U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Croatia
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||11 June 2003|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Croatia, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7c0c.html [accessed 17 September 2014]|
Croatia (Tier 2)
Croatia is primarily a transit country to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Western Europe, and to a lesser extent a source and destination country, for trafficking of women for the purposes of forced prostitution. The extent of the problem in Croatia has been difficult to establish. In the past year, more information emerged regarding trafficking routes through Croatia.
The Government of Croatia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has shown an enhanced willingness to establish preventive mechanisms, including cooperation with non-governmental organizations and neighboring countries.
The government created the National Commission for the Suppression of Trafficking in Persons, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. The Commission does not meet regularly, but members represent all relevant ministries, NGOs, international organizations, and the media; and it is responsible for implementing the new National Action Plan. The Head of the Government Office for Human Rights was appointed the government's anti-trafficking coordinator. In the spring, the Commission endorsed an IOM awareness campaign, which includes free spots on Croatian National TV and 20 local radio stations nationwide. Campaign materials are concentrated in border crossings, public transport, schools and employment agencies. The government signed memoranda of understanding with two international organizations assisting victims, and continued to cooperate with regional governments through regional ministerial declarations and Stability Pact capacity-building activities. Despite limited resources, the government funded a survey to be conducted among high school students regarding awareness of human trafficking.
The Croatian criminal code contains a number of trafficking-related crimes, such as slavery, international prostitution and illegal human transport across a state boundary; however, there have been few convictions on trafficking-related crimes. The government forwarded to the Parliament proposed amendments to the penal code to specifically criminalize TIP. Croatia participates in the Southeastern European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) on law enforcement and is part of the regional agreement on police cooperation in suppression of illegal migration and organized crime. Croatia participated in SECI's "Operation Mirage" which resulted in 14 arrests.
Civil society projects are underway to raise the government's capacity to identify victims of trafficking. The government provided some assistance to a shelter for victims and cooperates with the International Organization for Migration, which is providing additional protective services. The government also assisted an NGO network to establish and operate an SOS "800" number for victims of trafficking to call for assistance. The Ministries of Interior and Labor and Social Welfare began training their officers to identify victims, leading to successful victim identification within a group of detained illegal migrants. The officers contacted IOM, which assisted the victims.