Media Contact: Shelly Han
WASHINGTON–The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced the following briefing:
Listening to Victims of Child Sex Trafficking
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Room 2255 Rayburn House Office Building
The sex trafficking and abuse of children is a crime that destroys the lives of the victims as well as the social fabric of society. The traffickers and abusers rely on their ability to frighten a child into silence or the reluctance of adults to listen when children speak. It is imperative that the justice system be ready to listen to allegations and to thoroughly investigate them.
The Helsinki Commission, in conjunction with the Victims’ Rights Caucus, will hold a briefing on how justice systems can most effectively respond to domestic and international allegations of child trafficking. The briefing will include a current case study in the Netherlands, where a government official has been accused of domestic and international child sex trafficking. Dutch authorities conducted a preliminary investigation, but many have found it grossly unsatisfactory as Dutch authorities interviewed only one of three victims and none of the available witnesses or facilitators of the alleged crime was interviewed. For more on the case study, please view the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmeYiR-yyS4.
The following panelists are scheduled to participate:
Adèle van der Plas, Attorney for domestic and international child victims of sex trafficking, Bakker Schut & Van der Plas
Klaas Langendoen, Private Investigator, Former Chief of the Criminal Intelligence Service, Netherland
Survivor of child trafficking in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Samantha Vardaman, Senior Director for Shared Hope International
** Panelists may be added**
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.