Article 433 novies



Abuse of vulnerability Administrative sanctions Child labour Coercive, unfair or deceptive recruitment Confiscation of assets Corporate criminal liability Economic sanctions Forced labour Human trafficking Immigration status

Article 433 novies stipulates that whenever the offence of human trafficking has been committed with the presence of at least one of the aggravating circumstances established byArticle 433 sexies, septies and octies, the offender will not only be punished with a long prison sentence and a fine, but will also be sentenced to the deprivation of certain civil rights (as provided in article 31, para 1 of the Belgian Criminal Code).

Regardless of whether the offender, who has committed an offence under Article 433quinquies, is a physical person or a company, and regardless of whether he exploits or owns the property in which the offence was committed, the court may order the temporary or permanent closure of the business implicated.

The special confiscation established by Article 42 of the Criminal Code will be applied to offenders convicted of human trafficking under Article 433, and both moveable and immoveable property will be confiscated.


Article 433novies/1 also introduces the prohibition of the publication and distribution of (or even the attempt to publish or distribute) texts, drawings, photos and other images and audio clips that could give any indication of the identity of the victim of human trafficking. This is punished in accordance with article 378bis Criminal Code (imprisonment of 2 months to 2 years and/or a fine of 300 to 3,000 euro), except when the publication or distribution occurred with the (written) consent of the victim or within the framework of a judicial inquiry or investigation proceedings.

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Law /Belgium / Criminal Code

The Belgian Criminal Code is the basic statutory instrument containing various provisions on penalties and offences.

The Belgian Criminal Code has been amended by numerous Acts (the provisions outlined in this database are as amended by these Acts.). The thre Acts that are most relevant to human trafficking for labour exploitation are:

  • Act of 10 August 2005 amending various provisions with a view to strengthening the fight against trafficking of human beings and the practices of slum landlords: this Act has inter alia led article 433quinquies – 433novies to be inserted into the Criminal Code, thereby creating the autonomous offence of human trafficking, and has amended the offence of human smuggling contained in article 77bis – 77sexies Aliens Act .
  • Act of 24 June 2013 on the punishment of the exploitation of begging and prostitution, human trafficking and smuggling in relation to the number of victims: this Act stipulates that the monetary fine that is to be imposed for the offences of exploitation of begging and prostitution (article 380 Criminal Code), human trafficking (article 433quinquies – 433novies Criminal Code), and human smuggling (article 77bis – 77quinquies Aliens Act) is to be multiplied by the number of victims.
  • The Act of 31st May 2016 to further implement European regulation on the sexual exploitation of children, child pornography, human trafficking and facilitation of illegal entry, unauthorised transit and illegal residence. This Act amends articles 433septies (extension of the list of aggravating circumstances) and 433novies Criminal Code (amendment of the list of penalties). The Act also introduces article 433novies/1, that prohibits and penalises the publication and distribution of texts, drawings, photos and other images and audio clips that could give an indication of the identity of the victim of human trafficking, except when this was done with her of his written consent or within the framework of a judicial inquiry.