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Care for victims of trafficking in human beings is provided by programmes for crisis accommodation and safe accommodation of victims and by (re)integration programmes.

Rights of the victims

Victims have the right to:

  • assistance and support as soon as authorised authorities have reasonable grounds to believe that the person has been a victim of trafficking in human beings;
  • respect for their integrity;
  • an individual interview with a representative of a non-governmental and/or humanitarian organisation before the Police launch an information gathering process;
  • information (in the language the victims understand) on: 
    • institutions and organisations to which the victims can turn for help     
    • the type of assistance the victims can get     
    • where and how the victims can report a criminal offence procedures that follow the report and the victims’ role regarding such procedures
    • how and under what conditions the victims may be protected      
    • to what extent and under what conditions the victims have access to legal counselling, legal aid or any other form of advice      
    • requirements to be complied with to entitle the victims to compensation     
    • all special arrangements available to the victims to protect their interests if such victims reside in another Member State;     
  • how the victims can be entitled to the reimbursement of costs that incurred as a result of the their participation in criminal proceedings; 
  • the presence of representatives of non-governmental and/or humanitarian organizations or other persons whom the victims trust in the interview with police officers;
  • safe accommodation.

Providing assistance to children who are victims of trafficking in human beings

  • The conduct of all bodies and organisations in procedures with children who are victims of trafficking in human beings shall comply with the principles of the best interest of the child; these principles shall prevail over issues of immigration or crime prevention.
  • The opinions and wishes of children who are victims of trafficking in human beings shall be established and considered whenever decisions related to children are taken, including as assistance in their rehabilitation and training.
  • Children who are victims of trafficking in human beings shall be entitled to assistance and support taking into consideration their specific circumstances. The primary consideration, i.e. the best interest of the child, shall be assessed in each individual case, however, there shall prevail an approach that is adapted to the child's needs and that considers the child's age and level of maturity, as well as their views, needs and concerns.  The child and the holder of parental responsibilities or another legal representative, if there is one, shall be informed of all measures or rights specifically focused on the child.
  • If the holder of parental responsibilities is prevented from enforcing the principle of the best interests of the child and/or their representation, the child shall be appointed a guardian or a representative. Further procedures following the identification of children who are victims of trafficking in human beings shall be led by personnel appropriately qualified to perform procedures with children.
  • In the case of an unaccompanied minor who illegally entered the country or lives in the country, the interview with a minor foreigner shall be conducted by a professional worker from a social work centre who shall also offer the foreigner first social aid and obtain the foreigner's statement on the appointment of  a guardian for a specific case.  If, in the interview with the minor foreigner, there are indicators identified that suggest that the minor is a victim of trafficking in human beings or could become such victim with regard to the circumstances, the social service responsible for the foreigner shall provide the victim's placement in an appropriate facility.  
  • If the victim is an unaccompanied minor, the authorities shall do everything to establish contact with the victim's family as soon as possible.
  • In the criminal proceedings conducted as a result of criminal offences of trafficking in human beings, the injured party who is a minor shall have throughout the criminal proceedings an authorised representative to care for their rights. Direct questioning of persons under 15 years of age who are victims of criminal offences of trafficking in human beings shall not be permitted in the main hearing.

Providing assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings

The Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities are responsible for providing assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings and cooperate with non-governmental and humanitarian organisations that actually provide this assistance. 

First, the accommodation of victims is organised within the Crisis Accommodation Programme, which is then extended (or may be extended) to the Safe Accommodation Programme.

Crisis accommodation

Crisis accommodation is provided by non-governmental and humanitarian organisations and co-financed by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. 

Upon settling the victims accept assistance and accommodation by way of a written statement whereby they acquire rights and obligations related to the implementation of the programme.

Victims are accommodated with their consent and accommodation comprises:

  • appropriate and safe accommodation and assistance, 
  • material assistance,
  • assistance in providing primary healthcare,
  • psychosocial assistance and help, 
  • provision of information and counselling regarding the victims’ rights, in a language understandable to the victims, 
  • translation and interpreting services,
  • assistance in the victims’ return to their homeland.

Victims with special needs are provided with appropriate help, in particular when their needs are related to pregnancy, their health condition, disability, mental and psychological disorders or severe forms of psychological, physical or sexual abuse that they experienced.

The victims have the right to:

  • a 30-day  period of recovery and reflection to recover, escape the influence of traffickers, and get information about the voluntary forms of the further support programme and possibilities of cooperating with state authorities;
  • assistance and support prior to and during the criminal proceedings and in an appropriate period after its completion.

Accommodation, assistance and support are not conditional upon the readiness of the victim to cooperate in the pre-trial procedure or criminal proceedings.

The Police allow victims who reside illegally in the Republic of Slovenia to stay, upon their own request or ex officio, for a period of 3 (three) months (which includes the 30-day period of recovery and reflection), in order to decide voluntarily on further options which also include the possibility for victims, citizens from third countries, to decide whether to participate as witnesses in criminal proceedings regarding the criminal offence of trafficking in human beings. If reasonable grounds exist, the victims may be permitted to remain for another period of three months at the most.  

Safe accommodation

During crisis accommodation victims are offered long-term assistance and safe accommodation. Accommodation in a safe place is provided by non-governmental or humanitarian organisations and co-financed by the Ministry of the Interior.  

By way of a written statement the victim accepts assistance and accommodation and acquires rights and obligations related to the programme implementation.

Accommodation in a safe place comprises: 

  • appropriate and safe accommodation and assistance, 
  • material assistance,
  • assistance in providing primary healthcare,
  • psychosocial assistance and help,
  • provision of information and counselling regarding the victims’ rights, in a language understandable to the victims, 
  • assistance in regularising legal status in Slovenia,
  • assistance in ensuring that the rights and interests of victims are represented at suitable stages in the prosecution of perpetrators of criminal offences,
  • assistance in integrating into Slovenian society,
  • translation and interpreting services,
  • assistance in the victims’ return to their homeland.

The victims must respect the house rules and participate in the implementation of each individual assistance and protection programme. During accommodation the victims are provided with all the needed protection on the basis of a preliminarily drawn up assistance and protection programme.  

For victims who are citizens of third countries such a form of long-term accommodation in a safe place is conditional on their having a permit to stay and a temporary residence permit. After the termination of the 30-day period of recovery and reflection within the programme of crisis accommodation these victims are included in the safe accommodation programme for the period of validity of the permit to stay. 

A temporary residence permit may be issued to victims of trafficking in human beings if the victims are prepared to cooperate as witnesses in criminal proceedings and their testimonies are important.

Accommodation within the programme is voluntary and for victims from third countries it may last until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, while for other victims the legislation does not define any term. 

Victims with special needs are be provided with appropriate help, in particular when their needs are related to pregnancy, their health condition, disability, mental and psychological disorders, or severe forms of psychological, physical or sexual abuse that they experienced.

Care for victims of trafficking in human beings is provided by programmes for crisis accommodation and safe accommodation of victims and by (re)integration programmes.

Crisis accommodation programme

The crisis accommodation programme is financed by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. This involves comprehensive assistance provided for up to 30 days to identified victims, both adults and children, who need immediate removal from their current environment. 

The programme was implemented by Caritas Slovenia in 2019. Four people were placed in crisis accommodation, one each from Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ukraine.

A total of 95 days of care provided within crisis accommodation.

Safe accommodation programme

The safe accommodation programme is financed by the Ministry of the Interior. In addition to accommodation, the programme includes regular psychosocial counselling, escorting to various institutions, inclusion in psychotherapy, learning to move around safely, promoting leisure activities, engaging in self-defence courses, involving volunteers in work and monitoring progress.

The programme was implemented by the Ključ Society in 2019. Two persons (one Slovenian and one Ukrainian female citizen) were included in it with a total of 371 days of care. Both persons had been exploited in prostitution. 

"Reintegration of victims of trafficking in human beings" project

The "Reintegration of victims of trafficking in human beings" project was co-financed by the Ministry of the Interior – the Police within the EU Internal Security Fund. The project is intended for citizens of the Republic of Slovenia who have been treated as victims of trafficking in human beings abroad and for EU citizens and third-country nationals who have been treated as victims of trafficking in human beings in the Republic of Slovenia and legally reside there. Reintegration is the first step for victims towards leading an independent life free from violence, exploitation and violations of human rights.  

The programme was carried out by the Ključ Society in 2019. Six persons were included in the programme; they received psychosocial counselling, relief talks and psychotherapy. They were provided with the possibility of enrolling in various educational programmes, the payment of tuition fees, continuous support in learning, the possibility of taking driving lessons, the payment of driving lessons, and support in preparing for exams in road traffic regulations and first aid. The programme provider provided assistance and support for finding a job and reaching agreements with employers, for playing sports and other leisure activities, and for expanding their social network and successful social inclusion.

PATS project

The  "PATS – Identifying, assisting and protecting victims of human trafficking and/or sexual abuse in asylum procedures in the Republic of Slovenia" project is intended for informing those seeking international protection on the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings. The project is funded by European funds and the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants.

The project was implemented by the Institute for African Studies in 2019. A total of 214 informative interviews were conducted (of which 202 with unaccompanied adolescents and 9 with women). Five persons were referred for further treatment.

Project of providing direct assistance, counselling and care for victims of trafficking in human beings in terms of health protection 

The project of providing direct assistance, counselling and care for the health distress and problems of victims of trafficking in human beings is financed by the Ministry of Health and implemented by Caritas Slovenia and the Ključ Society.

As part of the "Healthy, Safe and Fairly Paid" project, Caritas Slovenia provided support to victims in solving their health problems; 2,000 leaflets were published for professionals and sent to community health centres, pharmacies and hospitals.

The Ključ Society implemented the project "Take care of yourself – Promoting the physical and mental health of persons who experienced trafficking in human beings". The activities focused on counselling with respect to physical health, assistance in getting access to health services, psychotherapy and conducting various workshops. The project also included raising awareness among health professionals about trafficking in human beings.