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Law containing provisions to combat trafficking in human beings and child pornography 1

13 April 1995

[Comment: Articles 1 to 8 of the Law of 13 April 1995 entail modifications of the Law of 15 December 1980, of the Criminal Code and of the Code of criminal instructions. These legal texts have been repeatedly amended without coherent adaptation of the Law of 13 April 1995, the text of which therefore does not correspond any more with the current versions of the Law of 15 December 1980, the Criminal Code and the Code of criminal instructions. It is for this reason that the articles 1 to 8 have here been omitted. The original version of these articles is, however, accessible on: www.just.fgov.be/index_fr.htm]

CHAPTER I -Trafficking in human beings

An article, 77bis, worded as follows, is hereby inserted in the Law of 15 December 1980 on admittance to the territory and the residence, establishment and deportation of aliens:2

" Art. 77 bis

§ 1. Whoever shall, by whatever means, directly or through an intermediary , assist an alien in entering or residing in the Kingdom and, in so doing, shall:

1. subject the alien, directly or indirectly, to fraudulent practices, violence, threats or any form of coercion;

2. or take advantage of the particularly vulnerable position in which the alien is placed as a result of illegal or insecure administrative status, pregnancy, illness, infirmity or a physical or mental disability;

shall be punished by 1 to 5 years' imprisonment and a fine of 500-25,000 Francs.

§2. The offence referred to in § 1 shall be punished by severe imprisonment and a fine of 500- 25,000 Francs if it constitutes a habitual activity.

§3. The offence referred to in §2 shall be punished by 10 to 15 years' penal servitude and a fine of 1000-1 00,000 Francs if it constitutes an act of complicity in the principal or consequential activity of an association, whether or not the offender is a leader of such association.

§4. In addition, persons found guilty of the offences referred to in §2 and §3 shall be sentenced to loss of the rights specified in Article 31(1), (3), (4) and (5) of the Criminal Code.

§5. The special confiscation provided for in Article 42(1) of the Criminal Code may be applied, even where ownership of the objects in question does not lie with the convicted person."

Art. 2. Article 379 of the Criminal Code is hereby replaced by the following provision:

"Art. 379. Whoever shall have violated public decency by provoking, favouring or inciting sexual immorality, corruption or the prostitution of a minor of either sex, in order to gratify the passions of another, shall be punished by severe imprisonment and a fine of 500-25,000 Francs.

Such persons shall be sentenced to 10 to 15 years' penal servitude if the minor is aged under 16 years.

The sentence shall be 15 to 20 years' penal servitude and a fine of 1000-1 00,000 Francs if the minor is aged under 10 years.

Art. 3. Article 380bis of the same Code is hereby replaced by the following provision:

"Art. 380bis § 1. A punishment of 1 to 5 years' imprisonment and a fine of 500-25,000 Francs shall be imposed on:

1. anyone who, to gratify the passions of another, shall have recruited, enticed, corrupted or held an adult for the purposes of sexual immorality or prostitution, even with the consent of that person (.. .);

2. anyone who shall have kept an establishment for sexual immorality or prostitution;

3. anyone who shall have sold, hired or made available rooms or any other premises for the purpose of prostitution with the aim of an unlawful profit;

4. anyone who shall have, by whatever means, exploited the sexual immorality or prostitution of another .

§2. An attempt to commit the offences referred to in §1 shall be punished by 6 months' to 3 years' imprisonment and a fine of 100-5000 Francs.

§3. Sentences of 10 to 15 years' penal servitude and a fine of 500-50,000 Francs shall be imposed for the offences referred to in § 1, insofar as their perpetrator:

1. makes direct or indirect use of fraudulent practices, violence, threats or any form of coercion;

2. or takes advantage of the particularly vulnerable position in which an individual is placed as a result of illegal or insecure administrative status, pregnancy, illness, infirmity or physical or mental disability .

§4. A sentence of 10 to 15 years' penal servitude and a fine of 1000-100,000 Francs shall be imposed on:

  1. anyone who, to gratify the passions of another, shall have recruited, enticed, corrupted or held, either directly or through an intermediary, a minor aged under 16 years, even with his or her consent, for the purpose of sexual immorality or prostitution;

§5. The offences referred to in §4 shall be punished by 15 to 20 years' penal servitude and a fine of 1000-1 00,000 Francs if they are committed in respect of a minor aged under 10 years.

Art. 4. An article 381bis is hereby inserted in the same Code and worded as follows:

"Art. 381bis. The offences referred to in articles 379 and 380bis, §§3 and 4, shall be punished by 15 to 20 years' penal servitude and a fine of 1000-1 00,000 Francs if they constitute acts of complicity in the principal or consequential activity of an association, whether or not the offender is a leader of such association."

CHAPTER III -Extra-territoriality

Art. 8. Article 10ter, worded as follows, is hereby inserted in the Introductory Part of the Code of Criminal Procedure:

Art. 10ter. A Belgian, or alien found in Belgium, who shall have committed, outside the Kingdom's territory, one of the offences listed in Articles 372, 373, 375, 376 and 377 of the Criminal Code, where the act was committed in respect of a minor aged under 16, in Articles 379, 380bis, 381bis and 383bis, §1 and §3, of the same Code, in Article 77bis, §2 and §3, of the law of 15 December 1980, on admittance to the territory and the residence, establishment and deportation of aliens, and in Articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Law of 9 March 1993 concerning regulation and control of the activities of marriage brokers may be prosecuted in Belgium even if the Belgian authorities have received no complaint or official notice from the foreign authority."

CHAPTER IV -Action to close premises

Art. 9. An action to close premises may be lodged with the president of the court of first instance by the competent ministers, if there is evidence of violation of welfare legislation in the premises and if there are reasonable grounds for supposing that the offences referred to in Articles 379 and 380bis of the Criminal Code or in Article 77bis of the law of 15 December 1980, on admittance to the territory, residence, establishment and extradition of aliens, are being committed.

Art. 10. The action shall be brought and conducted under urgent proceedings.

It may be brought by petition. Such petition shall be filed in quadruplicate with the Registry of the court of first instance or posted to this Registry by registered letter.

The Registrar of this court shall inform the opposing party forthwith by judicial recorded delivery and summon them no earlier than three days and no later than eight days following dispatch of the judicial recorded delivery, to which an example of the submitted petition is attached.

To be valid, the petition shall include:

1. the date, month and year;

2. the applicant's name, first names, profession and address;

3. the name and address of the individual or legal entity against whom the petition is directed;

4. the subject of the petition and statement of evidence;

5. the lawyer's signature.

A decision shall be taken on the proceedings after the prosecution service has been heard, notwithstanding any proceedings being conducted with regard to the same facts before any criminal court.

The judgment shall be immediately enforceable, notwithstanding any appeal and without the need for a surety.

The Registrar shall inform the minister forthwith of appeals lodged against any judgment passed in application of Article 9.

CHAPTER V -Execution and monitoring of the law

Art. 11. §1. For the purpose of applying this chapter, trafficking in human beings shall be understood to mean:

  1. the offences referred to in 77bis of the law of 15 December 1980 on admittance to the territory and the residence, establishment and deportation of aliens;
  2. the offences referred to in articles 379 and 380bis, §1(1), §§ 2 and 3 of the Criminal I Code.

§2. In accordance with his powers, the King shall decide on the regulations and specific IJ measures that he deems appropriate to establish and adopt on behalf of victims of trafficking in human beings, in order ( ...) to help them, particularly with regard to instituting judicial proceedings.

§3. Article 2 of the Law of 15 February 1993, establishing a Centre for Equal Opportunities and Action against Racism, shall be supplemented as follows: "The Centre shall also promote the fight against trafficking in human beings".

§4. In Article 3(5) of the same law, the words "to which implementation of the Law of30 July 1981 to combat certain actions inspired by racism or xenophobia, could give rise" shall be replaced by the words "to which implementation of the Law of 30 July 1981 to combat certain actions inspired by racism or xenophobia, or implementation of the Law of. .., containing provisions to combat trafficking in human beings and child pornography, could give rise."

§5. Associations approved in this respect by the King, and charitable organisations, may take part in court proceedings concerning any disputes to which the present law may give rise.

Art. 12. The Government shall submit an annual report to Parliament on application of the present law and on the fight against trafficking in human beings in general. In particular, this report shall describe the situation with regard to court proceedings.

CHAPTER VI -Amending provisions

Indent 17, worded as follows, is hereby inserted in Article 90ter, §2, of the Code of Criminal Procedure:

"17. Article 77bis, §2 and §3, of the Law of 15 December 1980, on admittance to the territory, residence, establishment and deportation of aliens. "


1. Wet houdende bepalingen tot bestrijding van de mensenhandel en van de kinderpornografie. 13 april 1995,Belgisch Staatsblad of 24 april 1995, unofficial translation.

2. Belgisch Staatsblad,31 December 1980, in N. SIRON and P. VAN BAEVEGHEM, Trafficking in Migrants through Poland. Multidisciplinary research into the phenomenon of transit migration in the candidate Member States of the EU, with a view to the combat of traffic in persons, Antwerp, Maklu, 1999, p. 16