U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Slovenia
Slovenia (Tier 2)
Slovenia is primarily a transit and secondarily a source and destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation from Eastern Europe and Balkan countries to Western Europe, particularly Italy, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and The Netherlands.
The Government of Slovenia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government's working group to combat trafficking in persons is drafting a national action plan to be considered for adoption in 2004. The Slovenian Government should approve and implement the national action plan, improve data collection efforts, and normalize funding for Slovenia's first victims' shelter. Slovenian authorities should also scrutinize work permits and club licenses and conduct unannounced inspections of worksites where trafficking victims are believed present.
Slovenia made only modest efforts to prosecute traffickers during the last year. In March 2004, Slovenia adopted amendments to the penal code that specifically criminalize trafficking. The government investigates and prosecutes traffickers under related statutes addressing pimping, sexual assault, and slavery. Although Slovenian authorities reported no trafficking-related convictions during the reporting period, they conducted 21 trafficking-related investigations against 34 suspected traffickers, and initiated five trafficking prosecutions. The Prosecutor's Office designated a prosecutor in each of the country's 11 circuits to facilitate the handling of trafficking cases, and in late 2003 provided all state prosecutors with training on trafficking prosecutions. Slovenia adequately monitors its borders, though a majority of victims trafficked to or through Slovenia initially enter legally carrying work permits as "artistic dancers." In 2003, Slovenia actively participated in the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, the Southeastern European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), and Interpol efforts in fighting against trafficking in persons.
The Ministry of Interior and the State Prosecutor's Office concluded agreements in late 2003 with an NGO that runs Slovenia's shelter to provide victims with protection from prosecution, temporary residency status, and social services. The agreement specifically provides for extensions of temporary residency status for victims participating in prosecutions of traffickers. In 2003, seven trafficking victims received assistance at the new Slovenian shelter. The government funds NGOs working on trafficking-related issues on an intermittent basis. Slovenia currently lacks witness protection programs, but is considering how to establish and implement such programs.
The Slovenian Interdepartmental Working Group on Combating Trafficking in Persons meets regularly and is comprised of legislative, executive, and judicial branch members; media representatives; and local and international organizations. An executive order of December 2003 enables the working group to make policy recommendations to the Cabinet that, if approved, are binding upon government ministries, offices and agencies. The group has been tasked to develop a comprehensive action plan to combat trafficking in persons for government consideration in 2004. A local NGO that receives government funds established a 24-hour hotline that trafficking victims can call for support information, and continued an education program in the schools that includes a short documentary on a Slovene trafficking victim. Also, government ministries and organizations, such as the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, social work centers, and clinics, distributed brochures on trafficking in 2003.