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The National Rapporteur for Trafficking in Human Beings in the Czech Republic was established in 2003 as a result of the first Czech policy paper on trafficking in human beings: a National Strategy to Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings for sexual exploitation. This document was approved by Governmental Resolution No. 849 of 3 September 2003. The National Strategy implemented provisions of international conventions on trafficking in human beings (especially “Palermo Protocol”) into Czech conditions, including legislation, law enforcement trainings, prevention and awareness raisings measures, victim care and protection, and a mechanism for policy coordination and evaluation and data collection as well.
After consultation within the Government and its Agencies and independent external bodies, a decision was taken to delegate the function of the National Rapporteur to the Ministry of the Interior. The Minister of the Interior, attributed responsibility for this important work stream to the Analyses and Strategies Unit within Security Policy Department. This Unit is responsible for the following (non exhaustive list of) tasks:
- gathering and analyzing information on internal security risks and threats;
- monitoring the developments and trends in crime and related areas;
- producing government documents dealing with the issue of criminogenous factors;
- drawing up state security policy;
- proposing measures to be taken within the scope of activity of the Ministry of the Interior, the Czech Police and other state bodies; and
- creating of systemic, legislative and organizational conditions for abatement of criminality.
Security Policy Department frequently submits a number of reports on for example the security situation, crime development, corruption, terrorism, and organized crime to the Government and Parliament.
Although the mechanism of National Rapporteur in the Czech Republic is not an independent body, it is however a well-developed system that allows effective information gathering and exchange, and direct competencies and capacity to react to actual situation without delay.
The Czech National Rapporteur has 3 main tasks:
- Information gathering, analysis and continuous monitoring;
- Coordination of anti-trafficking policy; and
- Submission of reports and policy papers.
To create a complete picture on the system of monitoring and coordination of anti-trafficking policies, we refer you to two consequential National Strategies. The second National Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (for the period of 2005-2007) was approved by the Governmental Resolution No. 957 of 20 July 2005. The focus of the strategy was in accordance with the amended legal definition of the crime of trafficking in human beings within the Czech Penal Code. This was not only on trafficking for the sexual exploitation, but also proposed measures against forced labour and other forms of exploitation.
The current National Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (for the period 2008-2011) was approved by Governmental Resolution No. 67 of 23 January 2009. This document, among others, reorganized and formalized the national coordination system and focused on strengthening data collection on the national level.
Inter-ministerial Coordination Group for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings
The status of the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group was approved by Governmental Resolution No. 1006 of 20 August 2008. As stated above the National Strategy assigned to partially change the system of coordination of activities and collection of data on trafficking in human beings and to make it more effective.
The Ministry of the Interior is the main responsible party for the issue of trafficking in human beings. In addition to nation-wide coordination of inter-ministerial cooperation as a whole the Ministry of the Interior also coordinates preventive activities and takes care of victims of trafficking in human beings. In the past there were two bodies designated to coordinate such activities: round tables to implement the National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings and the Interdisciplinary Working Group on Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking. Given the land mass of the Czech Republic and the overlapping nature of the two bodies one group emerged to take forward the remit of the two previous groups. Thus on the basis of good practice Inter-ministerial Coordination Group was established by Government Resolution No. 1006/2008. The Interdisciplinary Working Group on Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings still formally exists but it is understood as a standing working sub-group within the Inter-ministerial Coordination Group (Article 8 of the IMCG Statutes).
Permanent members of Inter-ministerial Coordination Group
Inter-ministerial Coordination Group consists of permanent members who are the chair, the executive vice-chair, and a secretary. The chair is the Minister of the Interior and the executive vice-chair is the Deputy Minister of the Interior for Internal Security while the office of the secretary is held by the director of the Security Policy Department. Permanent members of Inter-ministerial Coordination Group are representatives of individual ministries (the Ministry of the Interior – including representatives of the Office of Criminal Police and Investigation Service, the Unit for Combating Organised Crime, the Alien Police Service, and the Refugee Facility Administration; the Ministry of Justice including a representative of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Institute for Criminal Sciences and Social Prevention, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Government Council for National Minorities, the Government Council for Human Rights, the Government Council for Equal Opportunities) as well as representatives of non-governmental and non-profit making organisations dealing with the issue of trafficking in human beings (La Strada Czech Republic and the Magdala Project of the Archdiocese Charity Prague) and a representative of the International Organisation for Migration Prague.
Tasks of Inter-ministerial Coordination Group
The Group is responsible for coordinating activities in the area of combating trafficking in human beings and meeting tasks arising from relevant documents, in particular from the Government Resolution No. 67 of 23 January 2008 concerning the National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (2008-2011) and its updated versions. The Group serves as a platform for mutual exchange of information regarding the actual situation and current activities concerning trafficking in human beings and for active submission of proposals and recommendations for measures to be adopted. It is also responsible for submitting proposals for activities to be used at the inter-ministerial level in the fight against trafficking in human beings and it collates, analyses and evaluates data. Members prepare supporting documents for an Annual Report which is drawn up and submitted by the secretary of the Group to the Minister of the Interior as an initial document setting out priorities and relating tasks for Inter-ministerial Coordination Group for the upcoming period. In addition to Inter-ministerial Coordination Group a smaller group of experts meets approximately once a month at coordinating meetings. The group operatively solves actual problems concerning individual victims of trafficking in human beings. Through participation of the aforementioned entities in Inter-ministerial Coordination Group and in the group of selected experts at their coordinating meetings the recommendation for establishing the National Referral Mechanism is respected.
One of the fundamental tasks stemming from the current National Strategy is a change to the system of coordination of activities and the collection of data, which has, at the same time, been made more effective. The updated National Strategy, including evaluation of the situation and draft measures, was submitted to the Government every two years, always in the middle of the relevant year. Thus the information did not provide an overview of the situation for the whole calendar year. Furthermore, the Minister of the Interior received the Report on Functioning the National Coordination Mechanism which was, as a matter of fact, the report on results of the Programme on Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings and related activities. Therefore, the Plan of Tasks regarding Implementation ofthe National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (for period 2008‑2011), which is the Annex to the Government Resolution No. 67, requires to draw up and annually update the status report for the Minister of the Interior on trafficking in human beings in the Czech Republic, including the description of the situation and preventive measures and the Programme on Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings. At the same time it is obligatory to publish the Report.
A decision was taken to prepare annual status report on the basis of identified needs. This would make available qualitative and quantitative data for a given period. The obligation to submit the updated National Strategy to the Government remains valid. However, some problems can be solved on an ad hoc basis by the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group. That is why the time limit for submitting the National Strategy was extended from two to four years which means that the update National Strategy will be submitted by the Minister of the Interior to the Government of the Czech Republic not later than on 31 December 2011.
For the purpose to submit the National Strategy to the Czech Government in 2007 the detailed report covering the period from June 2005 to autumn 2007 was drawn up and therefore it was redundant to develop a similar document again in 2007. As a consequence only statistical information was supplemented and published in order to ensure a comprehensive picture of 2007. Further the information was supplemented by examples of some successfully police actions and several activities which were not mentioned within the national Strategy. The complete information was annexed to the Report on Functioning the National Coordination Mechanism.
Thus the 2008 Status Report on Trafficking in Human beings is the first complete report covering the period of a year in the Czech Republic. The status report covers all aspect of trafficking: detailed description trafficking cases including criminal statistics, description of assistance system for victims of trafficking including available statistics on identified victims and preventative and other relevant anti-trafficking measures. It also identifies gaps and proposes one year term task for the members of Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group.