|By PR Newswire||
|January 22, 2013 05:45 PM EST||
During Senator Kerry's confirmation hearing to become the next Secretary of State, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee must address issues related to child trafficking and pedophilia in the Netherlands
WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the eve of Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) confirmation hearing to become the next U.S. Secretary of State, the issue of child trafficking and instances of pedophilia accusations against former senior members of the Dutch government remain unanswered. The Rebecca Project for Human Rights strongly urges members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and U.S. Secretary of State nominee Kerry to address the failure of Dutch law enforcement to fully investigate the accusations of pedophilia against former Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary-General Joris Demmink and explain how the Netherlands continues to maintain a Tier 1 status in the 2012 U.S. Department of States Trafficking in Persons Report, which indicates the Dutch government "fully [complies] with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act's (TVPA) minimum standards."
The Rebecca Project for Human Rights Executive Director Imani Walker and Policy Director Kwame Fosu issued the following statement: "The victims of former top Dutch Justice Ministry official Joris Demmink continue to demand a full investigation into his alleged pedophile crimes. Despite the victims' continued pleas for justice, Joris Demmink remains free, retired with honor from the Dutch government, and receives a full pension thanks to the Dutch taxpayers. Furthermore, the Netherlands continues to do no wrong in the eyes of the U.S. government, as it maintains a Tier 1 status for its so-called compliance with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act's minimum standards. How is this possible when Demmink's alleged victims have not been interviewed by Dutch law enforcement officials and have been threatened to recant their accusations? U.S. Secretary of State nominee John Kerry has an opportunity to set a new standard for how the U.S. government identifies those countries that clearly do not comply with anti-trafficking laws. As the Dutch government dithers and refuses to arrest Joris Demmink or even investigate the accusations of Demmink's pedophilia crimes in the Netherlands and in other countries, the next U.S. Secretary of State must address the ongoing problem of child trafficking and pedophilia in the Netherlands. Other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee should not hesitate to demand answers as to how the Netherlands remains a Tier 1 status country for combatting trafficking and whether the Dutch government has been complicit in covering up pedophilia crimes committed by a senior Dutch government official."
During an October 4, 2012 U.S. Helsinki Commission Briefing – "Listening to Victims of Child Sex Trafficking" – Chairman and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), in reference to the accusations against Secretary-General Joris Demmink, stated "It is imperative that the justice system be ready to listen to allegations and to thoroughly investigate allegations no matter when they are raised – and no matter who is accused." According to a report on the briefing in the Catholic News Report, accusations of Demmink sexually abusing young boys in Turkey remain uninvestigated. The report stated: "The boys' lawyer, Adèle van der Plas, said that the criminal charges filed on behalf of these boys were never officially investigated, despite the availability of primary witnesses. One of the accusers has reportedly faced threats and abuse for coming forward with his story. Rather than investigate the matter, she said, the government accepted Demmink's claim that he was not in Turkey in the 1990s. While Turkish sources have evidence to suggest that this is not accurate, she said, 'there is considerable pressure exerted on the Turks by the Dutch not to reveal the truth.'" According to van der Plas' testimony before the U.S. Helsinki Commission, Dutch authorities also deterred criminal investigations into pedophile networks of influential Dutch customers at boy brothels.
For more information on the criminal complaints against Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary-General Joris Demmink, please visit www.ArrestDemmink.com. A transcript of the U.S. Helsinki Commission Briefing, Listening to Victims of Child Sex Trafficking, can be found here: http://www.arrestdemmink.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&title=Latest%20News&idsubmenu=135#.UHUnyLSOW0s. A video of the hearing may be viewed here: http://www.arrestdemmink.com/index.asp?idmenu=5&title=Testimonial%20Videos&idsubmenu=138#.UHUoI7SOW0s. A letter from U.S. Congressmen Chris Smith (R-NJ), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Joe Pitts (R-PA) to the EU Chairman of the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue Steering Committee regarding Joris Demmink is available here: http://www.arrestdemmink.com/downloads/Letter_to_Christian_Ehler_re_Joris_Demmink.pdf.
The Rebecca Project for Human Rights (RPHR) is a transformational organization that advocates for justice, dignity, and reform for vulnerable women and girls in the United States and internationally. For more information, please visit: http://www.rebeccaproject.org/index.php
SOURCE Rebecca Project for Human Rights
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