Search

 

Cablegate: Annual Anti-Trafficking in Persons (Tip) Report

VZCZCXYZ4793
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVB #0182/01 0631015
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031015Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8648
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASH DC

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000182

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, EUR/PGI
DEPT PASS USAID

E.O. 12958:QN/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB HR
SUBJECT: ANNUAL ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT
FOR CROATIA

REF: STATE 2731

Sensitive but unclassified; please handle accordingly.

1. (SBU) Post is pleased to submit the Annual Anti-
Trafficking in Persons Report for 2007. Croatia has
previously been ranked as a Tier Two country. As
detailed below, Post believes Croatia has made successful
efforts to meet Tier One requirements under the
Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and Post strongly
recommends raising Croatia to Tier One this year. The
Government of Croatia has proactively and consistently
worked to address and combat trafficking in persons and
has achieved all benchmarks established in annual USG TIP
action plans. The Government of Croatia has demonstrated
strong political will and responsiveness to every issue
the USG has raised, in particular to intensify
investigative efforts, resulting in an increased number
of convicted traffickers. Through the passage of the New
Law on Foreigners the GOC has continued to strengthen its
legal framework while simultaneously ensuring the
protection of foreign victims of TIP. Croatia further
strengthened the already institutionalized victim
identification process and continued implementing
professional training and public awareness campaigns. We
are pleased with the efforts undertaken by the GOC to
meet Tier One requirements.

A. Croatia is primarily a transit country for women and
girls trafficked to other parts of Europe for
prostitution. To a lesser extent it is a destination and
a country of origin for trafficked women. The trafficking
route is primarily from Southeastern Europe through
Croatia to the European Union. The government reported
that 15 trafficking victims were identified in 2007; nine
victims were Croatians, three were Serbians, two were
Bosnians, and one was a citizen of Moldova. One of the
female victims was a minor from Bosnia. Two of the male
victims, one from Bosnia and one from Croatia, were held
by labor traffickers. Since 2002, 69 victims have been
identified (2002 ? eight victims, 2003 ? eight victims,
2004 ? 19 victims, 2005 ? six victims, 2006 ? 13 victims,
2007 ? 15 victims). During the year the government
reported that the victims cooperated with police
investigations and NGOs. Recent trends indicated that 20-
to 30-year-old women were most at risk of being
trafficked. Anecdotal information indicated that
transnational and domestic organized crime groups were
responsible for trafficking. Victims were subject to
violence, intimidation, withholding of documents, and
threats by traffickers.

B. The GOC did not report any significant route changes,
however it did note that a new trend is that Croatia is
increasingly becoming a country of origin. (Nine
identified victims in 2007 were from Croatia.) Croatia
is principally a country of transit for victims coming
from Southeastern Europe through Croatia to the European
Union. The International Organization of Migration (IOM)
reported continued seasonal rotation of international
prostitutes from Bosnia to and from the Dalmatian Coast
during the tourist season. (In 2007 the Croatian police
reported routine monitoring and screening of this
population group.) The GOC, which includes all relevant
Government Ministries and the Government Office for Human
Rights, and the Ministry of Interior, shows a strong
political commitment and willingness to fight trafficking
in persons. Anecdotal information indicated that
international organized crime groups, local groups, and
travel or marriage agencies were responsible for
trafficking. Victims usually travel with legal documents,
although some are falsified. Unofficial sources indicate
that trafficked victims are mostly recruited through
fraud and promises of well-paying jobs abroad. The
methods of recruitment are numerous and diverse:
abduction, extortion, false promises, fictitious
marriages, bogus adoption agencies, seduction, the
issuance of false certificates required for student
visas, business offers, etc. Victims are subject to
violence, intimidation, withholding of documents, and
threats by traffickers. The majority of victims, both
foreign and national, reported poor living and working
conditions and suffered physical and/or sexual abuse in

the process of trafficking.

C. The lead agency for monitoring anti-trafficking
efforts is the Government Office of Human Rights; the
head of which also serves as GOC Anti-Trafficking
Coordinator. In addition, the Ministry of Interior,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, and
Ministry of Justice are also actively involved in anti-
trafficking efforts.

D. There are no specific limitations on the government's
ability to address the problem of trafficking in persons.
Funding is more than adequate and the GOC budget
dedicated for TIP activities in 2007 was 9,787,150 HRK
(1.9 million USD). A backlog in the judicial system plus
the lack of a Criminal TIP Provision prior to 2004 had
previously hampered the GOC's ability to convict
traffickers. This changed, however, with the 2004
adoption of the Criminal TIP Provision 175 in the
Croatian Penal Code. Progress towards the reduction of
judicial backlog has occurred. This factor, together with
the high priority the GOC has attached to TIP, has
resulted in a doubling of the number of convictions from
the past year. (See Section 2)

E. The GOC systematically monitors anti-trafficking
efforts through its Anti-Trafficking Coordinator ? Head
of the Office of Human Rights ? who is responsible for
coordinating all GOC activities and developing an annual
operation plan. The GOC's National Committee for the
Suppression of Trafficking consists of members from
relevant ministries, as well as representatives from the
State Prosecutor's Office and NGOs. The committee has a
smaller working group, which includes representatives of
NGOs, and meets regularly to discuss specific TIP cases
and programs. TIP-related information is made available
publicly through the Office for Human Rights website, as
well as via domestic and regional seminars. The GOC also
cooperates closely with the Southeastern European
Cooperative Initiative (SECI) and Interpol on
investigations and prosecutions.

2. (SBU) INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS:

A. Croatia has a provision in the Penal Code which
specifically prohibits trafficking in persons, both for
sexual and non sexual purposes. The Criminal Provision
175 in the Croatian penal Code ?titled Human Trafficking
and Slavery? enacted in 2004 prescribes penalties for
labor exploitation such as forced labor, bonded labor and
involuntary servitude. In June of 2006 a paragraph was
introduced in article 175 that allows prosecution of
persons who knowingly use services of the trafficked
victims, with sentences ranging from 3 months to 3 years.
Apart from this TIP specific legislation, the Penal Code
includes provisions providing penalties for related
criminal acts such as international prostitution, illegal
transfer of persons across the state border and
pandering. In addition to criminal procedures against
traffickers, victims can also initiate civil litigation
against and request compensation from traffickers.

B. Penalties for trafficking in persons provide for
imprisonment from one to ten years. In cases where a TIP
crime is committed against a minor the minimum sentence
is five years. If the crime is committed within a
criminal group or against a large number of people or
cause the death of one or more persons, penalties provide
for a minimum of five years to long term imprisonment.
The minimum sentence for rape is three years, while
penalties for rape and forcible sexual assault are
generally as stringent as the penalties for trafficking
for commercial sexual exploitation. The provisions in the
Penal code cover both internal and external
(transnational) forms of trafficking.

During the reporting period 20 perpetrators of
Trafficking in Persons were identified by authorities, 16
of whom were Croatian citizens, three of whom were
citizens of Bosnia, and one individual with no declared
citizenship. In 2007 the GOC reported 10 persons were
sentenced under TIP Provision 175, doubling the number of
convictions from the previous year's report. Eight

traffickers received final convictions and two
traffickers have verdicts that are still pending final
appeal. Out of the eight perpetrators with final
convictions, two received suspended sentences and are
currently serving four years parole and three years
parole respectively. The six remaining traffickers
convicted of TIP are all serving jail time, three
defendants were convicted to one year and four months
each, two people received one year convictions, and one
person received a three year conviction.

Under Croatian law, the courts can award compensation to
victims under the criminal procedure. In cases where the
criminal court does not provide compensation, the victim
also has the legal right to pursue compensation under the
Law on Civil Procedures.

C. The prescribed and imposed penalties for trafficking
for labor exploitation such as bonded labor and
involuntary servitude ranges between one and ten years in
prison. These laws are applied externally as well. The
law provides for criminal punishment for labor recruiters
who engage in recruitment of laborers using knowingly
fraudulent or deceptive officers that result in workers
being trafficked. There are also laws punishing employers
or labor agents who confiscate workers' passports or
travel documents, switch contracts without the worker's
consent as a means to keep the worker in a state of
service, or withhold payment of salaries. Trafficking in
Persons for the purposes of labor is typically prosecuted
under Criminal Provision 175 of the Croatian Penal Code
'titled Human Trafficking and Slavery', thus resulting in
more stringent sentences. In 2007 criminal charges were
brought against two Croatian perpetrators for Labor
Trafficking. Apart from the Criminal Provision 175, labor
violations can also be prosecuted under the relevant
Labor Law and the new Law on Foreigners, which came into
effect in February 2008. As legal "written contracts"
between an employee and an employer are obligatory in
Croatia, under applicable Labor Law the lack of a
contract also can technically be considered a misdemeanor
and fined up to 30,000 Kuna (6,122 USD).

D. Penalties for rape and forcible sexual assault are
generally as stringent as the penalties for trafficking
for commercial sexual exploitation. Sentences for rape
range from 1-10 years, and have a minimum sentence of 3
years if the crime results in the death of the victim.

E. Prostitution is not legal in Croatia. Activities of
prostitutes are treated as misdemeanors, while pandering
is a criminal act. The activities of the brothel
owner/operator, clients, pimps and enforcers are
criminalized and the laws are generally enforced.
Knowingly using the services of a TIP Victim is
considered a crime in Croatia and is punishable with
sentences ranging from 3 months to 3 years.

F. In January 2008 the government reported that 15
trafficking victims were identified in 2007; nine victims
were Croatians, three were Serbians, two were Bosnians,
and one was a citizen of Moldova. One of the victims was
a minor. Since 2002, 69 victims have been identified.
During the year the government reported that the victims
cooperated with police investigations and NGOs. During
2007 20 perpetrators of TIP were placed under
investigation. 18 were under investigation for
trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and
two perpetrators were under investigation for labor
trafficking.

G. Throughout 2007 the government implemented educational
workshops for its officials, including social workers,
diplomatic and consular staff, judges, prosecutors,
police, and students. During the year the Ministry of
Interior trained a total of 1,254 police officers. Of the
total number trained, 580 police officers were trained
through various programs of the Police Academy. In
cooperation with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) 40
participants ? officers dealing with a wider range of
criminal activities such as minor offenders, organized
crime, sex crime and border police - were trained in two
seminars. The goal of these trainings was to strengthen

the team work of these agencies in combating trafficking
in persons. Another 110 students were trained on TIP as
part of undergraduate Studies in Criminology, and so were
320 border police officers and 110 members of the traffic
police. Apart from the aforementioned Police Academy
programs, within the Ministry of Interior both the
Criminal Police and the Border Administration, (in
cooperation with relevant government?s agencies, civil
society and international organizations) facilitated TIP
educational training of 674 police officers. In
cooperation with the Slovenian government a joint
training for 26 police personnel was also organized in
neighboring Slovenia. The Ministry of Interior also
organized a three day interagency training with
representatives of domestic NGOs and social services, the
International Organization for Migration and the State's
Attorney's Office. The training, which involved 50
participants, was aimed at strengthening cooperation of
the various agencies in the identification and protection
of victims.

Throughout the year, 50 investigative judges and
prosecutors attended three regional seminars focused on
suppression of TIP. Croatian Consular Officers have
received training for TIP screening as part of their visa
issuance procedures. The government continued previously
established efforts to educate diplomatic and consular
staff about suppression of TIP as part of the Diplomatic
Academy?s standard curriculum targeting 50 diplomatic and
consular officials. In cooperation with the NGO
Organization for Integrity and Prosperity (OIP) the
government organized two seminars for 65 social workers
and 54 professionals who work in family centers across
Croatia. Ten members of the local government in
Virovitica- Podravska County also received specialized
TIP training targeting their specific county. The
Ministry of Education and Science organized trainings for
primary school teachers across Croatia. The Government in
cooperation with the semi-autonomous Human Rights Center
organized seminars on trafficking in persons for over 60
University students from the Law faculty in Zagreb. In
February the Government?s Human Rights Office organized
the first training focusing solely on trafficking in
persons for ten Croatian Military officers who will then
instruct Croatian and foreign troops during their regular
preparations for deployment abroad to participate in
international peacekeeping missions. The Government
Office of Human Rights arranged with the Ministry of
Defense to include such trainings in bi-annual
preparations for future peacekeepers who are already
receiving basic information about TIP as a part of their
UN approved curriculum.

H. Throughout 2007, Croatia continued intensive regional
cooperation efforts to investigate organizations believed
to be involved in trafficking of human beings for sexual
exploitation. Regional cooperative efforts remained very
high.

As part of the on-going 3,506,000 HRK (701,200 USD) EU
Cards Twinning Project focusing on Trafficking in Human
Beings, the Croatian police, in conjunction with the
Government Office of Human Rights, Ministries of
Interior, Health, Social Care and state prosecutors,
participants from the German Foundation for International
Legal Cooperation, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of
Human Rights and the National TIP Coordinator, continued
to cooperate with both short- and long-term TIP advisors
from Germany and Austria. The fifteen-month-long project
(03-30-2007 to 06-30-2008) is specifically designed to
strengthen the capacity of national institutions across
Croatia in combating TIP and to further assist the GOC in
its EU wide efforts to protect the victims of trafficking
in persons, paying special attention to children. In
particular, this in-depth regional project has seven main
components:
-A complete review of existing legislation, structures,
capacities and procedures to combat TIP.
-Recommendations from both Germany and Austria.
-Pilot testing of recommendations.
-Further development of Standard Operating Procedures
(SOPs) in TIP.
-Development and implementation of a TIP training

program.
-A comprehensive and complete media campaign focusing on
clients to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.
-Establishment of quality assurance system.
The main fields of action of these seven areas are
designed specifically to further influence Croatian
criminal law, police measures, investigation methods, and
assistance measures such as identification, protection of
victims and victim support.

Croatian police participated in an international
investigation with Swiss police codenamed "Operation
Blonde" that resulted in the identification of eight
alleged perpetrators and seven trafficking victims.
Police also cooperated with law enforcement officials in
Slovenia and Serbia throughout the investigation.

In March 2007 officers from the Organized Crime
Department met with their Slovenian counterparts and
civil society groups to discuss improving regional
cooperation.

The Interior Ministry reported active GOC and police
participation on two regional International Center for
Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) anti-trafficking
projects focusing on trans-regional referral mechanisms
and TIP data collection.

Police also had an active role in the Mirage working
group from the SECI regional center and reported strong
cooperation with EUROPOL and Interpol in combating
trafficking in persons.

In one highly successful operation cooperative efforts of
police and prosecutors from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and
Montenegro resulted in the arrest of 25 persons in four
countries.

(SBU) FOR USG ONLY, NOT FOR PUBLICATION: Croatian police
and prosecutors and a TIP task force advised by ICITAP
and an EU Adviser from Spain, traveled to Serbia to
discuss strategy and methodology with officials from both
countries, compared essential witness statements and
official records. In December 2007, as a result of a one-
year investigation, 25 persons were arrested in four
countries on charges to include the following: human
trafficking, smuggling of persons, illegal possession of
firearms, counterfeiting of passports and identification.
One subject wanted for murder from a notorious organized
crime group was also apprehended attempting to enter
Croatia. Two trafficking victims were identified and
assisted by the police and IOM, and the actual sale of
one victim was prevented when a Croatian police officer
intercepted a call that involved negotiations for the
sale of a female victim. (Due to the on-going
investigation, these details should not be made public.)

In April 2007 Croatia took over the presidency of the
Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI
Regional Forum) in Skopje, where it has worked to pursue
regional cooperation in combating TIP among the member
states of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,
Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Croatia participates in
the Anti-Trafficking Unit at the OSCE in Vienna. Through
its membership in the United Nation's Office on Drugs and
Crime (UNODC) the Government of Croatia has actively
worked on projects to promote the exchange of operational
capacity to disrupt human trafficking in the Balkans.

In February, 2008, in cooperation with 14 countries,
Croatia ratified the Council of Europe's "Convention
against Human Trafficking". The convention, ratified by
Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria,
Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Georgia, Malta,
Moldova, Norway, Romania and Slovakia, reinforces the
prevention of trafficking and is designed to strengthen
the prosecution of traffickers and protect the human
rights and dignity of the victims. In October 2007
Croatia also signed the Council of Europe's Convention on
the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation
and Sexual Abuse.

I. The Croatian Constitution prohibits extradition of its

own nationals. Croatia had no requests for TIP
extradition in 2007.

J. There is no evidence of government?s involvement in
trafficking on either local or institutional levels and
there is no evidence of government?s tolerance of
trafficking.

K. Not applicable. There is no evidence of government
officials being involved in any form of TIP crimes.

L. There have been no occurrences of international
peacekeepers from Croatia engaged in, or facilitating
trafficking or exploiting victims of such trafficking.
(See paragraph I in the Prevention Section.)

M. The government has not identified child sex tourism as
a problem, nor has it reported any prosecutions or
extraditions of foreign pedophiles in 2007. Post does not
believe child sex tourism is a problem in Croatia to
date. The Croatian Penal Code contains provisions that
punish pedophilia. Official statistics for pedophilia in
2007 will not be made available until mid way through
2008. In 2006, however, 129 verdicts against perpetrators
of sexual crimes committed against children were passed.
These cases, however, are not trafficking cases. Of the
15 trafficking victims identified in 2007, one of the
female victims was a minor from Bosnia.

3. (SBU) PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS

A. The new Law on Foreigners came into effect in Croatia
on January 1, 2008. This law clearly defines the rights
of foreign TIP victims, which was previously done via
government instruction. The new law encompasses a number
of aspects that will directly impact the fight against
trafficking in persons. The law establishes a mandatory
reflection period of 30 days for potential adult victims
of TIP, and a 90 day reflection period for minor victims
of TIP. The law specifies different forms of assistance
which should be offered to foreign victims, including
safe accommodation, financial support, education and
training, and assistance with employment. The law further
mandates that the Ministry of Interior will be
responsible for future repatriation of TIP victims. (In
practice, in many cases the victims are referred to the
International Organization of Migration (IOM) who then
works in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and
the Border Police to ensure safe repatriation of the
victim. In other cases, however, the Ministry of Interior
has repatriated victims autonomously of the IOM or in
conjunction with the Croatian Red Cross, the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, or other NGOs.) Under the Law on
Foreigners victims are to be provided with temporary and
renewable residency permits, initially for a period
ranging from six months to one year, which can be
extended based on a subsequent needs assessment.

A New Law on Social Assistance was adopted by the
government and forwarded to the parliament for
consideration, which further defines procedures and scope
of assistance for domestic victims of trafficking in
persons. A witness protection law provides for government
protection when a witness' life, health, freedom, or
property is threatened. In addition, Croatia ratified the
Council of Europe "Convention against Human Trafficking",
which further introduces a period of at least 30 days for
recovery and reflection by the victims with the
possibility of obtaining a temporary residence permit
which is not subject to agreement by the victim to
cooperate with law enforcement authorities.

B. The Government of Croatia has two specifically
designated TIP Shelters, one for adults and one for
children, in addition to two alternative shelters that
assist women of domestic violence and former prostitutes.
During the reporting period, five victims were assisted
through these facilities. TIP shelters are funded by the
Ministry of Health and Social Care and run by NGOs. The
Government of Croatia spent 408,000 HRK (82,424 USD)
funding TIP shelters in 2007. Victims of trafficking are
provided with legal, medical and psychological services.

C. In 2007 the Government of Croatia provided 750,250 HRK
(150,050 USD) to support NGOs directly involved in
combating TIP. Another 140,000 HRK (28,000 USD) were
provided via a grant to the NGO 'Women's Room' to conduct
a study analyzing the scope of Trafficking in Persons in
Croatia. An apartment was provided to the NGO 'Rosa' for
the reintegration of prostitutes, and study visits to the
Netherlands to examine the work of the National
Rapporteur on TIP were provided to the coordinator of the
Petra Women's Network as 'in-kind' assistance.

D. Croatia has a national referral system employing
'mobile teams' through which the victims are identified
and referred for assistance. The GOC has protocols in
place for identification and treatment of trafficked
victims: 'Protocol on Detection and Care for Victims of
trafficking in Persons', 'Instructions for Interviewing
Illegal Migrants and Other Persons who are Suspected
Victims of Trafficking' and 'Rules and Procedures in
Shelters'. Special procedures (laws and protocols) are
used for minor victims of trafficking. Border police and
other police officers are instructed in all protocols.
Social workers also have special instructions on how to
recognize and treat victims of trafficking. A trained
social worker has been appointed in each of Croatia's 21
counties to assist TIP victims.

E. Not applicable.

F. The rights of the victims were generally respected.
Trafficking victims were neither detained nor jailed.
Victims in Croatia are not prosecuted for violations of
other laws such as those governing immigration or
prostitution. The GOC did not deport or punish victims of
trafficking. While the law criminalizes international
prostitution and unauthorized (illegal) border crossings,
it exempts trafficking victims from prosecution.
Similarly, the law allows authorities to charge foreign
prostitutes with a misdemeanor and initiate deportation
proceedings if they do not fulfill legal requirements for
their stay in Croatia, but exempts trafficking victims
from deportation and detention.

G. Regulation of victims? legal status in Croatia is not
conditioned upon the victims? cooperation with the
prosecution. TIP victims are entitled to file both civil
and criminal lawsuits. In addition, according to the
Croatian legislation, victims have the right to press
charges themselves and may continue to prosecute a case
that has been dropped by the State Prosecutor.

H. Victims of trafficking are provided with legal,
medical and psychological services. In the reporting
period Croatia assisted 15 victims of and offered
assistance: legal, social and medical to all of them. Out
of 15 victims, five accepted accommodation in shelters.
Other victims expressed their willingness to return to
their place of residence. Before the victims returned to
their places of origin, they were placed in reception
centers, and minor victims received temporary assistance
through the social welfare system. One NGO (Organization
for integrity and Prosperity, or OIP) runs a shelter for
victims that are funded by the GOC. Three NGOs run the
SOS helpline (OIP, Rosa, Women?s Association Vukovar) and
two NGOs (Korak and Rosa)provide for victims assistance
offering alternative accommodation. The Croatian Red
Cross operates temporary reception centers for TIP and a
shelter for adult victims of TIP.

I. Croatia has a national referral system, employing
"mobile teams", through which victims are identified and
referred to assistance. The GOC has protocols in place
for the identification and treatment of trafficking
victims: 'Protocol on Detection and Care for Victims of
Trafficking in Persons', 'Instructions for Interviewing
Illegal Migrants and Other Persons Who are Suspected
Victims of Trafficking' and 'Rules and Procedures in
Shelters'. Special procedures (Laws and Protocols) are
used for minor victims of trafficking. Border police and
other police officers are instructed in all protocols
through a standardized curriculum at the police academy.
Social workers have special instructions on how to
recognize and treat victims of trafficking. In addition,

social workers have been appointed in each county to deal
specifically with TIP victims who are minors. Consular
officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have also
received intensive TIP training.

J. The government provides assistance, such as medical
aid, shelter, or financial help to its nationals who are
repatriated as victims of trafficking.

K. Assistance to victims of trafficking is being offered
in cooperation with Croatian Government officials by the
following organizations: Red Cross, International
Organization for Migration (IOM), Organization for
Integrity and Prosperity (OIP), Rosa, Korak, and Women's
Association of Vukovar. NGOs reported excellent
cooperation with the Government Office for Human Rights,
Ministry of Interior and local police officers. One NGO
(Organization for Integrity and Prosperity (OIP) runs a
shelter for victims that is funded by the GOC and IOM.
Three NGOs run the SOS helpline for victims (OIP, ROSA,
Women's Association of Vukovar), and two NGOs (Korak and
Rosa) provide for victim's assistance, offering
alternative accommodation. The Croatian Red Cross
operates temporary reception centers for TIP victims and
a shelter for adult victims of TIP. In 2007 750,250 HRK
(150,050 USD) was given by the Government directly to
support TIP centered NGOs. 282,000 HRK (56,400 USD) was
specifically reserved for TIP victim assistance shelters
(5 victims utilized these shelters in 2007), and 430,250
HRK (86,050 USD) was used for public awareness campaigns.

4. (SBU) PREVENTION

A. The government of Croatia recognizes trafficking as a
problem in the country and takes proactive measures to
combat TIP through a strong legal framework,
investigation and prosecution of traffickers, protection
and assistance to victims, and active promotion of wide
spread prevention efforts.

B. In 2007 there have been numerous high profile
government-run anti-trafficking information or
educational campaigns. As part of the EU Cards Twining
Project, post is particularly encouraged by a nation wide
demand reduction media campaign targeting clients that is
currently in its final stages prior to release, with
endorsements by a major public sport figure to air in
April and May prior to the Euro-Soccer Cup. This campaign
will encompass TV spots and radio ads, and is being
developed in conjunction with NGOs to utilize regional
contacts. The theme is "This could be your sister,
mother, aunt, daughter" and 25,000 Euro (37,250 USD) has
been specifically reserved by the GOC for this public
awareness campaign targeting the men or clients. (See
Section 2 -Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers,
paragraph H)

As in previous years, the GOC continued to air two high
quality TIP TV spots airing on both national and local TV
stations around the country. Ads have been placed on
trams and at train stations, and billboards that
advertise the government sponsored help line have been
placed around the country. In October, Croatia
commemorated the first annual EU Anti-Trafficking Day
with information booths, cultural events, posters,
flyers, and brochures designed to raise public awareness
of TIP across Croatia. The GOC sponsored an anti-
trafficking movie night at Zagreb based cinemas with free
admission to the public at large. The GOC, in conjunction
with Care International and several NGOs, produced and
distributed the documentary film 'Price of Life'
nationwide to schools, cinemas, aired the movie on
national TV and distributed it to four local TV stations
across the country. While impossible to quantify the
exact number of viewers reached, the movie had over 54
showings across the country. T-shirts, posters and flyers
were also distributed to promote anti-trafficking
campaigns. In addition, as part of its anti-trafficking
information campaign, flyers have been posted at
airports, border and checkpoints along roads in four
languages (Croatian, Macedonian, Romanian, and
Ukrainian)to raise public awareness. Croatia further
commemorated the International Day for the Abolition of

Slavery on December 2nd. (See paragraph I Section -
Protection and Assistance to Victims for further
information on prevention campaigns and trainings.)

C. The government, the IOM (International Organization
for Migration), and NGOs organized numerous and
widespread Tip related trainings (see section 2,
paragraph g) and all the above reported that cooperation
was strong.

D. Instructions for interviewing illegal migrants and
other persons who are suspected victims of trafficking
are routinely used by border and immigration police and
other police officers to screen potential trafficking
victims along the borders. Croatian Consular Officers
have received training for TIP screening as part of their
visa issuance procedures. In addition, the International
Organization for Migration (IOM), Ministry of Interior,
and the British Government have produced and distributed
a user friendly brochure and checklist specifically
designed for Border Police to recognize the different
indicators of smuggling vs. trafficking in persons. (This
was a part of the project under which 27 specially
trained border police officers trained another 493 of
their colleagues to detect potential victims.) All border
police in the country have been provided with a copy of
this checklist.

E. The Deputy Prime Minister, who is also responsible for
social affairs and human rights, acts as the chairperson
of the National Committee for Suppression of Trafficking
reflecting the high level of attention that the
government pays to combating against trafficking in
persons. The head of the Government Office of Human
Rights is the point of contact that that coordinates all
GOC activities and develops an annual operational plan.
GOC?s National Committee for Suppression of Trafficking
consisting of members from relevant ministries that meet
periodically. The Government of Croatia has a public
corruption task force and a National Program for
Suppression of Corruption.

F. The head of the office of Human Rights is the point of
contact that coordinates all GOC activities and develops
an annual TIP operational plan. The GOC?s National
Committee for Suppression of Trafficking consists of
members from relevant ministries and NGOs and meets
periodically. The National Committee for Suppression of
Trafficking is responsible for drafting the National
Action Plan for Combating TIP. In addition, the National
Committee has an operational team that meets monthly to
assess the current status of TIP in Croatia. The GOC has
a National Program for Combating Trafficking in Persons
which includes a strategic document covering years 2005-
2008; Operational Plan for 2005, 2006 and 2007; and a
National Plan for Suppression of trafficking in Children
for 2005-2007.

G. See section on 'Prevention', paragraph b. and section
on 'Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers',
paragraph H.

H. Not applicable

I. To date there have been no occurrences of
international peacekeepers from Croatia engaged in, or
facilitating trafficking or exploiting victims of such
trafficking. In February 2008, the GOC organized initial
training sessions for 10 military officers to serve as
anti-TIP troop trainers. Following the completion of
initial training, these military officers will begin to
implement obligatory training for all international
peacekeeping forces being stationed abroad. This anti-TIP
education will be incorporated into the standard
curriculum of all military troops preparing for
deployment abroad.

5. (SBU) Points of Contact

A. Embassy points of contact are Political Officer
Douglas A. Fisk Phone: 385-1-661-2341, fax: 385-1-661-
2147 and Political Assistant Metka Jelenc Phone: 385-1-
661-2353. In preparing the report, 04 PolOff spent

approximately 30 hours and Pol Assistant spent
approximately 20 hours.

Bradtke

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC