Slovakia has achieved significant progress in combating human trafficking, advancing from the second grade to the top grade in the USA's three-grade scale, US Ambassador to Slovakia Theodore Sedgwick announced at a press conference at the Interior Ministry on Tuesday, June 28.
According to the ambassador, this progress is thanks to the level of education concerning the problem among police officers, prosecutors and judges. "It doesn't mean that our job is done. We can always strive for more," said Sedgwick, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that a US Government report contains a number of recommendations for further improvements in this sphere. He noted that around 12 million people worldwide fall victim to human trafficking every year. The Interior Ministry has elaborated a comprehensive programme of care for the victims of human trafficking, said Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic. This programme includes financial and social support for the victims, legal advice, health care, retraining courses and help for those who voluntarily return to their native countries.
Lipšic added that the ministry has set up an information centre aimed at preventing human trafficking in Roma communities, as unemployed, poorly informed and socially challenged people often become victims of this type of crime.
Interior Ministry State Secretary Maroš Žilinka announced that Slovakia has received a grant from the EU amounting to €119,000 for setting up a database aimed at uncovering human trafficking. The project, linked to foreign data, will cost €150,000 in total. Lipšic also spoke about one of the biggest cases of human trafficking in Slovakia's history, which involved almost a dozen suspects. The police concluded their investigation in April and the case is now being dealt with by prosecutors. It involves 150 women, who were hired as hostesses but ended up working as prostitutes throughout Europe.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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29. Jun 2011 at 10:00