Combating Trafficking of Human Beings
Human trafficking is definitely one of the sources of income of organized and criminal groups all over the world. Victims of this horrible criminal activity, usually women, are forced to work in sex industry or they are included in other forms of forced labour. However, all the forms of human trafficking have in common decreasing the human dignity and unfortunately many times victims´ death as well. Therefore, it is necessary to target these practises of organized crime.
The goal of this article is to present the outcomes of the project Prevention and Harmonised Data Collection on Trafficking in Human Beings, which should help especially victims of this illegal activity. The Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic submitted the Application for the Grant to the European Commission in 2010 for the realization of the Project “Prevention and extended harmonized system for collecting data about trafficking with human beings”, focused on establishing conditions permitting a systematic, coordinated and harmonized data collection about trafficking with human beings in the Slovak Republic and to increase the awareness of general public as well as representatives of particular professional state and non-state authorities in the area of trafficking in human beings, considering new forms of trafficking with human beings, especially forced labour.
The project was divided into three main parts: awareness campaign „Without information, you may become a slave“, trainings for identification of trafficking in human beings focused on forced labour and information system „Trafficking in Human Beings“.
The first phase of the communication campaign was running through three-months broadcasting of TV and radio spot named “Without information you are becoming a Slave“. The TV and radio spot was broadcasted in the Slovak Radio and in regional stations of the Radio Regina, in the Slovak Television (STV 1 and STV 2), Radio Expres, TV JOJ and TV Markíza during the months of October, November, and December 2011. At the beginning of the first phase, the TV spot was published on the www.youtube.com a www.twitter.com Internet page.
The second phase of the communication campaign was running during April, May and June 2012. The TV spot promoting The National helpline for the victims of trafficking with human beings 0800 800 818 was uploaded to the server of The Association of local television stations of the Slovak Republic, from where it was broadcasted free of charge in individual regions of Slovakia. The visual image of the campaign was published in the banners of internet pages www.mail.zoznam.sk, www.sportky.sk and www.topky.sk.
Posters in A4 and A3 format created within the campaign and containing its visual image were distributed to Offices of labour, social affairs and family through the territory of the Slovak Republic, airports, railway stations, Slovakia bus lines premises and premises of public transport in Košice. At the same time, there was the CD label with the TV spot created, distributed and continually broadcasted via internal TV circuits of Offices of labour, social affairs and family within Slovakia, airport halls and railway stations halls having suitable premises for broadcasting.
There were trainings running during May – June, 2012 for the target groups of the Police Forces members, workers of Offices of labour, social affairs and family, labour inspectors and field social workers. In total, there were 123 persons trained in six training dates.
Within the training, the Guide named “Aspects of forced labour in the Slovak Republic” was presented, used and distributed. The main goal of the Guide is to expand the knowledge horizon of experts entering into contact with victims or delinquents of the crime of trafficking with human beings. Especially, it was intended for police officers, labour inspectors, government officers, NGOs and others being confronted with the forced labour phenomenon during its work. The aim was to eliminate the phenomena decreasing the human dignity.
Considering persisting needs to establish a harmonized data collection system about trafficking in human beings in terms of both, national and international importance, the necessity arose to create a working group and an arbitration council in order to build the information system on trafficking with human beings. The working group consists of representatives of corresponding departments of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic and technical and development issues are solved by the relevant section of the ministry. With the purpose to build an information system, there was a basic document created for establishing the information system “Specification of requirements for the information system on trafficking with human beings “.
Competent bodies began testing of the information system in December 2012. The Sponsor of the information system has been the facility of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, the Information Centre to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and Crime Prevention, primarily involved in issues of trafficking with human beings.
According to the assigned access privileges, the Information system permits the authorized persons to use mainly following functions: registration of data about victims, registration of data about perpetrators, registration of data about the case, data collection, connecting victims and delinquents into cases, screening of victims, delinquents and cases, outputs and print reports, reports on victims, delinquents and cases.
The information system has three-layers and thin-client architecture. The application is operated as a central application in the data centre of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic. Clients connect via Intranet of the Ministry of Interior. From the perspective of the client, only the web browser is needed to run the application. From a technological point of view, the application runs on the technology with high availability, namely 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Trafficking in human beings is a multibillion euros form of organized crime. Therefore, it is very important not to cease the effort to prevent it. Project Prevention and Harmonised Data Collection on Trafficking in Human Beings is certainly a mechanism, which should enable to raise public awareness, prevent it and last but not least help the victims.
Author: Štefan Jakabovič L.LM
Trafficking in Human Beings, Public Awareness, Data Collection