Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue Steering Committee
Dear Mr. Christian Ehler,
We write to you out of concern for the integrity of the European Union’s ongoing efforts to combat the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. As combating these crimes remains a top EU priority, we are alarmed by recent assertions of the Dutch ministry of Security and Justice relating to the prosecution of the group “Martijn” and allegations of child sex abuse against the ministry’s secretary-general, Mr. Joris Demmink.
As you may be aware, Mr. Joris Demmink has been accused of child rape. It is asserted that Mr. Demmink traveled to Turkey in the 1990s to carry out the abuse and rape of numerous victims, and furthermore, it has been asserted that Mr. Demmink used the power of his position to obstruct efforts to file complaints against him, and used investigations as a way to deter his accusers.
Furthermore, during a criminal case last year, the Ministry of Security and Justice, under Demmink, contended that the promulgation of pedophilia and child pornography is legally protected under Dutch law, as demonstrated by the activities of “Martijn,” an association dedicated to legalizing sexual relations between adults and children. Although a civil court has decided to outlaw the group and ordered it dissolved, the ministry’s contention on that matter raises serious concerns for the institutional integrity of the ministry.
Mr. Demmink is accused of what could be considered child sex tourism, a form of human trafficking. Given the nature of the allegations against Mr. Demmink and his influence within the Ministry of Security and Justice, we are concerned that the Ministry may not be able to properly execute the Netherlands’s responsibilities under the EU Decision 2004/68/JHA, the Framework Decision on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, as well as other bilateral cooperations to combat sex trafficking. Further, if allegations against Mr. Demmink are true, we are concerned that with the open borders immigration policy of the EU, the Netherlands may be susceptible to becoming a “weak-link” in the chain of EU anti-sex trafficking efforts, as the secretary’s position could possibly compromise the ministry’s work in this regard.
Combating sex trafficking at the international level remains a top priority of our government just as it does the European Union. Recognizing this mutual priority, and shared concern, we believe this issue should be raised at the next EP/US Interparliamentary meeting. Furthermore, we ask that you convey our concerns to the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, in order that the European Parliament as a whole can take appropriate measures to address this situation while also being mindful of the potential risks involved when a single individual can potentially undermine broader anti-trafficking efforts.
Complaints of sex trafficking and sexual abuse of children must be granted our highest level of attention. As the New Transatlantic Agenda calls for a determination to fight international crime, we thank you for your attention to this important matter and unfortunate circumstance.
We look forward to working with the European Union in finding further areas of cooperation, and we appreciate your response to our requests.
Joseph R. Pitts
Member of Congress,
Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress,
Christopher H. Smith
Member of Congress
You can download scanned PDF version of this letter here.
The Pedophia Case of JORIS DEMMINK a High Level Dutch Ministry of Justice Official