In the Netherlands, the selection of cases of trafficking in human beings (THB) for labour exploitation for prosecution takes place in two stages. Possible THB cases are first discussed in the central notification meeting (CMO). Selection of cases then takes place in the central selection meeting (CSO).

All signs of THB for labour exploitation are discussed in the central notification meeting (CMO), that consists of a public prosecutor and staff from the Criminal Investigation Directorate of the Inspectorate SZW. In case of a suspicion of a criminal offence, the public prosecutor will request additional information to be collected on the case.

When a case has acquired more substance, it is presented in the central selection meeting (CSO). If the participants are convinced it is possible to prosecute the case, it will be selected for prosecution. When cases are not yet considered to be feasible, they will either be investigated further, or redirected to be settled by the Inspectorate SZW under administrative law. The Inspectorate could for example apply an administrative fine.

Partners involved in the cooperation

  • Public prosecutor: decides which cases will be prosecuted
  • Criminal Investigation Directorate of the Inspectorate SZW: investigates the cases and presents them in the CMO and CSO meetings.

What makes this practice successful?

This system of selection helps to create an overview of possible cases of THB for labour exploitation and ensures a unified approach to those cases. It helps to keep criminal law as the ‘ultimum remedium’ (last resort) by choosing the cases that are most likely to lead to a conviction.