Detection, investigation and prosecution
Criminal proceedings against the perpetrators of these crimes, unless remanded in custody, generally last for several years. The reason for this is that a large number of perpetrators avoid the proceedings by travelling abroad or, when committing a crime, are already abroad and have accomplices in Slovenia.
Activities of the Police
In 2022, the police dealt with six trafficking in human beings offences, which shows a decrease in the number of offences dealt with compared to 2021 (42).
It also addressed eight cases in which there were reasons for suspicion that a criminal offence of trafficking in human beings had been committed, but the information and evidence gathered did not provide a sufficient basis on which to file criminal complaints (three in 2021). In this respect, the police submitted reports to the competent prosecutor's offices pursuant to Paragraph 10 of Article 148 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
In 2022, the police dealt with a total of five victims of trafficking in human beings and 14 potential victims of trafficking in human beings. The victims were women from Colombia, Venezuela and Slovenia, who were exploited for prostitution and other forms of sexual abuse, as well as for forced marriage.
A total of 25 people, 14 men and 11 women, were dealt with by the police on suspicion of having committed the offence of trafficking in human beings. The majority of them were Slovenian citizens.
Activities of the State Prosecutor’s Office
The Specialised State Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter: SDT RS, which is exclusively competent to prosecute criminal offences related to human trafficking, actively performed its function in 2022 in the field of criminal offences of trafficking in human beings as per Article 113 of the KZ-1, criminal offences of enslavement as per Article 112 of the KZ-1 and criminal offences of exploitation through prostitution as per Article 175 of the KZ-1.
The following was received and addressed by the SDT RS in the reporting period:
- four indictments due to criminal offences of trafficking in human beings as per Article 113 of KZ-1, namely against nine natural persons and one legal entity and to the detriment of five victims, three women and two men;
- one report under Paragraph 10 of Article 148 of the ZKP against one natural person.
The prosecutors of the SDT RS have taken the following decisions on the criminal charges:
- one dismissal decision was issued against one natural person for an offence under Article 113 of the KZ-1;
- one dismissal decision was issued against one legal entity for an offence under Article 113 of the KZ-1;
- two requests for investigation were filed against six natural persons for an offence under Article 113 of the KZ-1, committed to the detriment of two female victims.
Individual cases in the field of human trafficking were also addressed by the district state prosecutor's offices, specifically:
- the District State Prosecutor's Office in Kranj received one criminal complaint for reasonable suspicion of the offence of trafficking in human beings under Article 113 of the KZ-1 and issued one dismissal decision for the offence of trafficking in human beings under Article 113 of the KZ-1, against one natural person to the detriment of one person (female).
Activities of the Labour Inspectorate
In 2022, 27 breaches of the ZZSDT were detected (28 in 2021). The most violations (18) were detected due to failure to comply with the provision of Paragraph 4 of Article 7 of the ZZSDT; in these cases, the employers ensured that aliens carried out other work than that for which consent was given or a seasonal work permit was issued as defined in the procedure of issuing or extension of a single permit or EU Blue Card or issuing of written approval.
In two cases, a violation of the fifth paragraph of Article 7 of the ZZSDT was also established.
Inspectors also found one infringement of Article 36, which provides that an employer may only carry out the supply of goods and services with posted workers on the basis of a declaration of the commencement of the provision of services, in cases as specified in a list of cases.
One infringement of Paragraph 1 of Article 31 of the ZZSDT was also found.
The inspectors also found four infringements of Paragraph 2 of Article 45 of the ZZSDT.
In the field of transnational provision of services and posting of workers, the IRSD also monitors compliance with the provisions of the ZČmIS. During the inspections of the implementation of this law, inspectors found five violations in 2022, which is significantly fewer than in the previous reporting period (10). Thus, four infringements of Article 12 of the ZČmIS, which sets the conditions for the cross-border provision of services by foreign employers in the Republic of Slovenia, were found, and one infringement was found due to non-compliance with the provision of Article 14 of the ZČmIS.
The IRSD notes that employers are increasingly recruiting workers from certain Asian countries (India, Bangladesh, etc.) to replace workers from the countries of the former Yugoslavia as a labour force.
Activities of the Financial Administration
In 2022, FURS also dealt with infringements of the Prevention of Undeclared Work and Employment Act (hereinafter: ZPDZC-1) and filed charges or reports for offences under the KZ-1.
In 2022, FURS implemented 10,875 controls on illegal employment, including on the employment of third-country nationals. Illegal employment of third-country nationals was detected in 66 employers (44 in 2021). The most frequent irregularities due to illegal employment of third-country nationals were found in the construction (F), catering (I) and processing (C) sectors.
In 2022, 58 minor offence proceedings were initiated against offenders (legal entities) in relation to the illegal employment of third-country nationals for violation of the provision of Item 6 of Paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the ZPDZC-1, of which 51 minor offence proceedings were concluded in the reporting year. In 2022, 51 offenders were fined a total of EUR 287,500 for illegally employing third-country nationals, and six warnings were issued. 62 natural persons were also sanctioned in relation to this minor offence. All of them were third-country nationals, who were fined a total of EUR 27,000 for committing an offence under Paragraph 3 of Article 23 of the ZPDZC-1, and eight warnings were issued.
In 2022, FURS filed 15 criminal complaints and two reports of suspected offences under Article 196 of the KZ-1 (violation of fundamental rights of workers). Of these, ten concerned foreign nationals, nine of which were criminal charges against foreign nationals only, and one against both Slovenian and foreign nationals. In the reporting year, FURS filed five criminal charges and two reports for suspicion of committing an offence under Paragraph 1 of Article 199 of the KZ-1 (undeclared employment).
In the reporting period, the FURS did not file any criminal charges or reports of suspicion of a criminal offence as per Article 113 of the KZ-1 (trafficking in human beings).