Prosecution – The Netherlands

1. Crimes
2. Making a Police Statement
3. After Questioning

If, in a raid, police pick up an migrant sex worker who has no residence permit and/or no work permit, they will initiate immigration proceedings against her, and she may lose her recidency permit and be deported.
Criminal proceedings will also be initiated if she is suspected of having committed a crime in another matter (e.g. theft, fraud). In this case the woman is an accused party.


1. Crimes

A sex worker commits a crime if she does not pay tax whilst obliged to do so. If the woman works beyond the times permitted for sex work or in the streets outside the zones of tolerance, this is not a crime, but she can be fined.

2. Making a Police Statement

A. Right to Remain Silent

The accused has the right to remain silent. Even in answering questions about other people she does not need to say something which incriminate her.

B. Translator

The accused is entitled to the services of a translator in her own language. If she feels unable to trust the translator, she may refuse her/him.

C. Lawyer

The accused is entitled to the presence of her lawyer at questioning.
Hint: Memorise a lawyer’s telephone number!

D. Custody

The accused may be held in police custody for up to a maximum of six hours for investigation purposes. More time is allowed only if there is a suspicion of a serious crime.
If she merely has no residence permit, this will not generally happen.

E. Victims of Trafficking in Women

The woman may be not only accused, but also a victim of trafficking in women or other serious offences. Should this be the case, she has special rights.
She should insist that the police establish contact to an advisory centre.

3. After Police Questioning

A. Immigration Offences

A woman who has committed an immigration offence (illegal residency, illegal employment) will be expelled from the Netherlands if she does not possess a residence permit and is not entitled to remain on humanitarian or other grounds (see information in Migration).

B. Crimes

In case of crimes (e.g. theft, fraud etc.) the investigation authorities will initiate proceedings against her. A criminal charge and legal proceedings may follow. If a criminal sentence is passed, the woman may also lose her residence permit. This depends on the severity of the sentence and the type of residence permit.
If investigation proceedings are initiated against the woman, she should always seek a lawyer’s advice!
Scroll to Top