U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Slovak Republic
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||12 June 2007|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Slovak Republic, 12 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/467be3d723.html [accessed 19 September 2014]|
Slovak Republic (Tier 2)
The Slovak Republic is a source country for women and girls trafficked to Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. It is also a transit country for women from Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Balkans, the Baltics, and People's Republic of China trafficked to the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, Croatia, and Slovenia for sexual exploitation. Roma women and girls within Slovakia continue to be highly vulnerable to trafficking.
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. Although some efforts to implement Slovakia's National Action Plan were stalled in 2006 with the temporary vacancy and reorganization of the National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator's position, Slovakia demonstrated important progress. In December 2006, the Slovak parliament passed a law allowing for a renewable 40-day stay for foreign victims. The government also signed cooperation agreements with three NGOs for a one-year pilot project to identify and provide shelter to victims. The government should ensure that police, customs officials, prosecutors, and social workers at refugee camps and asylum centers receive trafficking-specific training. The government should also collaborate with NGOs in identifying victims among persons in police detention centers and immigration facilities.
The Government of the Slovak Republic demonstrated progress in its law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The Slovak Republic prohibits all forms of trafficking through Sections 179-181 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties ranging from four to 25 years' imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Police conducted 20 trafficking investigations in 2006. The government prosecuted 32 trafficking cases, compared to 30 cases in 2005. Convictions were obtained against 18 traffickers in 2006, a significant increase from four convictions in 2005. Most convicted traffickers were given sentences ranging from three to five years' imprisonment. However, two traffickers received suspended sentences and one trafficker was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment. There were no reported cases of government officials involved in trafficking. During the reporting period, police worked with NGOs to receive training on victim identification and assistance.
The government demonstrated modest progress in its victim protection efforts during the reporting period. The government provided money to several NGOs for victim services and it assisted NGOs and IOM to locate temporary shelter and provide health services for approximately 10 victims it identified. Approximately 50 additional victims were assisted by NGOs and IOM. Police provided information to potential victims about NGO-provided services and the police anti-trafficking unit implemented procedures to identify and refer victims to protection services. However, some authorities lack the training to identify victims and expect victims to identify themselves. Victims are encouraged to participate in investigations and prosecutions. There were reports that unidentified victims were penalized or deported; NGOs were rarely given access to identify potential victims among detained women held in police or immigration detention centers.
The Slovak Republic continued efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. IOM provided sensitivity training for police officers. The Border and Alien Police monitored the border for evidence of trafficking. The government tripled the shelter capacity for unaccompanied minors who enter Slovakia illegally; such measures may help to prevent these vulnerable minors from being targeted by traffickers. The government continued to operate a phone line and website where inquirers can verify the legitimacy of Slovak employment recruiting agencies.