Protection for victims of human trafficking or smuggling

Are you a victim of human trafficking or human smuggling? Are you exploited by an employer, forced to beg, work as a prostitute or commit a crime? Then you can get protection in Belgium under certain conditions.

When are you considered a victim of human trafficking?

If you are staying in Belgium, do not have Belgian nationality and are in more than one of the following situations:

  • You have ended up in a different situation to what you were promised.
  • You are forced to do things you don't want to do.
  • Your wage is much lower than what you were promised. You are not paid, or paid very little, for the work you do.
  • You are obliged to work by the people who brought you here, to pay for your trip.
  • You or your family are threatened, and/or you are the victim of violence.
  • Your documents have been taken or are being withheld.
  • You are confined. You live in isolation from the outside world.
  • You ended up in Belgium after a long journey, for which you had to pay a lot of money, you were a victim of violence or your life was at risk.

What protection is there for victims of human trafficking?

As a victim of human trafficking, you can obtain residency status, on condition that:

  • You cooperate with the investigation into these offences.
  • You have no further contact with the perpetrators of these offences
  • You agree to be supported by one of the three specialised reception centres in Belgium:
    • in Brussels: PAG-ASA
    • in Antwerp: PAYOKE
    • In Liege: SÜRYA

 Support in reception centres

The three reception centres help victims with:

  • safe shelter
  • medical and psychological support
  • legal assistance

The reception centres are accessible 24/7. Your request for information will be handled discretely.

Do you need urgent help, or are you in danger? Call the emergency number 101 or 112.