Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Germany

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 5 June 2006
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Germany, 5 June 2006, available at: [accessed 29 May 2016]
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.

Germany1 (Tier 1)

Germany is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Victims come primarily from Central and Eastern Europe as well as Africa (mainly Nigeria), Asia (mainly Thailand), and to a lesser extent from North and South America. The government identified 972 victims in Germany in 2004, the latest year for which statistics are available; of the 972 victims, 127 were German nationals.

The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The coalition partners in the new German Government identified human trafficking as a high priority in their coalition agreement. The German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) used federal government funds to implement a three-year $2.4 million program to counter human trafficking world-wide; projects include information campaigns in several Eastern European countries, awareness training for police officials in source countries, prevention and protection for victims, and the establishment of networks among various NGOs. Additionally, the government provided over $3 million to GTZ and other NGOs to conduct programs to combat child sex tourism during the period 2004-2006. The upcoming World Cup Soccer championship has generated widespread concern among some NGOs and governments over the potential for increased human trafficking in Germany surrounding the games. German federal and state governments report that they have taken steps to prevent trafficking during the championship by improving victim-screening mechanisms and police safeguards, sponsoring seminars, expanding print and video outreach, and strengthening inter-agency coordination. The federal government has partnered with NGOs and the German Soccer Association to launch a number of trafficking awareness campaigns. Other NGOs, several with government funding, are also conducting prevention and demand-reduction programs. Nevertheless, due to the sheer size of the event, the potential for increased human trafficking surrounding the games remains a concern. Germany should continue to focus attention on domestic demand-reduction efforts, implement the 2005 penal code amendments, and consider releasing more detailed statistics that include the full range of charges – including non-trafficking charges – that traffickers are prosecuted for and the sentences they receive.


The German Government demonstrated adequate law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Police conducted 370 investigations into trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation involving 777 suspected traffickers in 2004. Courts convicted 137 traffickers in 2004 compared to 145 convictions in 2003. Of the 137 convicted traffickers in 2004, only 47 received a nonsuspended prison sentence. German law enforcement authorities took measures to implement new legislation that came into effect in February 2005, including inter-agency studies on labor exploitation and child-trafficking, specialized police training, and enhanced inter-agency cooperation. The new legislation resulted in a dozen labor trafficking prosecutions since August 2005 that the previous law would not have allowed. German authorities conducted a number of high profile trafficking raids and legal proceedings that broke-up several trafficking rings. Germany used its extraterritorial child sex tourism law; police conducted several investigations involving German pedophiles and extradited one German national from Thailand to Germany in late 2005.


The German Government continued to provide adequate victim assistance and protection over the last year. National and local government offices provided funding to more than 30 NGOs that operated counseling centers for trafficking victims; these centers assisted victims in their dealings with German authorities, escorted them to trials, and provided them with shelter, legal counsel, and interpreters. Victims who serve as witnesses in trafficking prosecutions are entitled to financial support for basic living expenses and basic health care. Under the EU's anti-trafficking EQUAL program, the Ministry of Labor and IOM awarded eight German NGOs more than $700,000 to conduct reintegration programs, including job placement assistance and vocational training, for trafficking victims. The project is jointly funded by the EU and Germany.


The German Government promoted anti-trafficking awareness in 2005 through government-sponsored conferences, posters, television ads, websites, and public statements by government officials and parliamentarians. The Federal Family Ministry funded numerous public awareness, demand reduction, and education campaigns that were implemented by NGOs. These include in-flight videos on child sex tourism shown on flights to popular holiday destinations, trafficking awareness videos to be shown on giant TV screens during the World Cup games, and government-supported websites, public service announcements, and posters. German embassies and consulates conducted outreach activities, including the continued distribution of brochures in 13 languages that warn about trafficking.

1 Germany has legalized prostitution. The U.S. Government opposes prostitution and any related activities, including pimping, pandering, and/or maintaining brothels as contributing to the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. These activities are inherently harmful and dehumanizing. The U.S. Government's position is that these activities should not be regulated as a legitimate form of work for any human being.

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