The Belgian Interior Minister has announced the creation of a special Task Force to counter human trafficking. The move comes as his country steps up its battle against human traffickers to avoid the risk of Belgium becoming a ‘second Calais’.
In an interview with the Belgian television station, VTM, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security and Home Affairs set out his government’s policy on battling human trafficking. Flanders News reports that Jan Jambon told the interviewer “prevention is better than the cure” so Belgium will make extra effort to hunt down “those making big money on the back of people living in misery and taking advantage of this.”
The minister said that already almost 350 people suspected of human trafficking have been caught in Belgium since the start of last year, continuing: “So we can’t say the problem is non-existent in Belgium.” Most migrants intercepted in people smuggling attempts have been Syrians, Algerians and Moroccans, although many other nationalities have featured.
Jambon warned that if Belgium takes no action at the same time that French police and British border authorities are ramping up efforts in Calais, criminal human trafficking networks will simply move to other places. As he put it to the interviewer, “crime always seeks the path of least resistance.”
Although the criminal organisations involved are made up of many nationalities – including Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians and Albanians – Belgian citizens account for the largest single group, representing around 20 per cent of the total. This should not come as a surprise as Breitbart London has previously reported there is evidence of British human trafficking gangs’ involvement in Calais.
“The Immigration Department, Fedasil [the Federal Agency For The Reception Of Asylum Seekers], prosecutors and provincial governors will work together,” said Jambon, “everyone should sit together around the table. The aim is to collect data and exchange information, establish preventive actions to take legal action against networks and take actions together with the neighbouring countries.”
Immigration authorities in France and Britain struggling to cope with the migrant crisis in and around Calais will watch Belgium’s efforts with interest.