Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings

Croatia

Croatia

1. GENERAL INFORMATION- SITUATION ON TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS

For the purpose of combating trafficking in human beings over the years the Republic of Croatia developed efficient National Referral System which includes activities from the moment of identification of the victim of trafficking to its full integration/reintegration in the society.

As to the trends, the Republic of Croatia over the past few years become a destination country and country of origin. In the Republic of Croatia most of the victims are Croatian citizens, exploited within Croatian borders, male and exploited for the purpose of labor. However, over the years, the Republic of Croatia has identified some foreign citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Nigeria, Hungary, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Thailand, The Philippines, etc., which shows that trafficking in human beings is truly a global problem.

In the 2017, the Republic of Croatia identified total of 29 victims. Of that number, 16 were male and 13 were female victims. Of that number, 19 were Croatian citizens and 10 were foreigners (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Nigeria), but predominantly, victims were Croatian citizens, exploited within Croatian borders.

Newest trend is that almost half of the victims were minors – 14, and of them 7 were male and 7 were female child victims. Due to that, the situation will be further monitored in order to identify a potential new trend in the Republic of Croatia.

As to form of exploitation, in the Republic of Croatia, labor is predominant (14), but examples of sexual exploitation are still present (9). Some of the victims were exploited for committing illegal actions connected to trafficking in human beings (18) and forced marriage (1).

2. INSTITUTIONAL, LEGAL AND POLICY FRAMEWORK TO ADDRESS TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS

The Republic of Croatia incorporated in its national legislation key international documents as to develop National Referral System for combatting trafficking in human beings which will fully address the global problem of trafficking and which will protect the victims of human trafficking. In 2002, the Republic of Croatia ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the supporting protocols and it is one of the firs countries which ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Actions against Trafficking in Human Beings in 2007.

Since then, the Republic of Croatia adopted a series of strategic and operative documents in the field of combating human trafficking, among which are five national strategic documents and pertaining protocols. The Republic of Croatia adopted three key protocols:

· Protocol on Identification, Assistance and Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking in 2008, 2010, and the newest in 2017;

· Protocol on Procedures during Voluntary return of Victims of Human Trafficking in 2009 and the newest in 2017; and

· Protocol on Trafficking in Human Beings Victims Integration/Reintegration in 2011.

In 2018 and 2019 the Republic of Croatia planes to adopt two more protocols - the renewed Protocol on Trafficking in Human Beings Victims Integration/Reintegration and Protocol on Data Exchange for Trafficking Cases.

As to the structure of the National Referral System for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the Republic of Croatia, it consists of three key institutions:

· The National Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator;

· The National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings; and

· The Operational team of the National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.

The position of the National Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator was established by the Government ruling on Amendments to the Ruling on the Establishment of the National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (Official Gazette no. 42/2012) and he is the head of the Government Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities. The National Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator operatively leads and coordinates all activities connected with the suppression of trafficking in human beings in the Republic of Croatia, as well as chairs the Operational team of the National Committee at least once a month. The National Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator is also the member of the EU network of national rapporteurs/equivalent mechanisms within the European Commission. Furthermore, he takes part in the informal network of national coordinators of South-Eastern Europe together with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

The National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings was established on May 9 2002 with the Ruling on the Establishment of the National committee for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (Official Gazette no. 54/2002, 42/2012, 49/2015). Members of the National Committee are representatives of all relevant public institutions and NGOs.

Chairperson of the National Committee is the Deputy Prime Minister responsible for social affairs and human rights, thus proving the high political commitment of the Republic of Croatia to tackle the issue of trafficking in human beings.

The primary assignment of the National Committee, which convenes twice a year, is developing programs and plans on the field of combating trafficking in human beings, as well as, regulating the most important political guidelines on that field.

The Secretariat of the National Committee is within the Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities and has a duty to prepare the sessions of the National Committee.

The Operational team of the National Committee was established in order to resolve operational problems related to the specific cases of human trafficking and to coordinate the activities of all parties involved in their resolution. The monthly meetings of the Operational Team are also an opportunity for each member to inform the others of their anti-trafficking activities. Members of the Operational team are representatives of all relevant public institutions and NGOs, in large part the same as in the National Committee.

Apart from three key institutions, four regional mobile teams (for Dalmatia, Istria, Zagreb and Slavonia) consisting of NGO representatives and workers in social welfare system, were appointed for further help to the victims on regional level.

As it can be seen, the Republic of Croatia developed the National Referral System that involves active cooperation of large number of public institutions and NGOs that take care of the identification of victims, provide all necessary help and assistance to victims (medical and psychosocial help, accommodation, return to the country of origin, etc.) and prosecute the perpetrators.

Key institutions involved in combating trafficking in human beings in the Republic of Croatia are:

· Government Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities;

· Ministry of Interior;

· Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs;

· Ministry of Justice;

· Ministry of Health;

· Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social policies;

· Ministry of Education;

· Ministry of Defense;

· Ministry of Labor (Labor Inspectorate);

· State Attorney’s Office;

· Croatian Employment Service;

· Croatian Red Cross;

· ROSA-Center for Women War Victims (PETRA Network);

· Center for Missing and Exploited Children Osijek; and

· Croatian Journalists’ Association.

In the Republic of Croatia, the identification of the victims is in the jurisdiction of Ministry of Interior and in the case of child victim, the Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policies must be included in the identification.

As to the cooperation with the NGOs, in the Republic of Croatia they represent integrated part of the National Referral System for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. They are members of the Working Group preparing the strategic and operational document, as well as members in the National Committee and the Operational Team of the National Committee.

The NGOs also play the most important role in the fields of providing assistance and protection to victims. In connection, the Republic of Croatia has two specialized shelters for victims of trafficking in human beings, one specialized for children and one specialized for adult victims. Both shelters are run by the NGOs and financed through the State Budget.

Also, I order to provide further help to victims, the Government Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities opened a special SOS line in order to provide direct help and assistance to victims. The SOS line is run by the NGOs and financed through the State Budget.

3. NATIONAL ACTION PLAN

Besides the operative documents, the Republic of Croatia also adopted a number of strategic national documents in the field of combating human trafficking, among which are five national strategic plans and programs:

· The National Plan for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in 2002;

· The National Program for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings from 2005 to 2008 with the pertaining operational plans;

· The National Plan for Combating Trafficking Children from 2005 to 2007;

· The National Plan for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings for the period from 2009 to 2011; and

· The National Plan for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings from 2012 to 2015.

The new National Plan for the period from 2018 to 2021 will cover the following areas:

· The Legislative Framework;

· Identification of the Victims of Human Trafficking;

· Monitoring of the Procedures of Detection, Prosecution and Sanctioning of the Criminal Acts Related to Trafficking in Human Beings;

· Assistance and Protection to the Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings;

· Prevention;

· Education;

· Regional and International Cooperation; and

· Coordination of Activities.

Besides putting an accent to specific help and protection that victims of trafficking in human beings need, the new National Plan, and all strategic and operational documents in the field of trafficking in human beings, emphasizes prevention actions and raising public awareness on the issue of trafficking in human beings, including public campaigns, round tables and debates, etc., in order to prevent and suppress trafficking in human beings.

Also, another non-repressive aspect of the overall strategy for combating trafficking in human beings in the Republic of Croatia presents education of targeted groups for recognizing potential trafficking victims. That include further education of police officers, judges, lawyers, members of Armed Forces, family centre staff and the staff of social welfare centres/institutes, representatives of the NGOs, diplomatic and consular staff, Croatian Employment Service staff, tourism workers and workers in other service industries, persons employed in the field of education, health care coordinators etc.

4. CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION TO ADDRESS TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS

As the Republic of Croatia is well aware that trafficking in human beings is a global problem and acknowledging the importance of local, regional and international cooperation in order to ensure effective assistance, help and protection of the victims of trafficking in human beings, the Republic of Croatia strongly supports regional and international activities and projects.

The Government of the Republic of Croatia over the years maintained law enforcement cooperation and regional and international police cooperation based on bilateral agreements with foreign governments, EUROPOL, INTERPOL and the SELEC (Southeast Law Enforcement Center).

Also, the Republic of Croatia over the years carried out number of project aiming combating trafficking in human beings:

· CARDS 2004 project “Combating Trafficking in Human Beings”,2007;

· ICMPD project “Enhancing Transnational Cooperation on Trafficking Cases in South-Eastern Europe (TRM), 2006-2009;

· ICMPD project “Programme for the Enhancement of Anti-trafficking Responses in South-Eastern Europe – Data Collection and Information Management (DCIM)”, 2006-2008;

· ICMPD project “Data Collection and Information Management – Phase II Data Processing, Maintenance and Analysis (DCIM Phase II)”, 2008-2010;

· ICMPD project “Targeting niches in the anti-trafficking efforts: customized support for Croatia”, 2009-2010;

· ICMPD project “Enhancing Transnational Cooperation on Trafficking Cases in South-Eastern Europe (TRM II)”, 2010-2012;

· IPA 2010 project „Enhancing Identification of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings“, 2012-2013;

· IPA 2012 FF RAC project “Support to migrant integration policy implementation”, 2017-2018; and

· AMIF project “Supporting integration of the third world country national in the need of international protection”, 2017-2018.

5. RELEVANT REPORTS

· Criminal Code:

https://zakon.hr/z/98/Kazneni-zakon

· National Plan for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings from 2012 to 2015:

https://ljudskaprava.gov.hr/UserDocsImages//arhiva//National%20plan%20for%20suppression%20of%20trafficking%20in%20human%20beings%202012-2015.pdf

· Report on implementation of the National Plan for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings from 2012 to 2015:

https://ljudskaprava.gov.hr/UserDocsImages//dokumenti//Izvješće%20o%20provedbi%20Nacionalnog%20plana%20za%20suzbijanje%20trgovanja%20ljudima%20za%20razdoblje%20od%202012.%20do%202015.%20godine%20za%202015.%20godinu.pdf

· Protocol on Identification, Assistance and Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking:

https://pravamanjina.gov.hr/UserDocsImages//dokumenti//Protokol%20za%20identifikaciju,%20pomoć%20i%20zaštitu%20žrtava%20trgovanja%20ljudima.pdf

· Protocol on Procedures during Voluntary return of Victims of Human Trafficking:

https://pravamanjina.gov.hr/UserDocsImages//dokumenti//Protokol%20o%20postupanju%20pri%20dobrovoljnom%20i%20sugurnom%20povratku%20žrtava%20trgovanja%20ljudima.pdf

· Protocol on Trafficking in Human Beings Victims Integration/Reintegration: https://pravamanjina.gov.hr/UserDocsImages//arhiva/protokoli//Protocol%20on%20Trafficking%20in%20Human%20Beings%20Victims%20Integration_Reintegration.pdf

6. RELEVANT LINKS TO NATIONAL AUTHORITIES/INSTITUTIONS WEBSITES AND OTHER RELEVANT CONTACTS

· Government Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities

Office of the National Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator:

https://ljudskaprava.gov.hr/

· The Ministry of Interior:

https://www.mup.hr/

· The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs:

http://www.mvep.hr/

· Ministry of Justice:

https://pravosudje.gov.hr/

· Ministry of Health:

https://zdravlje.gov.hr/

· Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social policies:

http://www.mdomsp.hr/

· Ministry of Education:

https://mzo.hr/

· Ministry of Defense:

https://www.morh.hr/hr/

· Ministry of Labor (Labor Inspectorate):

http://www.mrms.hr/

· State Attorney’s Office:

http://www.dorh.hr/Default.aspx

· Croatian Employment Service:

http://www.hzz.hr/

· Croatian Red Cross:

http://www.hck.hr/

· ROSA-Center for Women War Victims (PETRA Network):

http://www.czzzr.hr/

· Center for Missing and Exploited Children Osijek:

http://cnzd.org/

· Croatian Journalists’ Association:

http://www.hnd.hr/

· Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/SosZaZrtveTrgovanjaLjudima/about/

· SOS help line:

Phone: +385 0800 77 99