An interesting report on Al Jazeera, featuring a Moroccan-Dutch Muslim in has battle against young men (and some women) and their practices of dragging women into prostitution. Lover Boys – Witness – Al Jazeera English
I got involved in the battle against human trafficking – and in particular against the young pimps sometimes referred to as ‘Lover Boys’ – in 2003.
It is a term too lovely to convey the horror of their actions: buying girls gifts and fancy clothes with the aim of gradually establishing a tighter grip over their lives and eventually forcing them into prostitution.
In the Netherlands, many ‘Lover Boys’ – and some of their victims – are of Moroccan origin. It was this connection to the country of my own roots that inspired me to gather more information on them and their practices.
‘Lover Boys’ often seduce girls with gifts and promises of easy money. But when those girls are from their own community, they also abuse the culture of that community for their own ends. Once a girl from that community has lost her virginity to a ‘Lover Boy’ she has little choice but to stay with him for the other men in her community are unlikely to befriend or marry her.
We knew that getting a hold on these boys would not only be a task for the police, but that it would require getting the inside track on them – using the forces within their community for prevention and utilising the power of Islam and our imams, who have a strategically important position within the Moroccan community.
Wijbenga recognizes there is a risk of racialising sexual crimes but nevertheless feels it to be his duty to raise awareness about the problem and to involve Islamic organizations in his work. The ‘lover boy’ issue is part of a bigger problem perhaps with sexual violence against women in the Netherlands and although the issue is a very complicated one, it is important to do something against it.