Trafficking in human beings

05 May 2011

Estimates provided during research by the ERRC and PiN about the perceived representation of Roma among trafficked persons in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia are several times higher than the proportion of Roma among the general population, indicating a disproportionate impact of this practice on Romani communities. Romani women and children were found to be particularly vulnerable to trafficking, which brings Roma to other countries and to other locations within their home countries. Roma are trafficked for various purposes, including sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, domestic servitude, organ trafficking, illegal adoption and forced begging. The vulnerability factors identified in this study are closely linked to those commonly associated with non-Romani trafficked persons and include structural forms of ethnic and gender discrimination, poverty and social exclusion which result in low educational achievement, high levels of unemployment, usury, growing up in State care, domestic violence and substance abuse. Gaps in law, policy and practice in the field of anti-trafficking constitute barriers to the fight against trafficking in Romani communities. Few Roma are identified by police as trafficked persons and many are reluctant to report themselves to law enforcement agencies for fear of reprisal from their traffickers or of prosecution for the conduct of criminal acts as a trafficked person. Similarly low numbers of Romani trafficked persons access victim prevention and protection services and general social protection systems are failing to reduce the extreme vulnerability of Roma to trafficking. The overwhelming lack of support available to Romani trafficked persons negatively impacts the ability of many to re-integrate, leaving them highly vulnerable to re-trafficking.

ERRC/PIN: Breaking the Silence: Trafficking in Romani Communities

COE Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
COE Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse
EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims
UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
UN Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery 

Bulgaria: Law on Fighting the Illegal Traffic of People; Penal Code
Czech Republic: Act No. 40/2009 Coll. on the new Criminal Code 
Law No. 678/2001 on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, as amended by Emergency Government Ordinance 143/2002; Criminal Code
Slovakia: Act No. 300/2005 Coll. on the Criminal Code

EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator
OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Human Trafficking
UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially in Women and Children

Czech Republic:
National Rapporteur for Trafficking in Human Beings


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