Rebecca Project for Human Rights Board Member Dr. Cassie Statuto Bevan Calls for Greater Oversight for Appropriations to the Department of State's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Office

House of Representatives Should Ensure Accountability for the TIP Program With Countries Such as The Netherlands Which Has Allowed Former Secretary General of the Dutch Justice Ministry Joris Demmink to Avoid Investigation for Alleged Sex Trafficking and Sex Abuse of Minors

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Rebecca Project for Human Rights board member Dr. Cassie Statuto Bevan today called for greater oversight for appropriations to the State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) office. Dr. Bevan stated before the subcommittee that the State Department standing behind the Netherlands Tier 1 Status, which signifies full compliance with the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), has allowed former high ranking Dutch official Joris Demmink to evade investigation for sex trafficking and sex abuse allegations. According to Dr. Bevan, there must be more effective, transparent, and compliant use of funds so countries are not rewarded for shielding alleged pedophiles like Demmink, who hid from prosecution behind his position as Dutch Justice Ministry Secretary General.  As Dr. Bevan noted, the Netherlands still maintains its Tier 1 status despite Congressional inquiries, hearings, and resolutions demanding action by Dutch authorities to investigate allegations against Demmink.

Joris Demmink has consistently been linked to the sexual assault of young boys, both in the Netherlands and abroad. In the fall of 1998, an investigation conducted into an Amsterdam brothel linked senior politicians and justice officials to the sexual abuse of young boys. Demmink was specifically identified by one of the young boys as an individual involved in the abuses. According to a former senior official at the Ministry of Justice, this investigation was foiled through the direct intervention of and obstruction by Demmink.

Excerpts from the written testimony of The Rebecca Project for Human Rights Dr. Cassie Statuto Bevan follow: "The Department of State standing behind the TIP rating of a Tier 1 status to the Netherlands allows the former Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Joris Demmink to continue to evade any serious investigation of his behavior. He can continue to hide behind the official positions he held that were responsible for investigating the very behavior that Mr. Demmink is accused of, namely, sex trafficking and the sex abuse and rape of minors. The Rebecca Project for Human Rights requests oversight before any appropriations are made to the Department of State's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Office to ensure accountability and to enforce effective, efficient, transparent and compliant use of funds. The TIP report on the extent to which countries are in compliance with the minimum standards set forth by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) (2003, 2005, 2008) recognizes that some 4,500,000 men, women and children are enslaved by sexual exploitation at any given time world wide."

"Government officials must be subject to the full implementation of the law or to the rule of law prohibiting human trafficking or trust in the treaties and covenants proclaiming to protect victims are rendered meaningless. Under Joris Demmink's watchful eye, witnesses and victims alike were not officially interviewed nor were the petitions filed in the Holland courts heard.  The Netherlands maintained its TIP Tier 1 rating, despite: (1) a letter to the European Union signed by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Joe Pitts (R-PA); (2) a letter sent to the President of Turkey from the Victims Caucus Co- Chairs Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Jim Costa (D-CA); (3) a hearing led by Chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ) of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE, Helsinki Commission); the introduction of H.Res. 62 by Rep. Chris Smith (R_NJ) detailing the credible allegations raised against Joris Demmink; an Op Ed in the Washington Times Online by Kwame Fosu of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights decrying the Demmink situations comparing Demmink to Jerry Sandusky formerly of Penn State; and protests in both Washington and New York City by anti-sex trafficking coalitions.

Rebecca Project for Human Rights board member Dr. Cassie Statuto Bevan's full testimony before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommitee on State,  Foreign Operations, and Related Programs is available at: http://www.arrestdemmink.com/index.asp?idmenu=4&title=News_and_Letters_from_Non-Profit_Organizations&idsubmenu=187

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

For more information: Darren Spinck (202-669-4418/Darren@gscgrouppr.com)

SOURCE Rebecca Project for Human Rights



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