the hague - The 75-year-old Dutchman arrested in Nepal last Friday for sexual abuse of children has been in private visors for several weeks. These silent detectives are part of special international teams, active at various locations in Asia, and have taken tens of thousands of child abusers in the past few years.
The special detection teams are covered by the so-called WATCH program of Terres des Hommes. The children's organization will draw up this with a special department of the Dutch Police (Child Fighting and Child Sex tourism) and various partner organizations in Asia. These foreign partner organizations are in contact with the national police of the country concerned.
'We have nine hotspots in Asia, including in the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and India, where these teams are active. In each team there are three private detectives who monitor suspects, one social worker who cares for abused children after suspicion has been taken and lawyers who can assist the children legally. And we are successful. Already in Nepal, 67 arrests have been made in the last three years, which resulted in 21 convictions, 'says Gideon van Aartsen of Terre des Hommes.
The teams arrive on suspicion in various ways, Van Aartsen explains. 'For example, in Nepal, a telephone support line for young people has been launched in vulnerable neighborhoods, which can provide a lot of tips. But the on-site teams are also informed from the Netherlands. Here, the movements of about 350 people known to be potentially evil in the sense have been continuously monitored. For example, if we get information from airline companies or credit card companies that someone is traveling to a particular country, we will immediately inform the local detectives. '
If the detectives have knowledge of a crime, they will warn the local police. If it is a Dutchman, the Dutch police would prefer to be tried in the country where the offense was committed, says Van Aartsen. 'And the punishments can be good. The man who was arrested on Friday could get thirteen years imprisonment, as we understood from the Nepalese police. '
Currently, Terre des Hommes and other children's rights organizations, including Defense for Children ECPAT, Free a Girl and ICCO, work together to plan the teams even more firepower. 'Each organization has its own initiatives regarding the detection of child abusers abroad. When we join forces, we are soon provided with the eyes and ears of the world, 'said Van Aartsen.