Torture in  [Czech Republic]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Czech Republic]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Czech Republic]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Czech Republic]  [other countries]
 

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                        gvnet.com/humantrafficking/CzechRepublic.htm

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. Maintaining an open investment climate has been a key element of the Czech Republic's transition from a communist, centrally planned economy to a functioning market economy. As a member of the European Union, with an advantageous location in the center of Europe, a relatively low cost structure, and a well-qualified labor force, the Czech Republic is an attractive destination for foreign investment.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: CzechRepublic

The Czech Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for women from Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Belarus, Moldova, Bulgaria, Mongolia, and Brazil trafficked to the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Germany for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. The Czech Republic is a destination for men and women trafficked from Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Belarus, China, Vietnam, Mongolia, and Brazil for the purpose of labor exploitation. Roma women are trafficked within the country and abroad for forced prostitution.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   [full country report]

 

 

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the Czech Republic.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLES ***

Six charged in organ trafficking case at Brno hospital

Jan Richter, Radio Prague, 17-08-2007

www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/six-charged-in-organ-trafficking-case-at-brno-hospital

[accessed 31 January 2011]

Between 2003 and 2004, five employees of the tissue bank at the Brno-Bohunice hospital, together with one outsider, sold 7 million crowns worth of skin graft to a Dutch company. The Organized Crime Squad of the Czech police have now finished investigating the case and charged the persons involved with illegal organ trafficking.

It took the Czech police three and a half years to close the case of illegal organ trafficking at a hospital in Brno, Moravia. Two skin tissue specialists, three other staff members and one of their relatives have been charged with illegal organ trafficking, a crime punishable in the Czech Republic only since 2002. The police operation, code named "Human", the first of its kind in the country, targeted illegal sales of skin graft to a Dutch company.

Human trafficking campaign ends

Prague Post, 23 January 2008

www.praguepost.com/articles/2008/01/23/human-trafficking-campaign-ends.php

womensphere.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/human-trafficking-campaign-ends-czech-republic/

[accessed 31 January 2011]

Although some details may not be known, the general picture of sex trafficking in the Czech Republic follows a pattern, according to IOM information.  Women forced into prostitution are often lured here by seemingly legitimate jobs such as cleaning or babysitting. After they arrive they have their personal papers taken away and their will broken by rape, beatings and threats. They are then told that they have a debt to repay and are sold from trafficker to trafficker, thereby increasing the amount owed to impossible levels.

THE TRUE STORY OF A TRAFFICKED WOMAN - After Lithuania joined the European Union, in May 2004, Marja traveled across Italy. After about two weeks, due to unexpected expenses, she ran out of money. This is when her friend, also originally from Lithuania, offered her a well-paid job in Prague. They traveled to the Czech Republic in another friend's car. Since they were now both EU citizens, crossing the borders was smooth and easy. Late in the evening they reached a town, whose name Marja didn't notice at the time. They were both tired and decided to stay overnight.

In the morning, Marja discovered that the doors to her room were locked and that her papers and mobile phone were missing. A stranger entered her room, a man, who told her in Russian that she owed a lot of money for the transport and accommodation. There was a customer already waiting for her downstairs. When Marja realized that she was expected to work as a prostitute, she pointedly refused. On that day she was, for the first time, brutally beaten and raped numerous times.

In the following weeks, death threats to both her and her family in Lithuania, beatings and food deprivation, for even the slightest misbehavior, became part of Marja's life. She can't say for exactly how long this went on. She started following the orders of the nightclub owner. She even pretended to be happy. As she puts it, all that she felt inside was the desire to survive and to not be hit anymore.

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2004

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2003/czech-republic.htm

[accessed 31 January 2011]

GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - In 2002, the government provided some funding to local NGOs that provide assistance to trafficking victims and those at risk of being trafficking.  With funding from the U.S. Department of State, the NGO La Strada implemented an awareness-raising program for Czech law enforcement officers on the needs of trafficking victims and to develop an information database on trafficking.

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - There are some reports of the internal trafficking of Czech children from areas of low employment near border regions with Germany and Austria. Girls from the former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East are trafficked to the Czech Republic for sexual exploitation.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61644.htm

[accessed 31 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Local sex trafficking victims were generally young women between 18 and 29 years of age from areas of high unemployment. Romani women were at the highest risk of being trafficked internally, often by a friend or relative. Girls raised in state‑run homes, such as orphanages, were also at particular risk. According to government authorities, women already working as prostitutes were also particularly vulnerable to traffickers. Trafficked women were frequently offered jobs as models, maids, waitresses, and dancers through employment agencies and then forced into prostitution. Once in a destination country, traffickers ensured victims' compliance by confiscating their travel documents and using isolation, drug and alcohol dependence, violence, threats of violence toward the victim or her family, and the threat of arrest and deportation. Police reported that traffickers increasingly relied on violence to secure their victims' cooperation.

Labor trafficking remained a significant issue; the interior ministry reported that it was the most common form of trafficking in the country. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the NGO La Strada released a study during the year documenting victims from a wide variety of countries, including the former Soviet Union, South Asia, China, and Vietnam. Victims were both male and female and varied widely in age and in social and educational status. Local employers ranged from single families to local subsidiaries of major multinational European retail chains. The study carefully documented the highly sophisticated and organized nature of the organized crime syndicates that conducted trafficking operations. Although there were no available estimates of the numbers of victims trafficked into the country for labor, both government and NGO sources conceded that the problem was widespread.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 31 January 2003

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/czechrepublic2003.html

[accessed 31 January 2011]

[60] The Committee welcomes: (a) The establishment in spring of 2002 of a trilateral Czech-German-Polish working group to address, inter alia, trafficking in human beings, in particular the sexual exploitation of children for prostitution occurring in these areas.

Human trafficking campaign ends

Prague Post, 23 Jan 2008 -- Source: www.praguepost.com/articles/2008/01/23/human-trafficking-campaign-ends.php

womensphere.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/human-trafficking-campaign-ends-czech-republic/

[accessed 31 January 2011]

Although some details may not be known, the general picture of sex trafficking in the Czech Republic follows a pattern, according to IOM information.  Women forced into prostitution are often lured here by seemingly legitimate jobs such as cleaning or babysitting. After they arrive they have their personal papers taken away and their will broken by rape, beatings and threats. They are then told that they have a debt to repay and are sold from trafficker to trafficker, thereby increasing the amount owed to impossible levels.

THE TRUE STORY OF A TRAFFICKED WOMAN - After Lithuania joined the European Union, in May 2004, Marja traveled across Italy. After about two weeks, due to unexpected expenses, she ran out of money. This is when her friend, also originally from Lithuania, offered her a well-paid job in Prague. They traveled to the Czech Republic in another friend's car. Since they were now both EU citizens, crossing the borders was smooth and easy. Late in the evening they reached a town, whose name Marja didn't notice at the time. They were both tired and decided to stay overnight.

In the morning, Marja discovered that the doors to her room were locked and that her papers and mobile phone were missing. A stranger entered her room, a man, who told her in Russian that she owed a lot of money for the transport and accommodation. There was a customer already waiting for her downstairs. When Marja realized that she was expected to work as a prostitute, she pointedly refused. On that day she was, for the first time, brutally beaten and raped numerous times.

In the following weeks, death threats to both her and her family in Lithuania, beatings and food deprivation, for even the slightest misbehavior, became part of Marja's life. She can't say for exactly how long this went on. She started following the orders of the nightclub owner. She even pretended to be happy. As she puts it, all that she felt inside was the desire to survive and to not be hit anymore.

Czech police accuse 11 Asians of human trafficking

Xinhua News Agency, Prague, Dec 9, 2007

news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-12/10/content_7222003.htm

[accessed 31 January 2011]

The traffickers promised the girls the work of hostesses and barmaids, the Prima and Nova commercial television channels said.  Each of them had to pay up to 10,000 dollars for the "mediation" of work. They were forced into prostitution on arrival in the Czech Republic.

Six charged in organ trafficking case at Brno hospital

Jan Richter, Radio Prague, 17-08-2007

www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/six-charged-in-organ-trafficking-case-at-brno-hospital

[accessed 31 January 2011]

Between 2003 and 2004, five employees of the tissue bank at the Brno-Bohunice hospital, together with one outsider, sold 7 million crowns worth of skin graft to a Dutch company. The Organized Crime Squad of the Czech police have now finished investigating the case and charged the persons involved with illegal organ trafficking.

 It took the Czech police three and a half years to close the case of illegal organ trafficking at a hospital in Brno, Moravia. Two skin tissue specialists, three other staff members and one of their relatives have been charged with illegal organ trafficking, a crime punishable in the Czech Republic only since 2002. The police operation, code named "Human", the first of its kind in the country, targeted illegal sales of skin graft to a Dutch company.

Natashas - The New Global Sex Trade [PDF]

Victor Malarek, “Natashas, The New Global Sex Trade”, ISBN 9780670043125 | 16 Oct 2003 | Viking Canada

www.selfconnection.ca/Descriptions/9780143012597.pdf

[accessed 31 January 2011]

SMUGGLER'S PREY - Every day, scores of young women throughout the former East Bloc are lured by job offers that lead to a hellish journey of sexual slavery and violence. Despite the barrage of warnings on radio and TV, in newspapers and on billboards, desperate women continue to line up with their naiveté and applications in hand, hoping that, this time, they might just be in luck.

Czech police detain Vietnamese human trafficking gang

Tien Phong, Czech News Agency - Česká tisková kancelář ČTK, June 15, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

Czech police have detained four male and two female Vietnamese in Prague who allegedly traded in people and forced their female compatriots into prostitution in Prague and in southern Bohemia.

Vietnamese women trafficked, rescued in Czech Republic

October 11, 2005 -- Source: Nguoi Lao Dong - Compiled by Thanh Hang

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

They had to pay US$5,000 to $7,500 each, tricked into thinking that they were coming to Czech on legitimate terms to well-paid jobs, but instead were forced into prostitution.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 1   Civil Liberties: 1   Status: Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/czech-republic

[accessed 26 June 2012]

Stop Violence Against Women – Country Page

The Advocates for Human Rights, October 12, 2006

stopvaw.org/czech_republic2.html

[accessed 31 January 2011]

U.S. Library of Congress - Country Study

Library of Congress Call Number DB2011 .C93 1989

lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cstoc.html

[accessed 31 January 2011]

Human Trafficking - fighting an invisible crime

Maida Agovic, Radio Prague, 26-11-2004

www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/human-trafficking-fighting-an-invisible-crime

[accessed 1 February 2011]

With rising standards of living and entry into the European Union, the Czech Republic is increasingly becoming a destination for trafficked people. Victims usually originate in less stable and less prosperous regions further east. Petra Burcikova has the details:

"Most of the victims that end up trafficked in the Czech Republic come from the former Soviet Union, mostly Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, some of them from Russia, quite many from Bulgaria, quite a few from Slovakia as well, and in the past two years, we have, for the first time, had clients from Asia, from China and Vietnam. Recently we also had a few clients from Central Asia."

U.S. Diplomat Leads Charge Against Human Trafficking

Don Hill, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty RFE/RL, Prague, 5 August 2004

www.rferl.org/content/article/1054191.html

[accessed 1 February 2011]

Today marks the second day of Miller's three-day visit to the Czech Republic. The ambassador said that early in its transition from communism to a market economy, the Czech Republic was what he calls a "source country" for slaves -- women and children forced into prostitution, and men into factory and farm labor in other countries. But he said that has changed.

"As the Czech economy has grown, the nature of the problem has changed," Miller said. "Today if we look at trafficking in persons, or slavery, in the Czech Republic, we are talking about the Czech Republic as a destination country. People coming from Eurasia, Eastern Europe to the Czech Republic, engaging, being forced, into the various types of slavery. Although, talking with the NGOs, it is clear that the leading form of slavery in the Czech Republic is sex slavery."

Typology, profile, and position of victims of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation in the Czech Republic [DOC]

web.mvcr.cz/archiv2008/aktualit/sdeleni/2003/pril1.doc

[Last access date unavailable]

PROFILE OF A CZECH VICTIM TRAFFICKED ABROAD - According to the La Strada data, it often concerns very young inexperienced women. Most are between 18 and 22 years of age, in majority low educated (elementary school, secretarial training, or high school graduates). Trafficked victims often come from socially pathological background - dysfunctional, broken or fragmentary families, frequently with the background of domestic violence (alcoholism, abuse). Alcohol or drug addiction raises the vulnerability of potential victims. Harnessed by their addictions, young girls choose prostitution to support their drug habits. Drug addiction also reinforces the girls' dependency on their pimps. This is tied to the well-known issue of girls from orphanages who leave the institution at 18 without having a place to go. They are not adequately prepared for life and lack basic social and other skills. The merchants sometimes directly target orphanages, waiting for the girls to leave.

Government receives report criticising Slovak Romanies' situation

Czech News Agency - Česká tisková kancelář ČTK, Prague, 30. 9. 2004

www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-13555382_ITM

[accessed 17 July 2013]

The Czech government has received a report criticising the living conditions of Slovak Romanies and comparing them to a humanitarian crisis, the public Czech Television said today.  According to the survey, the situation of Slovak Romanies has worsened after the introduction of social reforms. Forced prostitution, hunger and poverty reign among Slovak Romanies, the report says.

Report on human trafficking praises Czechs

The Prague Post, June 24, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

The Czech Republic is the only former Eastern bloc state listed as a Tier 1 country in the just released U.S. Report on Human Trafficking.  That ranking, on a four-tier scale, indicates that the country is doing everything possible -- prevention, victim aid, prosecution, arrest -- to curtail the crime of human trafficking, which traps thousands of men, women and children in forced labor and sexual servitude each year.

In the Czech Republic human trafficking is linked to street prostitution and forced sex work in the country's more than 200 brothels. The victims are primarily from the poorest ex-Soviet states, such as Ukraine and Moldova.

U.S. Embassy political officer and trafficking expert Ben Rockwell did castigate the country on two points, however. First, sentencing in the Czech Republic, as in many countries, is too light, according to Rockwell. And despite excellent police work, he said, far too few traffickers are actually charged. Out of the five persons convicted of human trafficking last year, four were sentenced to jail time, but all of the sentences were suspended.

Klara Skrivankova: fighting trade in human lives

Rob Cameron, Radio Prague, 24-03-2003

www.radio.cz/en/section/one-on-one/klara-skrivankova-fighting-trade-in-human-lives

[accessed 1 February 2011]

CAN YOU GIVE ME EXAMPLE OF HOW, SAY, A TEENAGE GIRL FROM UKRAINE IS LURED TO PRAGUE AND MADE TO WORK IN THE SEX INDUSTRY? TELL ME HOW IT HAPPENS - "Well most of the time it's through some kind of job offer. It can be either directly in the village, let's say somewhere in Ukraine, where of course the situation is very hard and the possibility of finding a job is basically zero. Either there or in some official place the woman or the girl gets a job offer. It can be a job offer that explicitly says that it involves the sex industry, but it can also be for example a job picking mushrooms. So it's basically a job offer. And then it proceeds through facilitation of transport, getting visas, which are usually taken care of by the traffickers. When the woman gets to the Czech Republic she finds out straight away that either the conditions are completely different or the work itself is completely different than what was promised. So that's the very basic scenario."

WHAT KIND OF CONDITIONS ARE THESE WOMEN KEPT IN? - "The conditions can be very different, ranging from very hard physical violence to more psychological manipulation and pressure, or debt bondage, or threats. So the conditions vary. But usually the people are in quite a vulnerable position because they are foreigners, because sometimes they don't have papers, they're illegal here, and also because they don't know the environment. They are purposely kept in isolation, so the only contact they have is with the group with which they are kept it. It can range from one extreme to the other."

Human Trafficking Casts Shadow on Globalization

Michele A. Clark, YaleGlobal , 23 April 2003

yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/human-trafficking-casts-shadow-globalization

[accessed 1 February 2011]

In 1996, Sasha was 26 and worked as a waitress in a small town in the Czech Republic to support herself, her daughter and her alcoholic husband. After a childhood rife with sexual abuse and multiple rapes, already on her third marriage, and watching her country struggle to emerge from a collapsed economy, she felt trapped in a cycle of abuse and poverty.

She was approached at work by a Czech man who promised her a lucrative job in Germany. Believing that she would be able to save money to ease her family's situation, she accepted the offer and left for the West, along with three other girls. Her fears began when her contact refused to return her passport after crossing the border, and were confirmed when she got to her destination - a sleazy bar on the outskirts of a German city. Once there, she was gang raped repeatedly to obtain her compliance, and eventually taken to Amsterdam's red light district where she was forced to become one of the many women behind the windows, making as much as US$80,000 tax free for her traffickers in her first year.

Child-prostitution claims disputed

Andrew Satter, The Prague Post, November 6, 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

KARO -- which receives funds from the European Union and subsidies from the German state of Saxony and which has monitored the issue since 1996 -- said it has observed about 500 girls and boys who are in prostitution, most from west, north and south Bohemia and Slovakia. The report, written by KARO social worker Cathrin Schauer, includes shocking accounts of parents-turned-pimps forcing their children into the sex trade to serve legions of German pedophiles flocking across the border.

Romany girls kidnapped, sold abroad

Martina Pisárová, The Slovak Spectator, 14 Aug 2000

spectator.sme.sk/articles/view/1538

[accessed 1 February 2011]

According to the reports, which have been substantiated by Roma community leaders and international human rights observers, several young Slovak Roma women have recently been kidnapped and then sold to Czech underworld figures. The captives are then smuggled into western countries, where they are forced into prostitution.

Following a story in late July in the Czech press agency ČTK, the Slovak weekly magazine Moment reported the case of Silvia Kováčová, an 18 year-old Roma girl from the small village of Hencovce in eastern Slovakia, who had been kidnapped by a family friend in mid July. She was driven to the nearby town of Vranov by the friend, who said they were going to inquire about an available flower-selling job for the girl.

However, the car met with three large men en route. "When we got there, I asked about the work selling the flowers," Kováčová said. "But they all just started to laugh... one of them then sprayed something in my face which knocked me out. When I woke up we were outside Bratislava."

Kováčová was then smuggled into the Czech Republic by the kidnappers and was eventually sold at a gas station to a local pimp in the Czech town of Teplice for the cash sum of 200 Deutsche marks ($93).

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery – Czech Republic", http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/CzechRepublic.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [Czech Republic]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Czech Republic]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Czech Republic]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Czech Republic]  [other countries]