Dutch citizens can be prosecuted if they sexually abuse a child, even if these child sex offenders operate abroad and it is not a criminal offense there. This is due to extraterritorial legislationArticle 7 of the Dutch Penal Code allows the Public Prosecution office to be able to prosecute Dutch nationals who are guilty of child abuse and/or child sexual abuse images abroad (see article 240b and  article 242 tot en met artikel 250 of the Dutch Penal Code).

Not only child sex offenders can be prosecuted. The organisations and individuals who profit from the sexual exploitation of minors can also be prosecuted for ‘human trafficking’ (Article 273f Dutch Penal Code). This also applies to organising and promoting travel with the aim of sexual abuse of minors.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

According to Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of the United Nations, a child is any person under the age of 18. According to Article 34 of this Convention, every child has the right to protection from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

See also the Toolkit Transnational Child Sex Offences for more information about Dutch and international legislation and child rights instruments.