chain, but also in a European and international context. I'm proud of the fact that the theme of human trafficking is being so broadly addressed at the IND and that we are together taking a structured approach to countering human trafficking."
"Human trafficking is a subject that greatly occupies me. It's a subject with a human aspect that everyone should find shocking. You know for sure that your efforts are being made for something worthwhile when you've seen the suffering of the victims with your own eyes."