GERMANY (TIER 1) [Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009]
Germany is a transit and destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Victims were trafficked to Germany from other parts of Europe, Africa (primarily Nigeria), Asia, and the Western Hemisphere. Approximately one-quarter of sex trafficking victims were German nationals trafficked within the country. In 2007, the latest year for available trafficking statistics, declines in the number of Czech, Romanian, and Polish victims were observed as well as increases in the number of Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Nigerian victims. Twelve percent of trafficking victims were younger than 18 years old. The majority of identified sex trafficking victims were exploited in bars and brothels. Reported incidents of forced labor occurred mainly in restaurants, catering, and the domestic work and agriculture sectors.
The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Germany increased identification of forced labor victims and labor trafficking investigations during the reporting period. Sex trafficking investigations also increased, but available statistics indicate that just 30 percent of trafficking offenders sentenced to prison did not receive suspended sentences. Statistics indicate that, in 2007, three labor trafficking offenders received suspended prison sentences, and five others convicted for labor trafficking received fines or other administrative punishments. However, in cases where perpetrators were convicted on multiple charges, statistics only include convictions under the charge which has the highest possible maximum sentence. Therefore, available statistics do not capture the full extent of trafficking convictions and sentences in Germany.
Recommendations for Germany: Explore ways, within the parameters of the German judicial system, to increase the number of convicted traffickers who are required to serve time in prison; continue to improve efforts to identify and combat labor trafficking; ensure forced labor and child victims’ access to appropriate assistance and protection; standardize victim assistance measures and government-civil society cooperation across the 16 federal states; and strengthen awareness campaigns targeting beneficiaries of forced labor and clients of the sex trade, particularly in the most frequented red light districts.
In 2007, the most recent year for which data were available, authorities prosecuted 155 persons under Section 232 and 13 under Section 233 – for a total of 168, compared to a total of 193 prosecutions in 2006. The government reported 133 trafficking convictions, a slight decrease from 150 in 2006. In those cases where trafficking offences carried the most severe sentences, only 30 percent of those sentenced to prison did not receive a suspended sentence, compared with 38 percent in 2006. None of the eight trafficking offenders convicted under the labor trafficking statute in 2007 was required to serve jail time—five received fines or administrative punishments, and three received suspended prison sentences.
In 2008, two German men were convicted in a Lower Saxony court of kidnapping, hostage taking, rape, and trafficking and sentenced to 12.5 and 14 years in prison, respectively, for crimes committed against two German women and a Bulgarian student. Separately, a Polish couple was convicted of and sentenced to five and a half years and three years and three months’ imprisonment, respectively, for persuading, under false pretenses, young Polish women to travel to Germany where they were forced into prostitution. Police and NGOs jointly organized specialized seminars for investigating officers, victim protection officials, and prosecutors as well as workshops in source and transit countries during the reporting period.