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The criminal offence of trafficking in human beings is among those criminal offences that are the most strongly related to socio-economic conditions at both the local and the global levels. Therefore its forms are constantly changing and adapting, which requires that law enforcement authorities carefully monitor the situation and maintain fruitful inter-ministerial cooperation in order to recognise and prosecute it.

Criminal proceedings against the perpetrators of these crimes, unless remanded in custody, generally last for several years. The reason for this is the large number of perpetrators who avoid the procedure by travelling abroad or, when committing a crime, are already abroad and have accomplices in Slovenia.

Activities of the police

The police detected and dealt with 13 criminal offences of trafficking in human beings in 2019. As in previous years, the police most frequently identified the exploitation of victims for prostitution and sexual abuse, while other forms of exploitation of victims (forced labour, forced criminal activity and servitude) were less common. Slovenia is both a target country for the exploitation of victims of human trafficking and a transit country for citizens from South-East Europe who continue their journey to other EU Member States through Slovenia. 

The police dealt with 14 suspects, of whom ten were men and four women, most commonly Romanian nationals (6). It identified seven victims of trafficking, six of whom were women; most of the victims were from Vietnam (4). Most of the victims (5) were exploited for prostitution and sexual abuse, while two were exploited for servitude. All the victims were adults.

Activities of the State Prosecutor’s Office

In 2019, the Specialised State Prosecutor’s Office, which has exclusive competence to prosecute criminal offences involving trafficking in human beings, continued to perform its tasks related to the criminal offences of trafficking in human beings under Article 113 of the Criminal Code, enslavement under Article 112 of the Criminal Code and exploitation through prostitution under Article 175 of the Criminal Code.

In 2019, the State Prosecutor’s Office received and dealt with: four criminal complaints due to criminal offences of trafficking in human beings under Article 113 of the Criminal Code against 23 natural persons and one legal person and to the detriment of six victims. State prosecutors filed two requests for investigation against 21 natural persons and one legal person.

In the courts, four cases were closed with the conviction of four natural persons.

Activities of the Labour Inspectorate

In 2019, the Inspectorate found 49 violations of the provisions governing the conditions of employment, self-employment and work of aliens (more than the preceding year). Most (33) were violations of Article 7 - employers allowed foreigners to perform work other than that for which approval had been given or a permit for seasonal work issued. In eight cases, Article 45 was violated regarding the storage of documentation at the place of provision of services. 

There were 20 violations of the Transnational Provision of Services Act: most (11) were violations of Article 12, which determines the conditions for the transnational provision of services by foreign employers in the Republic of Slovenia; the remaining violations were due to failure to comply with Article 14, which sets out the obligation of a foreign employer to ensure that, during the cross-border provision of services in the Republic of Slovenia, the documentation specified in the Act is made available at the request of the supervisory authority.

Activities of the Financial Administration

In 2019, the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia filed a total of 12 criminal complaints for undeclared employment and 66 criminal complaints for violations of the fundamental rights of workers.