SLOVAKIA 2010 ANNUAL REPORT ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

ID 10BRATISLAVA71
SUBJECT SLOVAKIA 2010 ANNUAL REPORT ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
DATE 2010-02-18 00:00:00
CLASSIFICATION UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
ORIGIN Embassy Bratislava
TEXT UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 BRATISLAVA 000071

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR G/TIP, G-LAURA PENA, EUR/CE, EUR/PGI, G, INL, DRL, PRM
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USAID, DOJ, DHS, DOL, TREASURY DEPT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM, PHUM, KWMN, SMIG, KFRD, ASEC, PREF, ELAB, KMCA
SUBJECT: SLOVAKIA 2010 ANNUAL REPORT ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

REF: 10 STATE 2094

BRATISLAVA 00000071 001.3 OF 010

SUMMARY

A. Slovakia continues to make strides in strengthening and expanding its anti-TIP programs. A generous victim assistance program provides both Slovak and foreign victims with a minimum of 180 days of fully funded crisis intervention and reintegration services. Although estimates on the total number of victims in Slovakia have not changed, the assistance program has grown significantly in the past year, with a nearly 60 percent increase in victims identified and participating.

The GOS is making serious efforts to identify foreign victims through outreach to asylum-seekers and immigration detention camps and public information campaigns. Training activities  in 2009 focused on areas that had been identified as gaps last year: border police and community workers working with vulnerable Roma, who make up an increasing percentage of Slovak victims. Despite these efforts, the GOS has not yet identified foreign victims.

There is still room for improvement in investigation and prosecution of traffickers. Training and capacity-building of police investigators, prosecutors, and judges will enhance the GOS’s track record in getting convictions and prison time for traffickers.

End summary.

B. Answers below are keyed to section and paragraph numbers in reftel. Embassy Bratislava point of contact is:

Name: Anne Debevoise
Position: Consular Officer
Phone: 421 2 5922 3291
Fax: 421 2 5441 8861
E-mail: debevoiseab@state.gov

C. Total time to complete TIP report:

FSN: 50
FS04: 50
FS02: 30
FS01: 1

1. SLOVAKIA’S TIP SITUATION

A. SOURCES OF INFORMATION

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI), police, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and NGOs are reliable sources of information regarding the number and kinds of TIP victims.

In March 2010, the government will open an International TIP Information Center in the city of Kosice in eastern Slovakia. The MOI has devoted USD 75,400 to the center, which will centralize the collection of TIP data for Slovakia and facilitate information sharing with neighboring countries.

B. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN AND TRANSIT

Slovakia is considered a source and transit country for trafficking in persons. IOM estimates that 150 to 200 individuals are trafficked each year. IOM states that due to the small number of known victims who are third country nationals or those trafficked only within Slovak borders, the country cannot be classified as a destination country, though some women may be forced to work briefly in Slovakia while in transit to their final destinations in Western Europe.

According to NGOs, most of the victims trafficked through Slovakia come from the former Soviet Republics (especially Moldova and Ukraine), Bulgaria, the Baltics, the Balkans and China. Victims are mainly trafficked to the Czech Republic, Germany, United Kingdom, and Ireland, with smaller numbers going to SWITZERLAND, Sweden, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Croatia, and Slovenia.

NGOs have reported some cases of internal trafficking within Slovakia, usually of Roma women trafficked from the eastern to the western part of the country.

Slovak victims usually come from economically depressed regions of Slovakia with high levels of unemployment, especially eastern Slovakia. They are trafficked for sexual exploitation, as well as for forced labor.

C. CONDITIONS

Victims report being trafficked after accepting offers from relatives, acquaintances, or unlicensed agencies to arrange for work abroad. Some consciously enter into prostitution only to become trafficked at a later date. Because they are willing participants (at first) the victims tend to be transported to their destination country on public transportation with no resistance.

Roma victims, in particular, are likely to know their traffickers. Some Roma women enter into prostitution knowingly, fleeing the conditions of an abusive home or poor living conditions in a Roma settlement, and become victims of trafficking in the destination country. The NGO Caritas reported that one of its Roma clients was a young woman who grew up in an orphanage, was trafficked by an acquaintance, and was living in his apartment in Prague while being sexually exploited. We also heard from NGOs that several of the Roma victims they have helped are mentally handicapped.

The NGO Dotyk described groups of Roma men who traveled to the UK with the promise of jobs on farms. Upon arrival, traffickers took their travel documents and told the men they owed USD 12,500 for their travel and living costs. The men said they were sent out to commit theft to pay off their debts. The Police Anti-Trafficking Unit reported that traffickers are also increasingly applying for and collecting social benefits in the UK on behalf of their victims.

Roma activists have reported trafficking of Roma children for begging. According to a Roma NGO, the practice is highly organized. Traffickers from within the Roma community send children (either by themselves or with their mothers or other women) by bus to Austria, Italy and Germany to work the streets. Traffickers then withhold the victims’ identity papers in order to keep them from escaping.

D. VULNERABLE GROUPS

The MOI, IOM, and NGOs all report that an increasing percentage of Slovak TIP victims are Roma. The NGO Dotyk reported that while five years ago their typical TIP client was an ethnically Slovak woman in her late teens to early twenties, in the past few years they have found that the majority of victims are poorly-educated, vulnerable Roma from segregated settlements, ranging in age from teen to middle-aged. Other NGOs have found that about half of their TIP clients are Roma. They also report an increase in cases of trafficking of Roma men for forced labor.

E. TRAFFICKERS AND THEIR METHODS

According to police, as well as the testimony of some victims and offenders, trafficking in Slovakia is usually an organized criminal activity. Small-scale Slovak perpetrators feed victims into larger international syndicates at their destinations. Organized trafficking groups consist of Germans, Czechs, Russians, Ukrainians, Albanians, Italians, Macedonians, Poles, or Slovenes.

Male and female Slovak traffickers usually have prior knowledge and direct experience in the sex industry in Western Europe. They typically utilize employment or hostess agency schemes, but also rely on personal connections with women. Roma trafficking victims in particular tend to know their traffickers, who are often also Roma. The Police Anti-Trafficking Unit reports that Roma traffickers operate in groups based on family clans.

2. SETTING THE SCENE FOR THE GOVERNMENT’S ANTI-TIP EFFORTS

A. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF A PROBLEM

The government acknowledges that TIP is a problem in Slovakia.

B. INVOLVED AGENCIES

The MOI State Secretary, Vladimir Cecot, has since 2007 been the National Coordinator for anti-TIP activities and presides over the Interagency TIP Expert Group. Cecot and his staff have demonstrated a sustained commitment to upgrading GOS efforts to combat TIP. The Director of the MOI’s Department of Security Strategies, Jozef Hlinka, is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the Expert Group and oversees the implementation of the National Program. Hlinka chaired the Expert Group meeting in December 2009 to discuss progress on the 2008-2010 National Action Plan. This included drafting the update of the National Program, organizing inter-agency cooperation, tracking TIP statistics, distributing funds for anti-TIP projects, and working with NGOs to develop those projects.

In addition to the Expert Group, some prevention activities are coordinated by the working group established within the Government Council for Crime Prevention. Other ministries that
advise MOI on TIP include the Ministries of Justice, Education, Finance, Health, Labor and Social Affairs, and Foreign Affairs, as well as the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Falling under the Police Anti-Organized Crime Bureau, the Police Anti-Trafficking Unit, which has 10 dedicated officers, coordinates most activity regarding trafficking both within Slovakia and with INTERPOL; members of the unit have traveled overseas to participate in seminars and training. The unit documents and investigates crimes, monitors known places of prostitution, investigates suspicious travel or employment schemes, and contributes to public awareness by giving presentations at conferences and conducting training.

The Border and Alien Police are responsible for monitoring border crossings for evidence of trafficking, with the customs directorate and the MFA also playing a role.

The Equal Opportunity Office at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOL) supports NGO activity through grants, manages the implementation of international protocols regarding workers’ rights, and works to reduce violence against women.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) coordinates with IOM to bring TIP awareness discussions into high school classrooms.

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is responsible for strengthening safeguards for victim protection.

The General Prosecutor is responsible for the prosecution of traffickers.

C. GOVERNMENT LIMITATIONS

The National Program’s 2009 budget to fight trafficking was approximately $400,000, with $275,000 granted to NGOs to provide training, prevention, and victim assistance. Anti-TIP police remain funded at past levels, supporting 10 officers at the national police headquarters. Government corruption is not a problem for trafficking in persons. NGOs report that they believe government resources devoted to anti-TIP efforts are more than sufficient for their needs, and in fact are more generous that many other European countries, especially in the area of victim assistance. The NGO Caritas said that its budget for victim assistance was much more generous than it could use during 2009.

Inability to identify foreign victims remains a limitation, but in 2009 the GOS expanded its training program for border police and social workers, and its outreach to illegal migrants and asylum-seekers in order to identify foreign victims.

Effective investigation and prosecution of traffickers is also a limitation. NGOs familiar with the Slovak police reported that investigators have difficulty conducting large-scale investigations on TIP, particularly on traffickers’ finances, due to a lack of capacity. They are more likely to focus on low-level traffickers than to find connections to organized crime. The NGOs recommended that the existing police anti-TIP unit develop a trained, specialized investigator to handle TIP cases.

D. GOVERNMENT SELF-MONITORING

The MOI provides internal assessments and baseline information regarding the nature of trafficking in Slovakia. The National Program for 2008-2010 contains an assessment of the Program’s performance during the 2007 reporting period. In 2008, the UNODC and the MOI conducted a joint evaluation of Slovakia’s TIP programs. As a signatory to the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking convention, Slovakia is subject to regular monitoring of its TIP activities. The evaluating body, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), will conduct its first evaluation of Slovakia starting in February 2010.

E. ESTABLISHING IDENTITY OF POPULATION

Local vital records offices (matrika) issue birth certificates for each town and city. Matrika offices also accept applications for Slovak citizenship and forward them to the MOI for approval. All Matrika offices report to the MOI, which maintains a central database of all citizens and residents. Slovak law requires that all residents in Slovakia register their permanent or temporary residence with the police department in their district of residence.

F. DATA GAPS

The MOI’s National Coordinator’s office serves as the clearinghouse for TIP data. It is capable of gathering the required data, but is unable to provide some more detailed information on criminal cases (e.g. the number of cases that were related to sexual vs. economic exploitation.) The International TIP Information Center, scheduled to open in March 2010, is intended to gather and assess data and should improve the quality of TIP information for Slovakia.

3. INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS

There have been no changes in laws against TIP, sex and labor trafficking, or rape during the reporting period.

A. EXISTING LAWS AGAINST TIP

TIP is defined and criminalized through Section 179 in the Criminal Code. Trafficking in children is a separate crime, covered by sections 180 and 181. Other related legislation includes: Section 367 on Procurement (Pimping), Section 208 on torture of a close person or person in one’s charge, Section 371 on endangering morality. The law states explicitly the extra-territorial nature of this crime and acknowledges that the crime also entails fraudulent means, violence, threat, or other forms of coercion to elicit agreement from a victim older than 18 years (for section 179) for the crime of trafficking. These laws are being used in trafficking cases and adequately cover the full scope of trafficking. Slovak law allows a renewable 40-day “tolerated stay” status for foreign victims of serious crimes, including trafficking in persons.

On January 30, 2007, Slovakia signed the Council of Europe’s (COE) Convention of 2005 on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. It ratified the document on March 27, 2007. The Convention subsequently entered into force on February 1, 2008. It is a comprehensive treaty, focusing mainly on the protection of trafficking victims and safeguarding their rights. It also aims to prevent trafficking and to prosecute traffickers. The Convention applies to all forms of trafficking, whether national or international, and whether related to organized crime. It applies to men, women and children equally, whatever the form of exploitation (labor or sex acts). The Convention provides a mechanism to guarantee each signatory’s compliance with its provisions. Starting in February 2010, the COE’s Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) will carry out an evaluation of Slovakia’s performance for the period 2007 to 2009.

In the past several years, Parliament has amended and ratified other relevant trafficking legislation to conform with EU directives and UN requirements, such as the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. In 2006, Parliament passed a law on victim assistance requiring police to provide victims of any crime information on organizations that can help them.

B. PUNISHMENT OF SEX TRAFFICKING OFFENSES

The GOS increased the minimum sentences for trafficking in 2006. The provision on trafficking (both for the purpose of sexual and labor exploitation) states that any person, who entices, enlists, transfers or receives another person to or from abroad with the intention to engage such person in sexual intercourse or exploitation is liable to a term of imprisonment of four to ten years. A four-to-ten year sentence is also applicable to a person who exploits another person through forced labor, involuntary servitude, slavery, or other similar forms of exploitation. The penalty increases to a 7-to-12 year prison term if a) the perpetrator gains considerable profit, b) the offense is committed against a protected person, c) the offense is committed with a special motive, or d) the offense is committed in conjunction with another grave illegal activity, such as organized crime. The penalty increases to 12-to-20 years if a) the perpetrator gains extensive profit, b) the offender causes serious bodily harm or death or other extraordinarily serious effect, or c) the offense is committed as a member of a dangerous group. Lastly, a term of 20-to-25 years can be applied if the perpetrator gains large-scale profit or causes serious bodily harm to or the death of multiple persons.

C. PUNISHMENT OF LABOR TRAFFICKING OFFENSES

The penalty for trafficking for labor exploitation is the same as for trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Slovakia criminally prosecutes labor recruiters who use false or deceptive offers of employment, or who confiscate employee’s passports. Articles 179, 181-184 and Article 241 of the anti-TIP law are used to prosecute such cases.

D. PENALTIES FOR RAPE

The range of sentencing for rape is five-to-ten years’ imprisonment and could be increased to 7-to-15 years depending on the age of the victim or whether violence was used. The sentence may be further increased to 15-to-20 years if the act results in serious bodily harm, and 20-to-25 years if the perpetrator causes the death of the victim or the crime is committed in a crisis situation. The penalties for rape are on par with penalties for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

E. LAW ENFORCEMENT STATISTICS

According to official statistics, 3 TIP cases reached the point of investigation by the General Procurator during the reporting period. For these cases, three perpetrators were identified, all men. Nine victims were identified, all women. It was not reported whether these were cases of sexual or economic exploitation. There were no cases of trafficking of children investigated during the reporting period.

The MOJ reported a total of ten convictions for TIP in 2009, and one for trafficking in children. Of the ten TIP convictions, six were under section 246 of the criminal code, which was effective until December 31, 2005, and four were under section 179 of the criminal code, which is effective starting January 1, 2006. The single conviction of trafficking in children was pursuant to sections 180 and 181. There were nine convictions for pimping under section 367 of the criminal code. For the ten TIP convictions, eight perpetrators received suspended sentences and two received prison terms.

(NOTE: it is common for Slovak judges to grant suspended sentences for first-time offenders for crimes with a maximum sentence of two years or less. However, TIP offenses have a minimum sentence of four years. End note.)

The one person convicted of trafficking in children received a prison sentence. Details on the length of the sentences were not provided. There were no fines imposed. It was not reported whether the TIP convictions were for sexual or economic exploitation.

In 2009, the General Procurator investigated 19 cases of pimping, leading to nine charges and three convictions.

The government actively investigates cases of trafficking through the specialized anti-trafficking unit at Police Headquarters in Bratislava. The anti-TIP unit first conducts a preliminary investigation, then assists local police officials directly involved with the case, or assists investigators from the Bureau for Organized Crime if the case involves organized crime or has international implications. The police conduct inspections of suspected places of prostitution, and monitor internet sites.

At the regional level, TIP is investigated by four specialized officers (two in the city of Zilina, one in the city of Trnava, and one in the city of Kosice) who have experience in related crimes, such as pimping, rape and other sexual violence.

F. TRAINING

IOM and NGOs built on their 2008 GOS-funded training program, training 319 individuals in victim identification, care, and prevention in 2009. IOM and NGOs trained border police and migration and asylum-seekers’ camp employees; police officers working as community liaisons; police academy instructors; labor inspectors; members of the GOS’s Plenipotentiary for Roma Affairs; social workers working in Roma communities; Catholic nuns and priests; and secondary school teachers.

The 10 officers in the Police Anti-trafficking unit located in Bratislava have been fully trained in TIP, and often participate in international trainings. All police districts have at least one officer who receives some additional instruction and, among his/her other duties, serves as a point of contact with the Anti-trafficking unit.

NGOs and the GOS agree that more training is necessary, especially for prosecutors, judges, and Roma community social workers in eastern Slovakia. IOM reported that follow-up training will be necessary in the next year to ensure that newly hired officials are fully trained.

G. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COOPERATION

The GOS cooperated with 14 international investigations on TIP during the reporting period. Additionally, police had 65 working-level contacts and requests for information regarding a total of 223 victims and 184 suspects. Over 40 of these cases involved the UK, demonstrating that cooperation with the British police is especially close. Most of these cases consisted of requests from abroad for Slovak police assistance in cases involving Slovak victims and suspects, mostly in the UK, Ireland, and Germany.

Many international investigations occur in the framework of Interpol and Europol. Additionally, Slovak embassies abroad have a police attache who assists with joint investigations.

The government plans to use its new International TIP Information Center (see section 1A) to improve cooperation and information-sharing with other European countries.

H. EXTRADITION

Slovakia extradited four TIP suspects in 2009. Slovakia did not request the extradition of any suspects.

Based on the Law on Criminal Court Procedures, Slovakia can extradite persons for any crime with a corresponding sentence longer than one year, except a crime political in nature. Slovak citizens can only be extradited in cases governed by a treaty signed by Slovakia. The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime allows Slovakia to extradite traffickers. Slovakia has a bilateral extradition agreement with the U.S. which allows for the extradition of non-Slovaks to the United States.

I. GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN TRAFFICKING

There is no evidence of governmental involvement in or tolerance of trafficking.

J. STEPS TO END GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN TRAFFICKING

According to police and NGOs, there were no cases of government officials involved in trafficking.

K. INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF NATIONALS DEPLOYED ABROAD

During the reporting period, Slovakia did not report any cases of trafficking involving nationals deployed abroad.

L. CHILD SEX TOURISM

Slovakia is not identified as a destination for child sex tourism. The trafficking in children law, like the trafficking in persons law, reflects extraterritoriality.

4. PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS

A. PROTECTION FOR VICTIMS AND WITNESSES

NGOs receive GOS funding from the National Program to provide specialized victim assistance program for repatriated Slovaks, internally trafficked Slovaks, and foreign victims. The victim assistance program provides financial support for a minimum of 180 days (and is often extended, according to NGOs), including 90 days each of crisis intervention and reintegration. According to NGOs and the MOI, the Slovak program is among the most generous in the EU.

According to IOM, the situation in Slovakia continues to improve every year. The generous package of victim support – including legal, psychological, medical, and social help – has encouraged returning victims to seek assistance. The GOS is ready to provide the same level of assistance to foreign victims once they are identified.

Slovak law provides for a renewable 40-day “tolerated stay” for foreign victims of serious crimes, including TIP. This status gives the victim the right to work. In addition to the “tolerated stay” law, Slovak authorities are required to postpone deportation of any third-country national who seeks to enter a witness protection program or who claims asylum, thus providing temporary residency status.

The government provides witness protection for victims. NGOs, through their victim assistance grants, provide protection for victims housed in their shelters by the use of a private security firm. Other witness protection measures include recorded testimony or testimony through video connection, which is now mandatory for minors. Another law explicitly states that the victim and perpetrator must be kept separate during the judicial procedure, thus requiring video testimony for most current trafficking cases.

B. VICTIM CARE FACILITIES

The government provides dedicated shelters through its NGO programs. In 2009, the MOI funded six NGOs with approximately USD $241,000 for victim care. Three of these NGOs – IOM, Dotyk, and Caritas – provided shelter for TIP victims. There are no specialized facilities for male victims of TIP. There was one child participant in the National Program; an NGO provided reintegration services to her while she was living at home with her family.

Foreign victims have the same access to shelter as Slovak victims.

C. VICTIM SERVICES AND FUNDING

Through NGO grants totaling $241,000 in 2009, National Program victim assistance program provides Slovak and foreign TIP victims with medical, psychological, and legal services for a minimum of 180 days. The program also provides secure shelter, food, clothing, and job retraining and job-seeking help free of charge. Victims do not have to cooperate with police in order to join the program. However, victims who do cooperate with police investigations of traffickers can receive services for the duration of their cases, which could last several years.

D. PROVISIONS FOR FOREIGN TIP VICTIMS

Slovak law provides for a renewable 40-day “tolerated stay” for foreign victims of serious crimes, including TIP. This status gives the victim the right to work. In addition to the “tolerated stay” law, Slovak authorities are required to postpone deportation of any third-country national who seeks to enter a witness protection program or who claims asylum, thus providing temporary residency status.

Foreign victims are eligible for the same benefits as Slovak victims under the National Program. However, these measures were not put in practice during the reporting period due to a lack of identified foreign victims.

E. LONG TERM SHELTER

NGOs reported that the government resources devoted to assisting TIP victims are quite generous. Victims participating in the National Program are able to stay in state-funded shelters and rehabilitation programs for at least 180 days. Victims cooperating with police investigations can stay as long as their cases are ongoing, which may take several years.

F. NATIONAL REFERRAL MECHANISM

The Expert Working Group adopted a National Referral Mechanism in December 2008. This provides a standard operating procedure throughout the country for law enforcement officials who come into contact with a trafficking victim, and enables them to reach out to the most readily available state and NGO resources to assist the victim. The National Referral Mechanism is posted on the MOI website, where it is also available to the public.

G. TOTAL NUMBER OF VICTIMS

During the reporting period, NGOs working with the MOI reported assisting 59 trafficking victims, a significant increase from the 37 assisted in 2008. 27 of these victims participated in the National Program, compared with 17 in 2008. NGOs assisted the 32 victims who declined to participate in the Program through other funding.

According to the NGOs, of the 27 participants in the National Program, 19 were victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, seven of forced labor, and one of forced begging.

According to Slovak law, police are required to offer potential TIP victims the assistance of NGOs working under the National Program.

NGOS reported that the main reason that victims declined to participate in the National Program was that they had criminal records and were uncomfortable with contact with the authorities. Additionally, some victims were drug addicts and were unwilling to abide by the rules of the program, which ban drug use.

H. IDENTIFYING AND REFERRING VICTIMS

Slovak law requires authorities to provide information about organizations offering support services to potential TIP victims. Under the National Program, the GOS has trained border police and social workers who interview illegal migrants and asylum-seekers to screen for foreign victims. Officials also have access to a manual developed by IOM on victim identification. These officials have materials available in seven languages to provide potential victims information about the services available.

The National Program has also funded training of social workers and religious workers who work in vulnerable Roma communities on victim identification.

Prostitution exists in a legal gray area in Slovakia: it is neither legal nor illegal. (Pimping is illegal.) Therefore, the sex trade is not regulated and there are not regular mechanisms for authorities to screen sex workers for trafficking victims. However, the GOS-funded NGO Prima does work with sex workers and assists with victim identification.

I. RIGHTS OF VICTIMS

When an individual is identified as a trafficking victim, the victim’s rights are respected and he or she does not face fines or jail sentences. However, it has been reported that unidentified victims have been treated as illegal migrants or prostitutes and have been detained or deported.

J. INVESTIGATION

The National Program encourages victims to participate in cases against their traffickers. Twelve victims participated in such cases during the year, according to the police. Six cases involved forced labor, five sexual exploitation, and one forced begging. Victims may file civil suits against their traffickers in addition to criminal charges. Slovakia also has a victim’s compensation law that allows for a one-time reimbursement for victims of violent crime, paid by the Ministry of Justice.

Foreign victims cooperating with the police in cases may stay in Slovakia under renewable 40-day tolerated stay status, and may work.

K. TRAINING FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

As described in Section 3F, the MOI, in cooperation with IOM and other NGOs, provided training to 319 law enforcement officers, government officials, and community workers. The training included victim identification. how to communicate with victims, victim assistance, and general information about TIP. TIP is also included in the human rights curriculum at the Police Academy. Lastly, the MOI educated local governments, central government branches and law enforcement agencies on trafficking and victim assistance.

Slovak embassies helped six Slovak victims return home during 2009. Slovak missions abroad provide travel documents, assistance with money transfers, contacting relatives, arranging services, and travel home. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs helps refer repatriated victims to NGOs for assistance.

L. GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE

The MOI-funded National Program package of services described in sections 4.A-C is available to repatriated Slovak citizens as well as foreign victims identified in Slovakia.

M. NGO ASSISTANCE

Most NGOs aiding trafficking victims in Slovakia are domestic, although they may have loose cooperation agreements with NGOs abroad. Some of these Slovak NGOs are: Dafne, Dotyk, Prima, Storm, Slovak Caritas, the Cultural Association of Roma in Slovakia, the Association of Community Centers in Kosice, Naruc, and Victims’ Support Slovakia. They provide a wide range of services, from preventive awareness education and identifying victims to arranging for repatriation transport to post-trafficking needs such as medical, mental health, legal, and protective services, and work re-training courses.

In 2009, NGOs received approximately USD 275,000 from the GOS for anti-TIP programs, including USD 241,000 for victim care, and remaining funds for training and prevention.

5. PREVENTION

A. ANTI-TRAFFICKING CAMPAIGNS

Government officials and agencies cooperated with NGOs on anti-trafficking information and education campaigns, targeting potential trafficking victims, but also educating local government workers, teachers, students, community centers, journalists, local police, and the border and alien police.

Since 2008, the GOS has funded part of a public-private partnership for a national TIP hotline. Under this agreement, the telephone company T-Mobile provides the phone line free of
charge, and IOM staff (paid for through the National Program) man the phone lines. In 2009, the phone line received 840 phone calls. Since the phone line started in June 2008, it has
identified eight trafficking victims.

The GOS also funded a number of other TIP information campaigns, including: billboards and leaflets in nine languages for potential foreign victims; leaflets for potential Slovak victims; internet ads on Slovak-language websites; television ads for the TIP hotline; a mobile TIP information center for youth that traveled around the country and distributed leaflets and showed a film about TIP; 5300 posters posted at bus stations, police stations, migrants and asylum-seekers camps, and Slovak embassies abroad; and 600 copies of the National Program distributed to Slovak embassies and government officials.

B. MONITORING OF MIGRATION PATTERNS

According to the MOJ, in 2009, the GOS investigated 55 cases of human smuggling. Thirty-three people were charged, and 25 were convicted of smuggling.

Slovakia has a well-controlled border with Ukraine, which is its only non-Schengen border. Foreign law enforcement officials have reported that Slovakia’s border security is the envy of many neighbors. However, Slovakia continues to be a transit country for illegal migrant smuggling to Western Europe. NGOs and law enforcement have reported that since Slovakia’s border with Ukraine is so secure, illegal migrants (and presumably traffickers) enter the Schengen zone through Poland, and then may cross undetected from Poland into Slovakia before heading further west.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) believes that the majority of smuggled or trafficked persons that have claimed asylum in Slovakia “disappear” by terminating their asylum cases after being registered at reception and refugee facilities. UNHCR reported that better implementation in recent years of Slovakia’s Readmission Treaty with Ukraine has reduced the number of migrants in Slovakia. An agreement among the GOS, NGOs and UNHCR allows NGOs to monitor the border situation to ensure that asylum seekers are not sent back to their country of origin. The Ministry of Labor funds a facility for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.

As described in section 3F, in 2009 IOM trained border police and social workers dealing with illegal migrants and asylum-seekers in TIP victim identification.

C. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION

The National Coordinator at the MOI is the focal point for inter-governmental coordination on trafficking. Within his office, he has designated the Director of the Department of Security Strategies to be the working-level point of contact. The National Coordinator convened the High-Level Expert Group in December 2009, and again invited the U.S. Embassy to participate. The group is designed to have the political weight to enforce measures to combat TIP. The Expert Group includes Directors and State Secretaries from the Ministries of the Interior, Justice, Labor, Finance, Health, and Foreign Affairs, as well as, the office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the General Prosecutor, five NGOs, IOM, and UNODC.

D. NATIONAL ACTION PLAN

The National Program contains a National Action Plan for the fight against trafficking in persons. The plan, valid for 2008-2010, calls for the establishment of an increased network of victim support services (specifically regarding legal, psychiatric, medical, and social assistance), the creation of repatriation protocols for Slovak victims identified abroad, and increased media and youth outreach campaigns.

The agency responsible for its development is the MOI, in cooperation with other ministries. The MOI invites NGOs to participate in its Expert Group meetings, to contribute their perspective on the implementation of the National Program and Action Plan, as well as logical next steps in coming years. We have observed that cooperation between the MOI and NGOS is very good, and that NGOs have reported satisfaction with the MOI’s level of attention to and funding for trafficking.

E. REDUCING DEMAND FOR COMMERCIAL SEX ACTS

Part of the training provided by the MOI and NGOs under the National Program educated key interlocutors from municipal offices, schools, and law enforcement about TIP and the criminal consequences of participation in illegal commercial sex acts. Participants in these trainings were provided with additional materials to distribute in their communities, to raise awareness about the role of consumers in perpetuating the illegal sex trade. However, Slovakia is not considered a destination country for TIP victims.

F. MEASURES TO REDUCE PARTICIPATION IN CHILD SEX TOURISM

The Anti-Trafficking Unit of the police did not report any cases of Slovak nationals who had traveled abroad for child sex tourism during the reporting period. However, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, TIP trainings do include an explanation of the Palermo protocol and the domestic penal code’s instruments to prosecute traffickers.

G. MEASURES TO ENSURE PEACEKEEPERS DEPLOYED ABROAD DO NOT ENGAGE IN TIP-RELATED ACTIVITIES

The National Program provides anti-TIP training for government personnel stationed abroad. This training focuses on the consequences of participation in illegal commercial sex acts. The MOI and Ministry of Defense are responsible for the training, which is also incorporated into police and military personnel basic training.

6. PARTNERSHIPS

A. PARTNERSHIPS

The GOS regularly engages with other governments through international conferences and training. In January 2010, MOI officials represented the GOS at a conference on TIP in Central and Eastern Europe organized by DHS-ICE and the Austrian police and held in Traiskirchen, Austria. The conference shared best practices in combating TIP.

The GOS’s focal point for TIP in the MOI has a close relationship with the six NGOs through which it provides victim assistance and prevention activities. For its 2010 programs, it has expanded to seven NGOs and increased its budget by ten percent.

Slovakia participates in all EU and Council of Europe structures and working groups that seek to monitor and control trafficking in persons.

B. INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE

As described in section 3G, Slovak police regularly work with their counterparts in other countries on international investigations. Additionally, the MOI has a program in place to assist foreign victims with voluntary return to their home countries, should they wish it.

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ADDED     2011-09-04 04:02:05
STAMP     2011-09-04 04:02:05
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