2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Slovenia
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||27 June 2011|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Slovenia, 27 June 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e12ee4bc.html [accessed 18 September 2014]|
Slovenia (Tier 1)
Slovenia is a transit and destination country, and to a lesser extent, a source country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Women and children are subjected to sex trafficking and men, women, and children to forced labor in Slovenia. Victims of labor exploitation in Slovenia come from Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina; sometimes these persons migrate through Slovenia to Italy and Germany, where they are subsequently subjected to forced labor. Women and children from Slovenia, as well as Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Iran, Ghana, Morocco, Afghanistan, and Cuba are subjected to forced prostitution in Slovenia and also transit through Slovenia to Western Europe (mainly Italy and Germany), where they face the same form of exploitation.
The Government of Slovenia fully complies with the minimum standards for combating trafficking in persons. The government demonstrated strong prevention efforts, producing excellent analysis of the country's anti-trafficking weaknesses and developing new work plans to address those challenges. The government sustained its law enforcement efforts from the prior year. The Slovenian government again sustained the funding allocated for victim protection this year, although the number of victims identified by government authorities again decreased. There were also allegations that the protection for child victims of trafficking was inadequate and left children at risk of being re-trafficked.
Recommendations for Slovenia: Vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including complicit public officials and those involved in forced labor; increase efforts to identify victims of both sex and labor trafficking; increase the number of victims referred for assistance; ensure that proper and safe facilities exist to assist child victims of trafficking; continue prevention outreach to vulnerable populations, such as Roma children; continue to ensure that a majority of convicted traffickers serve some time in prison; continue to provide trafficking awareness training for judges and prosecutors; and continue efforts to raise awareness of forced labor and forced prostitution among the general public.
The Government of Slovenia sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2010. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through Article 113 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties ranging from six months' to 15 years' imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government conducted 12 trafficking investigations in 2010, compared with 28 in 2009. Authorities prosecuted 12 cases and convicted eight trafficking offenders in 2010, compared with four prosecutions and two offenders convicted in 2009. The majority of the 2010 prosecutions were sex trafficking offenses, although one case involved a victim of labor trafficking; convicted offenders were sentenced to terms between 16 months to 36 months in prison, compared with the sentences of 24 to 38 months given in 2009. Nevertheless, there were some reports that Slovenian judges were not sufficiently aware of the complexity of the crime of trafficking and that prosecutors, facing difficult trafficking cases, would occasionally reclassify criminal cases as less serious criminal offences. The Ministry of Interior's Inter-Departmental Working Group conducted a variety of anti-trafficking trainings for key actors in Slovenia, including training for police officers on labor exploitation, prosecutors, and judges on prosecuting trafficking in persons, and consular officials on early detection of trafficking victims among foreign citizens. The Slovenian government participated in several cross-border trafficking investigations, including joint investigations with Interpol, Europol, and the governments of Moldova and Slovakia. During the reporting period, the government investigated and charged a policeman with providing information to a trafficking offender in furtherance of a trafficking offense.
The Government of Slovenia sustained its efforts to protect victims of trafficking in 2010, although there were reports that care and housing for child victims of trafficking were inadequate. The government funded victim protection through two NGOs that provided comprehensive assistance including health care, psychological care, accommodation, and physical security. Assistance was available to both male and female victims of trafficking and for both foreign and domestic victims. Following a three-month reflection period, foreign victims of trafficking were allowed to receive victim protection if they participated in criminal proceedings. In 2010, the government allocated approximately $120,000 for victim protection, the same amount it provided in 2009. The government identified 10 victims of trafficking in 2010, in contrast to 23 victims identified in 2009. NGOs reported identifying a further 12 victims of trafficking. Altogether, the government assisted 12 female victims of sex trafficking in 2010, compared to 12 victims in 2009. Victims housed in government-funded shelters were permitted to leave unchaperoned and at will. There were reports, however, of some systematic problems in the government's response to trafficking victims' needs. There were anecdotal reports that Roma children were vulnerable to trafficking by family members and the government made inadequate outreach efforts to this group. Although the government reported that child victims of trafficking in general were cared for in emergency centers, there were reports that these facilities for housing and assistance were inadequate and presented risks that the minors would be re-trafficked. There were no identified victims punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.
The government demonstrated strong prevention efforts during the reporting period, particularly with its intra-governmental activities. The government coordinated its anti-trafficking efforts through the Ministry of Interior's Inter-Departmental Working Group against Trafficking, which brings together representatives of the relevant ministries, the National Assembly, the State Prosecutor, and NGOs to develop national policy. The working group prepared an annual plan to combat trafficking in persons, identifying key problem areas, assigning responsibility to actors, allocating appropriate funding, and establishing deadlines for completion of tasks. The Slovenian government encouraged regional efforts to combat trafficking in persons through its annual regional ministerial conference on law enforcement cooperation. The Slovenian government engaged in awareness raising through its website and through a large awareness raising event on October 18, EU Anti-trafficking Day, including media publications and expert roundtables. The government also targeted identified vulnerable groups for publications on trafficking and distributed these publications through state authorities and non-governmental organizations. The Slovenian government funded near weekly anti-trafficking awareness raising presentations to students in secondary and elementary schools. The government also targeted trafficking outreach to migrants at border crossings, focusing on those working in at-risk populations.