The government increased prevention efforts. The MOI’s national coordinator for countering trafficking in persons continued to head the government’s interdepartmental working group (IWG). The Anti-Trafficking Service Office within the MOI had one dedicated staff member and continued to provide comprehensive support for investigators and providers of services to victims. The IWG included NGO representatives and met three times during the reporting period to organize and coordinate awareness efforts that included producing an annual monitoring report. The government implemented its 2019-2020 anti-trafficking national action plan. Slovenia remained without an official independent national anti-trafficking rapporteur, a key GRETA recommendation. The government allocated a total of €89,000 ($100,000) for NGO-led awareness raising projects, compared with €79,000 ($88,760) in 2018, and an additional €15,000 ($16,850) for its own awareness raising projects, which was the same allocation as 2018. During the reporting period, the government continued extensive awareness campaigns that focused not only on the general public but also targeted vulnerable populations, such as youth, migrant workers, refugees, and Roma communities. In 2019, government-funded and NGO-led awareness campaigns that focused on children, including migrant and Romani, reached 4,633 children through 127 workshops, compared with 3,198 children and 143 workshops in 2018. One awareness campaign, which focused on labor trafficking, reached 1,080 workers, compared with 1,571 in 2018, while another campaign, which focused on victim identification among health care providers, reached 315,000 people through brochures, more than 130 media articles, and 57 targeted workshops. A government website, in both English and Slovenian, raised awareness of forced labor and labor exploitation through its manual for companies and employers, provided information on investigations and prosecutions, included a mechanism for contacting NGOs, and provided a portal for anonymous reporting of potential trafficking victims. The government also funded two NGO hotlines, available in several languages, offering assistance to both domestic violence and trafficking victims, although the hotlines did not track the number of calls received or how many had trafficking indicators.
The Financial Administration trained 50 financial inspectors on victim identification, while the Labor Inspectorate provided training to 104 employees on the vulnerability of foreign workers to trafficking, with an emphasis on recruitment processes. Generally, the government had effective policies and laws regulating labor recruiters; however, NGOs noted labor trafficking received insufficient attention and resources to conduct sufficient investigations. Unlike sex trafficking investigations, NGOs noted the government prohibited their participation in labor inspections to aid in the identification of trafficking victims. The law allowed employers to pay recruitment fees; in practice, however, NGOs assessed some employers charged workers recruitment fees through salary deductions and other means. Asylum centers and an NGO funded by the MOI continued to screen all new migrant and asylum arrivals for trafficking indicators, but the government did not report whether it identified any trafficking victims. During the reporting period, the government provided anti-trafficking training to its diplomatic personnel but did not do so with its peacekeepers prior to their deployment. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government signed a bilateral labor agreement with Serbia in May 2019, which allowed for three-year work permits. However, the agreement may increase vulnerability to forced labor by allowing the deportation of workers, with some exceptions, if they cease working for their original employer within the first year. During the reporting period, the government led an initiative that resulted in nine of Slovenia’s largest companies committing to an action plan to respect human rights in business and supply chains, with a particular emphasis on preventing forced labor.