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Slovakia to mark European Day of Fight against Human Trafficking

In Slovakia, the European Day of Fight against Human Trafficking, October 18, is marked by a host of activities.

In Slovakia, the European Day of Fight against Human Trafficking, October 18, is marked by a host of activities.

On October 14, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) non-governmental organisation has launched the information campaign “Don’t become a slave!” to help the victims of trafficking. The campaign runs from October 2014 in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia in regions from which most of identified victims of trafficking come from. The campaign promotes helplines available to anybody in risk of becoming or has already become a victim of trafficking or who is considering working abroad.

The Slovak National Helpline for Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings is toll free at 0800 800 818. To reach the helpline from abroad, callers need to call from Slovak SIM card and dial 00421 800 800 818. Victims of trafficking in human beings can be provided return and reintegration assistance by IOM or other organisations and institutions, IOM informs. In Slovakia, the campaign is focused on towns in the Košice region. Posters and city-lights are placed in bus stations in Košice, Trebišov and Michalovce form where most people leave the country for abroad, mainly the UK.

In cooperation with La Strada organisations, the campaign takes place in the Czech Republic, particularly in Ústí nad Labem, Teplice and České Budějovice and in Poland in Mazovian Voivodeship and in regions in the northwest of the country.

Head of the IOM Slovakia Zuzana Vatráľová informed journalists that while in the beginning, the help-line was oriented on women and sexual exploitation, current trends have changed and men become frequent prey to trafficking and exploitation, mainly forced labour, making one half of all victims.

Another organisation to mark the day of fight against human trafficking is Člověk v tísni (People in Peril), Slovak branch, which informed that the most vulnerable group in Slovakia are Roma from the excluded settlements, abused for forced labour. The most frequent destination of Slovak Roma are the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic, with personal recruitment in the settlement being the most frequent way of addressing them. Very often, it is distant relatives or acquaintances who lure people abroad, with the most common ways of abuse being forced labour, prostitution and begging.

Slovenská katolícka charita (Slovak Catholic Charity, SKCH) is organising a film festival on October 17 in the Lumiére cinema in Bratislava, screening education films and documentaries in the morning for schools and in the afternoon for wider public. Called “Together against Human Trafficking / Spolu proti obchodovaniu s ľuďmi”, the pilot project of film festival aims at pointing to this issue, and thus mark the European Day of Fight against Human Trafficking.

The core of the festival will be mostly foreign short films describing various forms of human trafficking, ensuing debates and lectures by experts from Slovakia and abroad. Accompanying events include an exhibition of paintings, and the GIFT box Slovakia – ľudia nie sú na predaj (People Are Not for Sale) campaign. Apart from Bratislava, the festival will also take place in London – where victims from Slovakia are most often sold.

(Source: press releases)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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