The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

I heard a broadcast on Radio 4 a few months ago, about the "Romeo" problem: young Moroccan/Turkish men in the Netherlands, who hang around schools to seduce young girls, with the explicit aim of transporting these girls into a life of prostitution.  From the Radio 4 broadcast it seemed as if the victims were mostly white.  It struck me as so similar to what I'd heard was going on in Britain (but which Radio 4 has never reported on, because it is too dangerous to report on something like this close to home - something might need to be done).  The broadcast mentioned that in Holland it was difficult to address this problem properly because of political correctness, and so it was termed "the Romeo problem", and the race/religion of the perps was never mentioned in official responses to it.  I spoke to a Dutch friend about it, and he said that actually the euphemistic PC phrase  was "lover boys".  Armed with the right keywords I was able to do some research on it.

There is currently a short film being shown on Al Jazeera about a muslim man in Holland working to stop these things. 

"the story of Ibrahim, a courageous Dutch-Moroccan social worker in the Netherlands who is tackling the high incidences of sex-trafficking of young Dutch girls by their so-called 'boyfriends' - the Lover Boys - the majority of whom are Dutch-Moroccan.  It is a taboo subject, but Ibrahim and his allies, including a local sheikh, are determined to remove this stain from their community."

Interestingly Ibrahim has an indigenous Dutch father.  

It is good that a Dutch muslim is leading a campaign against these grooming gangs.  But this problem has been going on for so long in the Netherlands.  There are official reports, educational programmes in schools to warn girls, police prosecutions, etc. These date back at least a decade.

It appears that Ibrahim Wijbenga from the Al Jazeera report has been working in this field for some time:

The Muslim community in the Netherlands is ignoring the relatively big percentage of Moroccan and Turkish loverboys.  "The Turkish and Moroccan community has developed into a hotbed of pimps and loverboys," says Eindhoven youth counselor Ibrahim Wijbenga, an expert in the field of loverboys.

Wijbenga, a Muslim and half-Moroccan, calls upon the Dutch Moroccans and Turks to take a stand against youth who are active as pimps.  "From the good families in our community I ask to come out and condemn this with me, to show that we're not all like that."

According to a 2004 annual report "On Anti-trafficking In Persons" provided by the Dutch embassy (and to be found on a Wikilieaks site) 

The Netherlands is both a destination and transit country for international trafficking in persons (TIP), mostly women and girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation, although some labor trafficking occurs. Trafficking victims are also "recruited" internally by so- called "lover boys," primarily Moroccan or Turkish young men/boys living in the Netherlands, who seduce young, mostly immigrant girls into prostitution...

The government and NGOs have initiated public information campaigns against young prostitutes and lover boys in the Netherlands..

The victims of "lover boys" are mostly underage girls and young women of Moroccan and Turkish descent.

It seems rather strange that the victims of these grooming pimps should also be muslim girls.  Given the conciseness of that leaked memo, I think it may be a typo (although I'm not sure these scumbag criminals would really care about the religion of the person they are exploiting).

If there were international reports and governmental memos on this, and the known-scale of it was so large between 2001 and 2004, with governmental projects and criminal prosecutions in place to stop it, how come the British authorities were not looking for the same thing in our country, especially in the light of high-level accusations in England back in 2003?

Another report (from Radio Netherlands, but found in the Wayback Machine archive), says that in 2001 there were 5,000 schoolgirls groomed into this kind of prostitution:

Another large group (also 5,000) are ‘ordinary' Dutch schoolgirls, aged 13 or 14 from a "regular home environment" who are lured into prostitution by so-called "lover-boys". Theo Knippenberg, the Director of ChildRight describes the lover-boys as handsome-looking adolescents who appear to have made it in life. They're well-dressed, drive expensive cars and lavish presents on these young and susceptible girls, who will quickly fall in love with them. "Of course, they'll have sex and after a while the girl will be forced to have sex with one of his friends, which will open the way for prostitution."">  Again, this report is from 2001.  There is also an undated report on child prostitution in the Netherlands, which discusses the problem.

There is a NGO in the Netherlands set up by  Anita de Wit, after seeing her daughter’s pseudo-boyfriend force her to work in Amsterdam’s red light district.

According to de Wit's site, this is how it works:

the boy takes you into a world where you don't need parents or friends. Together you're a future, a future where only the two of you are important.

But then it all changes, he's got debts and asks for your help. At that moment, you've got a very strong connection, so you really want to help him, but you're also running out of money and tools to support him. Then he's got the big solution.. forced prostitution, weapon trade, drugs trade, any trade whatsoever. He or his friends will protect you and you're willing to do everything, because at that point, you're frightened. He's changed.. the sweet boy is gone, now it's a hard guy and there's no way out. You don't speak to your parents anymore and your friends.. well.. you pushed them away for your boy a long time ago. You're looking for a way out, but he's always three steps ahead of you.

He's blackmailing you with webcam videos and pictures, which include you, having sex with him or other men. When blackmailing isn't working anymore, he starts to threaten, torture and even rape you.

At this point you're a loverboyvictim and you have to work for him. The only use you have is making money. When you don't make enough money, you'll be beaten up, or worse. Also you may be usefull as a lovergirl, this means you have to get other girls in the loverboyworld.

You're feeling guilty, lonely and maybe you don't see a way out. You think you're the only person on the world and other people don't see you anymore...

Does any of this sound familiar?

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Replies to This Discussion

Indoeuropean posted a lot of stuff about Loverboys in the Women's Room as well.

I found this post by Indo.

I could not find any others.  If you do stumble upon them, please include links here.  

The UK authorities have known for years that the Moroccans/Turks in Holland who are grooming & pimping out girls are united with their Pakistani counterparts not only by religion, but also by technique.

There is a video on these "lover boys" (disgusting euphemism).  I also heard them referred to on a Radio 4 programme about grooming/raping gangs in Holland as "the Romeo Problem".


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