Women from Romania & Ukraine Fall Victim to Forced Labor

On August 19, 2013, for The Slovak Spectator—
“Ukrainian, Moldovan, Bulgarian, Romanian, and potentially Vietnamese men and women have fallen victim to forced labour in Slovakia, according to the Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US Department of State, which monitored the situation from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. According to the report, Slovakia is a source, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour, the SITA newswire reported on August 18.

“A sharp increase of foreign citizens, mainly from Romania, begging in Slovakia may indicate potential trafficking,” the report reads, adding that the victims are reportedly transported to and through Slovakia from countries in the former Soviet Union. They are forced into prostitution within the country and throughout Europe, the report states.

In 2012, a Bulgarian victim was identified in Slovakia, en route to Germany, and a Cameroonian victim was identified in the country after being subjected to sex trafficking in Ukraine, according to the report.

The document also states that Slovak men and women face forced labour in agriculture and forced labour in the countries of western Europe, especially in the United Kingdom. Moreover, Slovak children are subjected to forced criminal activity in the UK. Slovak women are subjected to sex trafficking in the Netherlands, Slovenia, Denmark, Germany and other European countries, the report reads.

In 2012, two Slovak women were identified in forced labour in the US. Ukrainian, Moldovan, Bulgarian, Romanian, and possibly Vietnamese men and women have been found in forced labour in Slovakia, according to the report.

Another finding of the report states that Slovak children, women, and men of Roma ethnicity are subjected to forced begging in Switzerland and other countries in western Europe.

“Roma from socially segregated rural settlements were disproportionately vulnerable to human trafficking, as they were underemployed and undereducated, due to lack of access to quality education in segregated schools,” the report reads. “Traffickers, particularly prominent individuals in Roma communities, found victims through family and village networks, preying on individuals with disabilities or large debts. NGOs report that children who leave institutional care facilities lack sufficient support and sometimes fall victim to human trafficking.”

Slovakia ranked among the most successful countries with its efforts to combat human trafficking for the third time in a row, with the police reporting 40 victims of human trafficking last year, SITA reported.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), together with NGOs Náruč, Dotyk and Slovak Catholic Charity, offered to help the victims through its Programme of Support and Protection of Human Trafficking Victims. Twenty-two people sought help through the programme, SITA wrote.
Source: SITA, Trafficking in Persons Report
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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