Inspectorates and financial aspects

Human trafficking perpetrators are mainly motivated by financial gains. THB for labour exploitation is a very profitable and lucrative business for criminals. A more effective use of financial investigations in THB cases is necessary to take away the criminal proceeds, since this will hurt the criminals the most.

Regarding financial investigations, inspectorates could:

Assess the financial records of a company

Inspectorates will often need to consider the financial transactions of businesses that they inspect. For example, to examine whether workers have received the correct pay. They may have the power to detect, get access to and take copies of relevant data carriers, including electronically accessible carriers.

As part of the evidence that they obtain under their inspection powers, labour inspectorates may identify information on the accounts or assets of a business. That information may help the police carry out a financial investigation into THB for labour exploitation.

Calculate the profits made by exploiting workers and seize them during prosecution

Employers who exploit their workers often make large profits. Calculating the earnings could be a way to seize the assets of perpetrators. The profits made by the perpetrator(s) should be seized as part of the court case. In Belgium, the Social Inspectorate is regularly asked by prosecutors to calculate the amount of illegally acquired profits.

Cooperate with social security authorities

Labour inspectorates also deal with the issue of illegal or undeclared work. These can be signs of THB for labour exploitation. It is often useful for labour inspectorates to check the actual number of workers (on a particular site) against the database of the Social Security Administration. When the number of workers registered for social security insurance by their employer differs greatly from the actual number, this may point to illegal or undeclared work, or even THB for labour exploitation.

In cases where workers are being posted, sometimes no social security contributions at all are being paid in the sending country. Therefore, information about whether or not workers are registered with the social security authorities can be useful to detect illegal or undeclared work.

More general information on the financial aspects of THB for labour exploitation.