Hundreds of Chinese prostitutes are appearing in main Belgian cities due to an increase in trafficking into the country, according to Eric Garbar, the new head of the federal police unit concerned with human trafficking.
Thousands of Chinese women have been coming to Europe in the last two years to work as prostitutes, Garbar, who specialised in the subject when working in Charleroi as a detective for the local and judicial police, explained to Knack.
“We are accustomed to seeing Chinese victims of exploitation, mainly in Chinese restaurants. There are also massage parlours.”
In Belgium, there are currently ten or so inquiries concerning criminal networks that exploit Chinese women. “They bring women to Europe to work on private premises, hotels, etc. – not behind shop windows or in bars. It is a question of hidden prostitution. That is why the phenomenon is very difficult to detect and control.”
The main cities affected (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Liège, and Charleroi) already have established Chinese communities.
“The fight against human trafficking must become a priority again in Belgium,” Garbar concluded. “For about five years, the police, mainly for political reasons, has been freeing a lot of resources to fight people-smuggling and illegal immigration, to the detriment of human trafficking.”
The Brussels Times