The Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking group GRETA has called on Slovenian authorities to improve victims’ access to justice and support, as well as to boost the identification of victims of labor exploitation amongst asylum seekers.
The third report regarding Slovenia’s implementation of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings focuses on access to justice, and effective lines of support and remedies for victims of human trafficking. The anti-trafficking group also assessed developments following the publication of GREAT’s second report on Slovenia in 2018.
GRETA confirmed that progress has been made in several areas, namely the establishment of the Anti-Trafficking Service within the Ministry of the Interior, which supports the National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, in addition to amendments to the Criminal Code and the Aliens Act.
At the same time, the report said that no trafficking victims had received compensation from perpetrators either through criminal or civil proceedings, or from Slovenian authorities under the Crime Victims Compensation Act. As a result, GRETA called on Slovenian authorities to facilitate victims exercising their right to compensation by supporting access to information and legal aid to claim compensation.
The anti-trafficking group also called on Slovenia to review the eligibility for state compensation, and make it available in practice to trafficking victims.
GRETA warned that Slovenia had secured a low number of convictions for human trafficking, and pointed to the absence of convictions for trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation. It emphasized the Slovenia must ensure that trafficking offenses are classified as such every time a relevant case is opened, and that effective and dissuasive sanctions are imposed on those responsible.
“Slovenia continues to be primarily a country of destination of victims of human trafficking. The total number of victims identified in the period 2017-2021 was 241, of whom 85% were women. The prevailing form of exploitation was sexual exploitation, followed by forced criminality,” reads the report.
“No victims of labor exploitation were identified, and no child victims. Almost all identified victims were foreign nationals and more than half of them came from four countries (Ukraine, Taiwan, Hungary and Romania). In addition, eight Slovenian victims were trafficked internally for the purpose of sexual exploitation,” it continues.
In 2019, a joint law enforcement operation saw 70 people arrested in a large-scale child trafficking operation involving agencies from Slovenia, Bulgaria, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.
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