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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. As a result, its forms are constantly changing and adapting, which requires law enforcement authorities to carefully monitor the situation and keep up close inter-ministerial cooperation in order to identify 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 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 2021, the Police detected and dealt with 42 criminal offences of trafficking in human beings under Article 113 of the Criminal Code (KZ-1), which, compared to the previous year, indicates an increase in dealing with these crimes. The Police processed 40 victims of the crime of human trafficking and 18 perpetrators of this crime. 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 18 suspects, of whom 15 were men and three women, for the most part Slovenian nationals (13). They processed 40 victims of human trafficking, 39 of whom were women; the largest number of victims were from the Dominican Republic (18). In 2021, 40 victims were exploited for prostitution and sexual abuse, and there were no victims of other human trafficking crimes. All the victims were adults.

Activities of the State Prosecutor’s Office

In 2021, the Specialised State Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Slovenia, which has exclusive competence to prosecute criminal offences involving trafficking in human beings, carried out its tasks related to the criminal offences of trafficking in human beings under Article 113 of the Criminal Code (KZ-1), enslavement under Article 112 of the Criminal Code and exploitation through prostitution under Article 175 of the Criminal Code.

In 2021, the State Prosecutor’s Office received three criminal complaints for the criminal offences of trafficking in human beings under Article 113 of the Criminal Code against twelve natural persons and two legal persons that acted to the detriment of 40 victims.

State prosecutors filed one request for investigation against five natural persons who acted to the detriment of 38 female victims.

The state prosecutors also issued one decision on dismissal for a criminal offence under Article 113 of the Criminal Code against two natural persons.

In total, 32 natural persons and four legal persons were dealt with in criminal proceedings in 2021. In 2021, two investigations were initiated against six natural persons.

District state prosecutors’ offices also dealt with particular issues relating to trafficking in human beings.

Activities of the Labour Inspectorate

In 2021, the Labour Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia (IRSD) found 28 violations of the provisions of the Employment, Self-Employment and Work of Foreigners Act (ZZSDT), which is less than in 2020. Most (20) violations referred to the fourth paragraph of Article 7 of the ZZSDT, as employers enabled foreigners to perform work other than that for which consent was given or a permit for seasonal work was issued. In three cases, a violation of the fifth paragraph of Article 7 of the ZZSDT was established. In two cases, violations of the provisions of Article 36 and three violations of Article 45 of the ZZSDT were established. 

Ten violations of the Cross-Border Provision of Services Act (ZČmlS) were detected, which is less than in 2020. Of these, three violations referred to Article 12 and seven violations to Article 14 of the Cross-Border Provision of Services Act.

In 2021, inspectors also identified violations of the rights of workers (both Slovenian and foreign citizens) posted to work abroad by employers registered in Slovenia. A total of 39 violations were found.

In 2021, the Labour Inspectorate issued two criminal complaints pursuant to Article 113 (in conjunction with Article 196) of the Criminal Code (KZ-1) against two legal persons that provided cleaning activities at service stations. The criminal complaint involved 625 workers or potential victims of trafficking, both women and men. 

Activities of the Financial Administration

In 2021, the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia did not file any criminal complaints or reports on suspicion of committed criminal offences under Article 113 of the Criminal Code (KZ-1) (Trafficking in human beings).