U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Poland
|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 - Poland, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7da23.html [accessed 30 October 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
Poland (Tier 1)
Poland is a country of origin, transit, and destination for trafficking in persons, primarily women and girls, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Some internal trafficking occurs. Individuals are trafficked to and through Poland primarily from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus, and Russia. Polish nationals are trafficked to Western Europe, including Germany, Italy, Belgium, and The Netherlands.
The Government of Poland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In the past year, the government continued its law enforcement activities and increased its support to NGO shelter projects, but it showed weaker progress in offering status in country to victims in need of protection or willing to testify in proceedings. As a country with relatively few resources and which is confronting serious economic difficulties, the government's consistent efforts are commendable. Continual improvement in its efforts to identify and treat victims as victims will be vital in years to come.
In the reporting period, the government cooperated with NGOs to publish educational materials on trafficking in persons and to organize training and workshops on the issue. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts education campaigns for young girls regarding how to identify potential traffickers and the Ministry of Education offers programs aimed at decreasing the teenage dropout rate.
Polish law prohibits forcing individuals into prostitution, trafficking, and pimping. The government actively investigates trafficking and while it is hampered by lack of resources, during the reporting period, police conducted 149 trafficking investigations leading to 47 arrests, 18 prosecutions and eight convictions. In all, these investigations uncovered 167 victims of trafficking. The government instituted a training course for police cadets on investigation of trafficking cases and treatment of victims. While there are reports of corruption among some police officials, no evidence of high-level governmental complicity in trafficking has emerged. Recognizing the gravity of the problem, the government approved an inter-ministerial plan to combat corruption. The government cooperates with other countries and regional security organizations in trafficking cases and the repatriation of victims. It also devotes considerable resources to monitoring its border. The Polish National Police participate in bilateral task forces with Czech, German, and Swedish police forces and a multilateral Baltic law enforcement task force.
The government provided a public building to an NGO to use as a shelter for trafficking victims, and gave another organization a grant to build a similar shelter. The number of shelters remains inadequate, however, for the number of victims. Legislation allows foreign victims with illegal status to remain in Poland during the investigation and trial of their traffickers, but resources are not available to support them financially. In many cases, victims are deported as soon as possible, preventing the government from providing assistance. In the past year, the government provided full assistance to three victims who cooperated in prosecutions. NGOs and police cooperate on police sensitivity training to improve treatment of victims during investigations. The government developed a pamphlet for police officers on treatment and resources for trafficking victims. There is no specific assistance set aside for repatriated victims to Poland, although they are eligible for unemployment and welfare benefits. Poland cooperates fully with other countries in anti-trafficking efforts and the repatriation of victims.