U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Czech Republic

Czech Republic (Tier 2)

The Czech Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons. Czech citizens, primarily women and children, are trafficked within the country and to Western Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Women from Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and the Balkan countries are trafficked to or through the Czech Republic for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

The Government of the Czech Republic does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, the Government is making significant efforts to combat trafficking despite resource constraints. According to unconfirmed NGO reports, local border officials are sometimes complicit in trafficking. The Criminal Code prohibits trafficking in women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There also are other relevant statutes that can be used to prosecute traffickers. The penalties for trafficking are roughly commensurate with those for rape or sexual assault. The Government investigates and prosecutes cases of trafficking in persons, although the conviction rates are low. For example, in 1999 a total of 66 persons were charged with trafficking in women for sexual exploitation purposes. Of those, 27 persons were tried, and 8 were sentenced to 1 to 5 years in prison. The Government cosponsored a national media and educational campaign in 2000 in order to warn women of the dangers of trafficking, and created a program to be used in schools. The Government does not provide direct assistance to victims, but does refer them to NGO's that provide assistance. Some of these NGO's receive government funding. Foreign victims are treated as illegal immigrants and either are detained or asked to leave the country within 30 days; however, foreign victims may be offered temporary residence if they agree to testify against a trafficker. Czech citizens who are trafficked to other countries often cannot receive government assistance upon their return because their identity documents have been stolen or taken by traffickers.


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