Forced prostitution and human trafficking
Prostitution or sex work means offering sex in exchange for money or other advantages.
When people are lured into prostitution with false promises of a better future in another country, this is called human trafficking.
Voluntary prostitution is legal in Belgium provided that both the sex worker and client are older than 18 and the sex worker acts of his/her free will and with consent. Prostitution without consent is forbidden by law and is severely punished. This includes any situation where somebody is forced to work as a sex worker.
Any situation where the sex worker or the client is younger than 18 is also illegal.
Human trafficking is also punishable in Belgium.
In Belgium, people who are recognised as victims of human trafficking can get residence status.
If you are a victim of human trafficking or forced prostitution you can contact specialised organisations such as PAG-ASA, Payoke and Child Focus. They can help you with the procedure and will respect your privacy.
You can also go to the police to report your situation and seek protection. If you know somebody who is a victim of forced prostitution you can contact the police or call 1712.