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Slovenia

  • 1. GENERAL INFORMATION

    The fight against trafficking in human beings was given political momentum in December 2001, when Slovenia set up an Interdepartmental Working Group on the issue. This was followed by the appointment of a National Coordinator. Four National Action Plans have been adopted by the Slovenian government since 2004.

    Slovenia is mostly a transit country for victims who are trafficked from Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary the Dominican Republic, Thailand and Iran for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The victims are transported through Slovenia to Western Europe.

    Slovenia is increasingly also becoming a destination country for men, women, and children trafficked from the same countries for forced labour and sexual exploitation. Slovenia is to a lesser extent a source country. Slovenian women are also trafficked internally for forced prostitution.

    The problem is still being predominantly focused on trafficking in human beings for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation and women - foreign nationals - working in night clubs. These persons are staying in Slovenia legally and have their residence status regulated. They also hold work permits. The majority are Ukraine and Dominican Republic nationals. On these grounds we instigated a procedure in Slovenia to adopt the Regulation on restricting such type of employment. The Regulation is currently in the Government proceedings.

    Under the State Department TIP report we have been for seven consecutive years classified in the TIER 1.

    In 2012, we have two victims of trafficking in human beings placed in safe accommodation who decided to testify in the criminal proceedings against the offenders. The care and supplies for them is provided by the Slovenian Karitas, selected for this programme by virtue of a tender.

    This year there have been also two judgements of conviction delivered with respect to trafficking in human beings, namely for the cases from previous years. This confirms the fact that the phenomena of trafficking in human beings has also been identified in the field of the Slovenian criminal law which was in the past our flaw.

    When dealing with criminal activities related to trafficking in human beings it was found that in year 2012 the trend of employment of foreign women, in different night clubs in Slovenia, has been continued.  In detection of this kind of criminal activities, Slovenia does not appear as a country of source of victims of trafficking in human beings, but only as the transit and target country.   

    This way as the target country it was recognized in the following cases:

    • citizens of third countries from the Eastern Europe and South America (girls from Ukraine and Dominican Republic) with the temporary residence and work permit. Indicated girls in night clubs are mostly employed as dancers or entertainers, further they are utilized for the purpose of prostitution i.e. the other kind of sexual abuses;
    • women from the area of EU (Slovakia, Czech Republic) and girls from the area of South America (Brazil), which for entry into the EU don't need a visa and mostly don't have arranged temporary residence, and also they are not employed and don't have proper social and health insurance in Slovenia. Indicated girls are dealing with the prostitution in apartments and hotels;
    • citizens from the area of EU (Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania) – in association to the kind of forced labor  – begging, also there was detected a case of criminal act of stealing.

    Slovenia as the transit country detects:

    • women from SE Europe, Balkan countries and countries of the former Soviet Union, which continue their journey to the west, to Italy, France and Germany;
    • citizens from the area of EU (Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania) – in association to begging as the kind of forced work. Police in Slovenia is detecting occasional presence of the criminal groups, which are dealing with the trafficking in human beings, with purpose of forced begging. In this the criminal groups usually travel from the source country (Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia) through Slovenia to the other EU countries (Italy, Austria, France...). On the indicated way, in Slovenia they retain only for a short time, mostly in the highway rest stops.

    In year 2012 the most of dealt cases was recognized as form of utilizing prostitution and other sexual abuses of victims of the trafficking in human beings. Cases of forced work, which appeared in form of the forced begging, were dealt as well.  Statistically speaking, there were 10 criminal activities in association to trafficking in human beings dealt by law enforcement authorities, identified 15 victims of those 4 were housed in longer lasting accommodation of the safe house. In individual police action were identified 52 presumed or potential victims of trafficking in human beings from Ukraine and Dominican Republic. Listed persons in police procedures in cooperation with non-governmental organization did not recognized themselves as victim of trafficking in human beings and did not accepted any kind of assistance.  

     

    A summary if this text is available in the official language of the country.

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  • 2. INSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK

    Legislation

    All forms of trafficking are prohibited through paragraph 113 of the Criminal Code. The specific offence of trafficking in persons was established in Slovenia in 2004.  However, the offences of 'abuse of prostitution' and 'placing in the condition of a slave' have been used to prosecute some forms of human trafficking both before and after the establishment of this offence.

    In November 2008, the government amended Slovenia’s criminal code to increase the maximum penalty for trafficking to 15 years' imprisonment.

    According to the Aliens Act, identified foreign victims are granted a 90-day reflection period. Foreign victims who assist law enforcement can apply for a temporary residence permit and remain in Slovenia for the duration of the trial. The victim may choose to stay longer if s/he is employed or in school.

     

    National Strategy/National Action Plan

    The Slovenian Government has adopted four National Action Plans for the periods 2004-2006, 2007, 2008-2009 and 2010 - 2011.

    The Action Plans are monitored by the National Working Group for the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings.

     

    Coordination of anti-trafficking actions at a national level

    A National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator was appointed in Slovenia in February 2002. The Coordinator is located in the Ministry of the Interior. Its responsibilities include the preparation of annual reports and strategic documents that are then submitted to the Government. The Coordinator is also tasked with aligning the work of different governmental sectors and non-governmental organisations whose representatives are members of the Interdepartmental Working Group. 

    Interdepartmental Working Group

    An Interdepartmental Working Group (IWG) was established on 18 December 2003. The appointed members are representatives of competent ministries, non-governmental organisations and international intergovernmental organisations.

    The National Coordinator and IWG function as consultative authorities for the government without executive powers.

     

    National Rapporteur or equivalent mechanisms

    An independent National Rapporteur has not been established in Slovenia.  However, the National Coordinator exercises the role of an equivalent mechanism.

  • 3. IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI-TRAFFICKING POLICY

    Prevention

    Efforts to prevent human trafficking have included regular projects and awareness-raising campaigns over the past year.  Prevention goals include raising public awareness, raising target population awareness, and the education and training of experts in the field.

    Since 2004, the Ministry of the Interior, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and local non-governmental organisations have jointly administered a project that addresses trafficking and gender-based violence by providing information and assistance to asylum seekers at greatest risk of being trafficked, particularly women and unaccompanied children. Furthermore, the government has printed brochures and produced television commercials as part of an awareness campaign aimed at reducing the demand for sexual services.

    Assistance and support provided to victims

    Several projects have been undertaken in recent years to assist victims of human trafficking. During 2009, the government provided about EUR 90,000 to two non-governmental organisations- Association Ključ and Caritas Slovenia - to provide both short-term and extended victim assistance including shelter, rehabilitative counselling, medical assistance, vocational training, and legal assistance.

    In 2009 a total of 28 potential victims were identified, of whom eight were provided with assistance by government-funded NGOs.

    Residence permit

    Identified foreign victims are granted a 90 day reflection period. Victims are encouraged to participate in trafficking investigations and assist with the prosecutions of trafficking offenders. Foreign victims who assist law enforcement can apply for a temporary residence permit and remain in Slovenia for the duration of the trial. The victim may choose to stay longer if s/he is working or studying. In 2009, one foreign victim of human trafficking applied for a temporary residence permit.

    Special protective measures for children

    The Slovenian government has given high priority to combat child pornography and illegal migration, which are two issues closely related to human trafficking. In the Penal Code, the presentation, production, holding and forwarding of child pornography on the Internet is defined as a criminal offence under Article 187(2) and (3) of the Criminal Code.

    Investigation and prosecution

    Offences related to trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation are investigated by anti-organised crime units within the police force. About fifteen officers are assigned full time to the policing of human trafficking. Moreover, at least one investigator at each of the 11 regional police directorates is responsible for the coordination of activities related to human trafficking and exploitation through prostitution.

    Latest numbers of prosecutions and convictions

    According to the US State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2010, the police dealt with 28 cases of trafficking in human beings (including cases of “abuse of prostitution” with the suspicion of trafficking in human beings) involving 13 offenders in 2009, as compared with eight cases in 2008. The public prosecutor's office considered six criminal complaints against nine suspects. Two traffickers convicted in 2009 were given sentences ranging from 24 to 38 months’ imprisonment.

    In 2009, twelve victims assisted law enforcement in criminal proceedings.

    Latest Initiaves/activities related tro anti-traffikcing policy

    From 18 to 20 December 2012 Slovenia hosted the final workshop of the project "The introduction of the requirements for establishing Joint Investigation Teams (JIT) to fight Trafficking in Human Beings in the South-eastern Europe". The project of creating the conditions for the establishment of Joint Investigation Teams JIT – THB SEE was presented on our last meeting in Oct 2012. The last of five workshops was aimed at utilizing and implementing the knowledge and experience gained during the project on a fictional THB case. The participants from the prosecution services, the police, and several national coordinators in THB from Southeast Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia and Serbia) were divided into four working groups dealing with four different fictitious cases of human trafficking. The goal of these groups was to identify and discuss practical aspects of JIT establishment. They documented their findings and presented their findings and solutions to the audience. They further exchanged their views on best practice and most effective approaches in this area. Representatives of the project team (from the Slovenian Ministry of the Interior and the Police), Europol and Eurojust experts also participated in group work and discussions.

  • 4. EU AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has financed the project 'Introducing the mechanism for recognition, assistance and protection of victims of trafficking in human beings and/or sexual violence in asylum procedures in Slovenia' (PATS) for four years. The project originally only included Slovenia but has expanded to also include Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    The project is carried out in the Asylum division of the Ministry of the Interior.

    Future plans in terms of implementation of the directive 2011/36/EU

    Republic of Slovenia is currently within the process of the Directive 36/2011/EU implementation, but there are still issues which need to be resolved in order for the implementation to be carried out successfully. The directive is covered by the Slovene legislation, to be specific by several different laws, while some articles still remain unresolved. Therefore the members of the National Working Group have started a discussion on the advisability of the preparation of the umbrella act, which would regulate all current legislative deficiencies in the field of THB. The idea of the umbrella act is still in its early stages, but will be presented at the meeting with the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, which is set to be held approximately in March. It is very probable that on this meeting the final decision on how the directive is to be fully implemented will be made, since the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the field of transposition. It is also important to point out that the preparation of the umbrella act is not dependent solely on the professional opinion of the National Working Group, but it needs a wider public and political support.      

     

  • 5. RESOURCES
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