More people need to be made aware of the ‘loverboy’ phenomenon. ‘Loverboys’ are men who recruit victims by seducing them, reveals the annual report published by Myria (Federal Migration Centre) on Monday. In Belgium, loverboys are mostly active in the world of prostitution.
Their victims are vulnerable young girls recruited either in their home countries (mainly Romania, Bulgaria and Albania) or directly in Belgium. They are contacted through social media or outside youth organisations and are treated in a way which makes them emotionally dependent. “Victims should not be stigmatised, but on the contrary be treated as victims of human trafficking. They are not at fault,” says Myria, without specifying how many young girls they think are involved in this.
The Federal Migration Centre is highlighting how important it is to raise awareness more energetically with youth organisations, educational institutions, as well as police forces and courts, so they will be more able to spot signs poiting to human trafficking. Myria’s report also calls for a government action plan to fight human trafficking, and approves of talks which have started to discuss this issue.
The Centre also insists that the sole aim of human trafficking is money. “In the fight against human trafficking the financial aspect is crucial both at a national and international level.”