The government maintained victim protection efforts. The government allocated €85,000 ($97,480) for housing victims in 2018, the same level as in the previous three years. During the reporting period, the government identified 70 victims—68 adult sex trafficking victims and two victims of forced begging, compared to 98 victims of sex trafficking and the 32 Taiwan victims of labor trafficking in 2017. The government continued its annual trainings for officials of the International Protection Division of the Ministry of Interior, particularly in screening for trafficking indicators among applicants for asylum, and provided arriving migrants with information on risks of trafficking. Relevant government officials also received the Manual for Identification of Victims of Trafficking in Persons, first adopted in 2016. The 2019-2020 national action plan, approved by the government in January 2019, included providing health insurance for victims, increasing the focus on trafficking within the Roma community, and ensuring the legal status of non-EU and non-Slovenian victims was not dependent on cooperation in police criminal investigations.
The Ministries of Interior (MOI) and Labor funded two NGOs that provided crisis and safe housing for victims, supplemented by private donations and support from the Catholic Church. Both NGOs were among a wider range of organizations providing such assistance as counseling, psycho-social support, legal representation during investigations and court proceedings, and filing of documentation for residency status. Victims could receive crisis shelter for an initial 30 days and up to an additional 90 days of safe housing. Child victims of trafficking continued to lack adequate assistance, and there were no designated facilities for unaccompanied child trafficking victims, who instead stayed in shelters together with unaccompanied migrant minors. They received care through the Center for Social Work. GRETA highlighted a concern over unaccompanied child victims disappearing from public care, urging development of more suitable accommodations for children with fully trained staff or foster parents. NGOs reported virtually all minor victims, mostly males between ages 14 and 18, left their accommodation without notice.
Non-EU foreign victims had a 90-day reflection period to remain in Slovenia while recovering and considering whether to participate in an investigation, with accommodations based on their temporary residence permit, although they were not authorized for employment during this period. Those victims cooperating in criminal proceedings could extend their stay by 180 days, longer if needed for the trial of their trafficker. When participating in pre-trial and criminal proceedings, victims also had a right to interpretation services and a protective escort. The 2018 GRETA report urged improving the process of providing comprehensive information to victims in a language they could understand in order to assess their options, including participation in programs to resist re-victimization. In response to the GRETA recommendation, the MOI provided €54,600 ($62,610) to fund a 2019-2020 NGO project to support reintegration of survivors. The government also funded two NGO hotlines offering assistance to both domestic violence and trafficking victims, although the hotlines did not track the number of calls received or how many callers’ situations had trafficking indicators. One NGO providing shelter and reintegration support for victims reported an increased percentage of Slovenian citizens among female potential victims of trafficking seeking assistance. Only citizens of EU countries were eligible to apply for compensation from the state fund for crime victims, although all victims could seek compensation through the courts. NGOs also noted there were insufficient professional interpreters fully trained in translating the details of rights of potential trafficking victims for asylum intake proceedings. Some victims were reluctant to speak with transparency with social workers and counselors about their situation, when the same interpreters assisted in the different contexts of law enforcement investigations and court proceedings on their case.