Last Updated: Wednesday, 01 October 2014, 14:56 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Germany

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 12 June 2007
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Germany, 12 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/467be3b31c.html [accessed 2 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Germany (Tier 1)

Germany is a transit and destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Victims are trafficked primarily from Central and Eastern Europe (mainly Romania, Russia, and Bulgaria) as well as Africa and, to a lesser extent, Asia. A significant number of victims – almost 18 percent in 2005 – are trafficked internally. In 2005, 51 of the 642 victims identified were children trafficked to Germany for the purpose of sexual exploitation; 28 of those children were German nationals.

The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In May 2006, Germany established a new inter-agency illegal migration analysis and strategy center, in part to coordinate law enforcement efforts against trafficking in persons. Government efforts to prevent sex trafficking during the World Cup Soccer Championship included state-federal law enforcement information sharing, increased police presence in red light districts, additional police inspections and raids, efforts to raise awareness among hotels, and enhanced cooperation with social institutions and counseling centers. The IOM concluded there was no significant increase in trafficking to Germany during the World Cup, crediting extensive prevention campaigns inside and outside of Germany and an increased police focus. Germany should consider amending its victim protection legislation to include psychological counseling and treatment. Germany should also explore ways, within the parameters of its judicial system, to increase prison sentences for convicted traffickers.

Prosecution

The German government demonstrated adequate law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Germany prohibits all forms of trafficking; trafficking for sexual exploitation is criminalized in Section 232 of its Penal Code and forced labor is criminalized under Section 233. Other laws are also used to prosecute trafficking cases. Penalties prescribed for trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor range from six months to ten years' imprisonment and are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties for other grave crimes, such as rape. It is common practice for judges to suspend sentences of two years or less for all crimes, including trafficking. In 2005, the most recent year for which data is available, police concluded 317 trafficking investigations. German police launched 370 trafficking investigations in 2004. German authorities prosecuted 183 individuals for trafficking in 2005, compared to 189 prosecutions in 2004. In 2005, 136 traffickers were convicted, including nine under the juvenile justice system. In comparison, 137 adult and four juvenile traffickers were convicted in 2004. Only 42 of the 136 traffickers convicted in 2005 received prison sentences that were not suspended; in 2004, 47 of the 141 convicted traffickers' sentences were not suspended.

Protection

Germany continued to provide good victim assistance and protection over the reporting period. Approximately 25 counseling centers in Germany provided assistance and facilitated victim protection, including shelter. Police continued to effectively implement procedures for identifying victims and referred them to protective services. In 2005, authorities identified a total of 642 victims, of which 527 were from foreign countries. Foreign victims that are illegally present in Germany are granted a four-week reflection period; victims who assist law enforcement with investigations and prosecutions are eligible to stay in Germany for the duration of the trial. The government may grant permanent residence permits to those victims who face hardship or retribution upon return to their home country. Victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention

Germany continued to demonstrate progress in its trafficking prevention efforts. During 2006, the government continued to fund a number of NGOs performing public awareness both in Germany and abroad. German embassies and consulates in certain source countries conducted outreach, including advocacy for strengthening laws against child sex tourism. The government funded child sex tourism identification training for Guatemalan law enforcement and migration officers. Germany also continued to co-fund an NGO that conducted domestic awareness programs on child sex tourism. Most public awareness campaigns associated with the World Cup received funding from federal, state, or local governments.

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