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Slovak Roma targeted for human trafficking

Police intervened in 37 cases of modern slavery last year, the majority of which were women, with four being underage. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that up to 100 people are trafficked abroad every year, the Sme daily reported on September 11.

Police intervened in 37 cases of modern slavery last year, the majority of which were women, with four being underage. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that up to 100 people are trafficked abroad every year, the Sme daily reported on September 11.

Victims most frequently come from villages in the Košice Region, and have only elementary education. Traffickers send them mostly to the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria and Belgium. Instead of the promised work the victims often serve as prostitutes or forced labourers. They work in agriculture, food and construction industry, or are forced to commit various crimes, like financial frauds or robberies, according to Sme.

Human traffickers also target whole families. The traffickers receive their state subsidies, including the benefits for children. Also fictive marriages between Roma women and Pakistanis to allow them entry to Schengen Area are not unusual, Sme wrote.

According to the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), about 60 percent of trafficking victims are Roma. The Interior Ministry launched a campaign in Roma settlements at the beginning of the year warning about human trafficking, Sme wrote.

Jana Vaňová from the Roma Media Centre, who was one of the authors of document over the trafficking, says that typical centre of human traffickers is Glasgow in Scotalnd, where a strong Pakistani community is in contact with Slovak Roma, as reported by Sme.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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