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According to the Palermo Protocol, "The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant. This statement implies that there is no consent in the practice of prostitution. This raises the question about a conflict between legal prostitution and illicit trafficking. Despite the legalization of prostitution in 2000 in the Netherlands, allowing the government to tax prostitutes who are labeled as "entrepreneurs" many of the sex workers in the Netherlands are illegally trafficked into the industry. Through an analysis of Dutch laws that pertain to human trafficking as well as recommendations made in the seventh edition of the Dutch Rapporteur to edit current Dutch human trafficking laws, this study will attempt to measure actions the Dutch government has taken to combat illegal sex trafficking in the sex work industry. With the support of secondary research, this project will contribute to the debate on whether or not the legalization of prostitution is a simple solution to the problem of the sexual exploitation of persons in human trafficking.



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The Netherlands: Legalized Prostitution vs. Illegal Trafficking