U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Czech Republic
|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 - Czech Republic, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7c1c.html [accessed 24 July 2014]|
Czech Republic (Tier 1)
The Czech Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for women trafficked from the former Soviet Union (in particular, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova), Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Asia into the Czech Republic and onward to Western Europe and the United States for prostitution. Small numbers of Czech men are trafficked to the United States for coerced labor. There is some evidence of internal trafficking of Czech women and children from areas of low unemployment near border regions with Germany and Austria. Additionally, foreign minors are believed to be exploited in the commercial sex trade either in the Czech Republic or other European countries.
The Government of the Czech Republic fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government focused its resources on all three areas, especially prioritizing regional law enforcement cooperation. Information on court convictions was uneven and lack of resources hampered some overall efforts.
The Crime Prevention Division of the Interior Ministry implemented a national media campaign on the dangers of trafficking, as well as an informational program in Czech schools targeting 13 and 14 year-olds. The government created a National Plan for Combating Commercial Sexual Abuse, including trafficking in women and children for sexual purposes, for which the Interior Ministry has the leading role.
The government amended the criminal code to include a broader definition of trafficking victims, and to raise the penalty from five to 12 years for traffickers who cause grave bodily harm to their victims. In 2002, the Czech Republic investigated 19 cases under the trafficking in persons statute, yielding 14 indictments. While none of the cases was concluded during the year, eight individuals were held in pre-trial detention pending final resolution. Police recorded 139 trafficking-related arrests during 2002. The Anti-Organized Crime Police has a special unit specifically trained in human trafficking, and the Interior Ministry cooperates closely with NGOs to train police and investigators handling trafficking cases. The government cooperates with regional governments to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases. The Foreigner and Border Police work closely with their counterparts in Germany and Austria, and in June 2002, Czech authorities conducted a series of raids on suspected traffickers with counterparts in Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, and Romania. Border monitoring is relatively weaker regarding the Polish and Slovak border, but the government is using EU assistance to improve its border control.
The government refers trafficking victims to NGOs, which provide shelter and medical treatment; the government also provides partial funding for these services. The Interior Ministry funds an NGO which assists foreign victims with repatriation and Czech victims with reintegration services. Victims willing to testify against a trafficker may be offered temporary residence, a work permit, access to social assistance, and in extreme cases, police protection. The government continues to detain some possible victims, followed by removal either immediately or after a thirty-day stay of deportation.