Human traffickers target Roma

ROMA living in segregated settlements become the most frequent victims of human trafficking in Slovakia. The most endangered groups are young people aged 16-25 and men aged 25-35, the study of the People in Need Slovakia humanitarian organisation showed.

According to Timea Stránska, head of the People in Need, Roma are abused, especially for forced work, mostly in countries like the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Germany while in the UK this concerns especially cities like Peterborough, Sheffield, Leicester, Derby and Birmingham, the TASR newswire reported.

The Interior Ministry registered 30 persons – 21 women and nine men – who have become victims of human trafficking abroad in 2013.

However, it is just the number of those who voluntarily entered the programme for supporting protection of human trafficking victims, the SITA newswire reported.

Another revelation of People in Need’s report shows that victims of human trafficking are lured directly in the settlements after meeting with traffickers. Often it also happens that the victim is recruited by their distant relatives or someone from their surroundings, Stránska added, according to TASR.

Except for forced labour, the human trafficking victims are also abused for prostitution and begging. In cases of children, there are mostly cases when young Roma girls are forced to be prostitutes.

“We found out that in human trafficking the so-called cumulated exploitation starts to be used, which means that the victims are abused in two or three ways,” Stránska said, as quoted by TASR.
She also pointed to the fact that Roma from segregated localities only seldom turn to the police, mostly because of fear, mistrust or weak legal awareness.

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