[ Country-by-Country Reports ]
SLOVENIA (TIER 1)
[Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009]
is primarily a transit country for men, women, and children trafficked from
Ukraine, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic,
Thailand, and Iran through Slovenia to Western Europe for the purposes of
commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. To a lesser extent, Slovenia
is also a destination country for men, women, and children trafficked from
Ukraine, the Dominican Republic, and Romania for forced labor and commercial
sexual exploitation and a source of women trafficked for the purpose of forced
prostitution within Slovenia.
Government of Slovenia fully complies with the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking. In November 2008, the government amended
Slovenia’s criminal code to increase the maximum penalty for
trafficking to 15 years’ imprisonment. Authorities also increased the
number of trafficking prosecutions and conducted public awareness campaigns
aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts. Although the total
number of victims identified and assisted increased, Slovenia decreased
funding for victim assistance.
Recommendations for Slovenia: Continue to vigorously investigate both sex and labor
trafficking offenses and increase trafficking prosecutions and convictions;
continue to provide trafficking awareness training for judges; ensure that a
majority of convicted traffickers serve some time in prison; and continue to
refer a significant number of identified victims for assistance.
The Government of Slovenia demonstrated increased law enforcement efforts in
2008. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through
Article 113 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties ranging from 6
months to 15 years' imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent
and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape.
The government conducted seven trafficking investigations in 2008, compared
to six in 2007. Authorities prosecuted eight cases in 2008, an increase from
three cases in 2007. Six traffickers were convicted in 2008, compared to five
convictions in 2007. Four traffickers convicted in 2008 were given sentences
ranging from 9 to 48 months’ imprisonment, and two traffickers served
no time in prison; in 2007, four traffickers were given sentences ranging from
15 to 57 months’ imprisonment, and one convicted trafficker served no
time in prison. The Ministry of Justice collaborated with an NGO to hold
several anti-trafficking training seminars for judges, prosecutors, and
police during the reporting period.
The Government of Slovenia maintained its efforts to provide adequate victim
assistance and protection during the reporting period. The government
provided $95,000 to two NGOs to provide both short-term and extended victim
assistance including shelter, rehabilitative counseling, medical assistance,
vocational training, and legal assistance; this is a decrease from $105,000
provided in 2007. During the reporting period, government officials referred
70 potential victims for assistance, compared to four victims in 2007. A
total of 65 victims were identified, of which 38 were provided with
assistance by government-funded NGOs, an increase from 26 victims in 2007.
After identification, victims were granted a 90-day reflection period.
Victims were encouraged to participate in trafficking investigations and
prosecutions of trafficking offenders. Foreign victims who assisted law
enforcement could apply for a temporary residence permit and remain in
Slovenia for the duration of the trial and may choose to stay longer if they
are employed or in school. Nine victims assisted law enforcement in 2008,
compared to eight the previous year. Victims were not punished for unlawful
acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.
The government maintained its prevention efforts during the reporting period.
In 2008, the Ministry of Interior, UNHCR, and local NGOs jointly administered
a project that addressed trafficking and gender-based violence by providing
information and assistance to asylum seekers at greatest risk of being
trafficked, particularly single women and children separated from their
parents. The government monitored immigration and emigration patterns for
evidence of trafficking, and immigration and law enforcement officials
screened for potential trafficking victims along borders. The government
printed brochures and produced television commercials as part of an awareness
campaign aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts.