General information: situation on trafficking in human beings
Based on the available statistical data, Slovakia may be considered predominantly a country of origin, or a source country for victims of trafficking in human beings. Recently, Slovakia has become also a destination country for victims of trafficking in human beings, especially Slovak nationals. Slovakia is a source country for Czechia, Germany, United Kingdom, and other countries of Western Europe. Another important trend is the increasing ratio of male victims of trafficking in human beings. The most common purpose of trafficking in human beings remains sexual exploitation that occurs almost exclusively in female victims, although we have already recorded male victims for this HT´s purpose. In the exploitation of male victims, labour exploitation and forced begging prevail. Occasionally victims from third countries are identified in Slovakia.
Institutional, legal and policy framework to address trafficking in human beings
- Criminal Code (Act No. 300/2005 Coll. as amended)
- Code of Criminal Procedure (Act No. 301/2005 Coll. as amended)
- Victims of Crime Act (Act No. 274/2017 Coll. as amended)
- Regulation of the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic on the Program of Support and Protection of Victims of HT (No. 161/2020)
- Aliens Act (Act No. 404/2011 Coll. and on the supplements to certain acts)
- Social and Legal Protection of Children and on Social Guardianship Act (Act No. 305/2005 Coll. as amended)
- Social Services Act (Act No. 448/2008 Coll. as amended)
- Prevention of Criminality and Other Anti-social Activities Act (Act No. 583/2008 Coll. and on supplements to certain acts)
Protection of the victims and access to rights
Since 2006, there has been a specialized program of support and protection of victims of trafficking in human beings in Slovakia, which is legislatively, institutionally and financially secured by the Ministry of the Interior of Slovakia.
Persons who are reasonably suspected to have become victims of trafficking in human beings on the territory of Slovakia or abroad may voluntarily enter the program and, on the basis of an individual help plan drawn up by a non-governmental organization, be provided with the necessary services.
Victims of trafficking in human beings can be provided with the necessary emergency care, crisis care, reintegration or integration, and assisted voluntary return, with a duration of up to 180 days, or if the victim cooperates with law enforcement authorities, it is provided during the duration of the criminal proceedings.
It is possible to provide the victims with the following services within this specialized program:
- isolation from the criminal environment
- information on tolerated stay on the territory of Slovakia and, if necessary, information on the possibility of granting international protection, if the victim is a third country national
- assisting a Slovak citizen to return voluntarily to Slovakia
- social assistance
- social and psychological counselling
- psycho-therapeutic services
- interpretation and translation services
- legal counselling
- health care
- trainings and re-skilling courses
- possibility of inclusion in the program of witness protection under a special act
- possibility of one-time financial compensation under a special act
- the assistance to a European Union citizen and a third-country national with assisted voluntary return to the country of origin
- mediation of the assistance of an organization operating in the country of origin and the possibility of appropriate and safe accommodation
The provision of services for victims of trafficking in human beings included into the program and assisted voluntary returns of such victims are implemented through non-governmental organizations, on the basis of contracts concluded with the Ministry of the Interior of Slovakia, which have emerged from the public procurement.
In addition to the above services, the identification of victims, especially among foreigners in detention, residence and detention camps, through interviews and consultations among potential victims, identification of the person as a victim and offering assistance and co-operation through inclusion in the program, as well as educational information for young and other potential victims via the website, media and periodicals, through preventive conferences and other information, education and training activities, is the part of the services of non-governmental organizations within the above contracts.
Health care services may also be covered by public health insurance funds. Likewise, in respective cases, the social insurance of the victim is solved by the funds of the state.
Prosecution of traffickers and perpetrators
Detection and investigation of trafficking in human beings in Slovakia is under responsibility of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, as of 1 July 2013 this responsibility has been in the substantive jurisdiction of the National Unit to Combat Illegal Migration of the Bureau of the Border Police and the Alien Police of the Presidium of the Police Force.
Specialized regional departments of operational activities and investigations with investigators specializing in this kind of criminal activity deal with the investigation of trafficking in human beings according to Section 179 of the Criminal Code. The criminal investigation is supervised by the Prosecutor´s Offices.
- Preventive lectures for students
- Trainings for professionals, government and non-governmental sector, police officers, prosecutors, judges, healthcare services, social workers, childcare, labour inspectors, NGOs
- Projects, supported from the European and national funds, examples of wroth-mentioning projects:
· “SAFE” – cartoon application for children and students on safe travel abroad, Youtube: Mobilná aplikácia SAFE Travel & Work Abroad – Príbeh Romana, or Mobilná aplikácia SAFE Travel & Work Abroad – Príbeh Matej
- Human Trafficking: It can (not) happen to me - The brochure contains information and facts about helping institutions for people in need, trafficking in children and forced child marriages, trafficking in human beings online, real stories of victims, advice and recommendations.
- Youtube Channel Crime Prevention (Prevencia kriminality) several videos are devoted to topics related to the prevention of trafficking in human beings
- Film Festival “Together against trafficking” yearly on the occasion of the European Anti-Trafficking Day
National action plan
The fifth National Programme for Combating trafficking in human beings in the Slovak Republic for the period of 2019–2023 was approved by the Slovak Government Resolution No. 495/2018 from 6 November 2018.
It is structured into four topics in line with the EU Strategy towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings 2012-2016: prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships.
Key trends are defined in each topic, completed with proposed solutions. Activities included in the National Programme are covered by the state budget. One part of the National Programme includes 21 tasks reflecting international standards and recommendations within the Action Plan of Combating trafficking in human beings for the period of 2019 – 2023:
Cross-border cooperation to address trafficking in human beings
EU member states
- JITs, NREM, GRETA, embassies of the Slovak Republic abroad
- Cooperation through Europol and with Eurojust
- Cooperation through Interpol, GRETA, embassies of the Slovak Republic abroad
Relevant links to national authorities and institutions websites, and other relevant contacts
The National Referral Mechanism institutionalizes cooperation between government and non-government sector. The cooperation is performed by the national coordinator and representatives of the government and non-government sector, and municipalities within the Expert Group. There are also ad hoc working groups aimed at dealing with specific challenges.
- National Helpline for Victims of HT: 0800 800 818 (+421 800 800 818), the helpline is free of charge in Slovakia and operational 24/7, the services of the helpline are financed by the Ministry of the Interior, operated by an NGO and supported by the telecommunication provider Telekom.
- State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Pribinova 2, 812 72 Bratislava, Slovakia: http://www.minv.sk/?ministry-interior-slovak-republic-contacts
National rapporteur or equivalent mechanism
- Information Centre for Combating trafficking in human beings and for Crime Prevention, Ministry of the Interior, Pribinova 2, 812 72 Bratislava, Slovakia – responsible also for gestoring of the specialized Program of Support and Assistance to Victims of HT and policy making: email@example.com, http://www.minv.sk/?information-centre-for-combating-trafficking-in-human-beings-and-for-crime-prevention
- National Unit to Combat Illegal Migration of the Bureau of the Border Police and the Alien Police of the Presidium of the Police Force, Ružinovská 1/B, 812 72 Bratislava, Slovakia: firstname.lastname@example.org
Civil society organisations
- Caritas Slovakia (Slovenská katolícka charita) – provides services for victims of HT and assisted voluntary returns of victims of HT on the contractual basis with the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic, Kapitulská 308/18, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovakia: http://www.charita.sk/aktuality/kategoria/stop-obchodovaniu-s-ludmi/page:9
- International Organization for Migration - IOM Slovensko, Grösslingová 35, 811 09 Bratislava, Slovakia: http://www.iom.sk/en/activities/counter-trafficking-in-human-beings
- Information offices for victims of crime, a network of 16 information offices for victims of crime under the governance of the Ministry of the Interior: https://prevenciakriminality.sk/p/potrebujem-pomoc