U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Slovak Republic
|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 - Slovak Republic, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d8ae23.html [accessed 19 December 2014]|
Slovak Republic (Tier 2)
The Slovak Republic is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a source country for women trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Victims from Moldova, Ukraine, and the Balkans are trafficked through Slovakia to the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, and Japan. Some women are exploited in Slovakia while in transit to their final destinations in Western Europe. In one case, a man was trafficked to Japan for purposes of forced labor; evidence suggests recruitment of additional men may be ongoing. The Roma within Slovakia continued to be a vulnerable group targeted by traffickers.
The Government of the Slovak Republic 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 greater commitment to combat human trafficking. In April 2005, the government created a national working group on trafficking in persons that meets monthly. In October, a national coordinator was appointed to head the working group and was given a budget of $60,000 for 2006 to implement an increased network of victim services and awareness campaigns. In January 2006, the government adopted its first national action plan on trafficking in persons. The government should ensure that the action plan is adequately funded and the National Coordinator is given adequate institutional resources to implement the plan. Slovakia should also ensure that border police, customs officials, and social workers at refugee camps and asylum centers receive more trafficking-specific training.
The Government of the Slovak Republic made notable efforts to increase its law enforcement activities over the last year. Police increased trafficking investigations to 47 in 2005, up from 27 in 2004. The government also increased its prosecutions from 19 in 2004 to 30 in 2005. The courts convicted four traffickers in 2005. Prison sentences for convicted traffickers ranged from three to 10 years; in January 2006, eight traffickers were given sentences ranging from three to eight years in prison for trafficking 12 women to the Czech Republic. There were no reported cases of government involvement or complicity in trafficking activity. During the reporting period, police worked with NGOs to receive training on victim identification and assistance.
The Slovak Government took additional steps to improve victim assistance and protection in the last year, although more remains to be done. A new law passed in 2005 requires police to inform victims about how and where to find local support services. NGOs reported that police began to contact them directly and referred victims for assistance. There are no dedicated trafficking shelters in Slovakia, although NGOs reported working with several municipalities to create specialized shelter facilities for trafficking victims. Authorities repatriated 24 Slovak victims in 2005. The IOM estimates there are between 100 and 200 victims trafficked from and through Slovakia annually.
The government improved prevention efforts during the reporting period. The Ministry of Labor provided small grants to local NGOs seeking to raise public awareness, although the IOM reported that it did not receive government funding for a proposed awareness program targeting the Roma community. Slovak military personnel assigned abroad to multinational peacekeeping missions received training to identify and report potential victims. The new national action plan on trafficking financed the upgrade of an anonymous police hotline for victims of trafficking that has been successful in identifying both current and former victims who wish to warn others about their experiences.