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Luuk Esser in the media on discovery of 39 bodies in England

The British police discovered 39 bodies in the back of a lorry earlier this month. The refrigeration unit in which the bodies were found had entered the United Kingdom via Belgium.

Luuk Esser

On Saturday 26 October, Assistant Professor Luuk Esser was a guest on Dutch NPO Radio 2 programme Spijkers met Koppen.

It remains unclear where the people found in the refrigeration unit came from. It was first thought from China, but according to Esser Chinese migrants do not often flee to Europe in this way. This is more something that people from Vietnam would do.

In addition Esser, who defended his PhD research on the criminalisation of human trafficking, explained why England is a popular destination for migrants. 'Many people from Asia have family living in England and the language is more accessible to them. There is also no identification obligation in that country: you can stay under the radar for quite some time.'


Esser previously wrote on the topic in Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant. He said that it is not easy to find out what motivates lorry drivers to become involved in human trafficking. Some are involved in criminal organisations, others are pressurized into carrying out this kind of activity. 

Esser: 'In this sad case everyone died, so besides people human trafficking you also immediately become a murder suspect because you took a risk by keeping people in such a small space.'

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