Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of State issued its detailed report on the status of "Trafficking in Persons" in every country of the world, Albania to Zimbabwe. It ranks each country as Tier 1, Tier 2. or Tier 3.
Much of Europe and several countries elsewhere are in Tier 1. This means they are deemed to be working hard to stop trafficking in women, men, and children for prostitution and forced labor. Tier 2 countries are not so good and if they have "watch list" after the designation they may be in danger of falling into Tier 3.
The Netherlands, a long-time U.S. ally, is designated as Tier 1. The State Department report cheerily states, "The Government of The Netherlands fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government again showed regional and international leadership on anti-trafficking reforms."
Nevertheless, the report on the Netherlands begins by stating that it "…is primarily a source, destination and transit country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor." It notes that "Approximately 113 victims identified last year in the The Netherlands were male." While most of these cases involved people from various other countries, there are several home-grown ones.
Indeed, some of these cases involve a high government official and they cry out for public attention. Since 1998 there have been four police reports alleging that Joris Demmink, the Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Justice, ordered police officers to bring him young boys for sexual abuse. The investigations went nowhere, for Demmink's own Ministry of Justice refused to take action.
Demmink also is alleged to have raped several young boys while visiting Turkey. Two of these Turkish victims through their Dutch attorney, Adele van der Plas, have brought their charges to criminal court, but have been stymied by Demmink's allies. The boys are now left only with the option of seeking civil damages against their alleged rapist. Van de Plas said, "We cannot allow Demmink's offenses to be quietly hidden away. We must demand his public accountability in a court of law." Another of Demmink's male victims, a young Dutch citizen, has now stepped forward publicly to join the other accusers against Demmink for child molestation and rape.
For years, Demmink has enjoyed the protection of fellow bureaucrats and politicians. His reputation for abusing boys is known and has been reported by a number of Dutch media outlets, to no avail. It seems the Dutch power elite are determined to provide Demmink protection.
Given the fact that most Foreign Service officers in U.S. embassies have sharp ears and eyes for learning what's going on in the countries to which they are posted, one would expect the ones in The Hague to know about Demmink's predatory assaults on boys. Recent communications from the U.S. Embassy to Capitol Hill indicate they do know, but have decided to side with Demmink's allies since, as they put it, no "conclusive proof has never been delivered." It is hard, of course, to obtain conclusive proof of child molestation and rape if the Ministry charged with ferreting out such crimes is directed by the alleged abuser himself!
U.S. embassies are supposed to represent our values. What can be said of the bureaucrats at our embassy in The Hague who demand "conclusive proof" in the face of numerous accusations of child rape?
The U.S. Embassy seems to enjoy cordial relations at many levels with the Dutch government and wants to keep it that way. No scandals, please. Hence, its exculpatory report about Demmink to headquarters in Washington. As a result, the State Department, which is so conscientious about issuing its detailed reports on human trafficking, speaks with forked tongue: it says The Netherlands is a source for "sex trafficking" yet joins Dutch officials who are complicit in protecting a man who may be the world's highest ranking child molester.