Human trafficking

The IO is one of the links in the chain of partners (police, social inspectorate, magistrates of the public prosecutor's office, accredited specialised centres) that provide a multidisciplinary contribution to the fight against human trafficking and smuggling, as defined in the multidisciplinary inter-ministerial circular of 23 December 2016.

The common objective is, on the one hand, to fight against human trafficking and smuggling networks and, on the other hand, to protect the victims.

The IO is responsible for issuing residence documents to victims of human trafficking and certain aggravated forms of human smuggling, in accordance with Articles 61/2 to 61/5 of the Law of 15 December 1980, when it receives a request to this effect from one of the three centres specialising in receiving human trafficking victims.

The three specialised centres approved in Belgium are PAYOKE, PAG-ASA and SÜRYA.

The beneficiaries of this status are:

1/ Victims of human trafficking; an offence defined in Article 433qq of the Penal Code: "the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring, receiving and passing on or transferring control over a person, with the aim of exploiting that person".

2/ Victims of human smuggling, but only in the aggravating circumstances described in Article 77quater, 1° to 5° of the Law of 15 December 1980.

Only the competent magistrate can formally acknowledge the victim by granting them (provisional) status.

The multilingual brochure for victims of human trafficking raises awareness of the situation of presumed trafficked persons and directs them to specialised centres for help and assistance.