Abandoned abroad

If you have been abandoned abroad or you are worried this will happen, the steps you need to take depend on where you are.

Attention: Do you need help right away? Call the NetherlandsWorldwide contact centre: +31 247 247 247. 24  hours a day, 7 days a week. Or send us a message on WhatsApp: +316 82 38 77 96.

What is abandonment?

Suppose you go abroad for a holiday or family visit and your family will not let you return to the Netherlands. Or you are put on a plane to a foreign country and have to break all contact with people in the Netherlands. Your parents, husband or other family members think it is better for you to stay in the foreign country under family supervision or at a strict boarding school. You are put under pressure to cooperate. Your passport, residence permit, phone and bank card are taken away. If you are unable to return to the Netherlands on your own, this means you have been abandoned.

What can I do if I have been or may be abandoned abroad?

The steps you can take depend on where you are.

Help for someone else

If you know someone who has been abandoned abroad, contact the National Expertise Centre on Forced Marriage and Abandonment (LKHA) on +31 (0)70 345 4319 or at You can also contact the LKHA for advice. You can do this anonymously if you wish.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us