IN SHORT

Slovakia a transit state for traffickers

"SLOVAKIA is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a source country for women and girls trafficked primarily to western and central European countries, as well as to Japan, for the purpose of sexual exploitation," reads the recent Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US Department of State.

Victims from the former Soviet states, especially Moldova and Ukraine, and the Balkan region are trafficked through the Slovak Republic. A recent NGO studyreported that Slovak Roma women are trafficked to Prague and Czech border towns.

"The Slovak government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so," reads the report.

As a result, the Slovak Republic has been placed on the so-called Tier 2 Watch List.

The report also finds that Slovakia's victim assistance and protection efforts, as well as trafficking prevention programmes, remain inadequate. It acknowledges the government's formation of an inter-ministerial expert working group on March 31, 2005, which was charged with developing a coordinated national action plan to combat trafficking, but concludes there's been insufficient time to gauge the group's effect.

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