Prague/Strasbourg, March 30 (CTK) – The Council of Europe’s (CE) convention on the fight against human trafficking will take effect in the Czech Republic as of July 1, the Foreign Ministry told CTK yesterday, reacting to CE head Thorbjorn Jagland hailing Tuesday’s completion of the Czech ratification process.
Prague is the last of the CE’s 47 members to have ratified the convention, which is legally binding.
Jagland welcomed it that from now on, the Czech Republic will apply the same standards in this respect like the remaining 46 EC countries in order to prevent the trafficking in people, protect the victims and prosecute the offenders.
The ministry said Prague signed the convention in May 2016, both houses of Czech parliament approved it last December and President Milos Zeman signed it on January 31, 2017.
To complete the process, the convention still needed to be counter-signed by the prime minister and then delivered to the CE headquarters. It was necessary to agree on the date of the document’s deposition there, the ministry’s spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova said.
In the past years, the Czech Republic translated an European Union directive against trafficking in EU citizens into its legislation.
In 2014, the Czech police registered 67 victims of human trafficking, which was 10 percent more than in 2013.
Out of the registered cases, those of sexual and labour exploitation were the most frequent.
A total of 20 crimes were uncovered in this connection. Prosecution was launched against 16 people, six of whom were convicted.
According to the Interior Ministry’s data, the most often misused people in the Czech Republic are Moldovans, Ukrainians, Nigerians, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Romanians and Croats.
Czech citizens have been subject to trafficking in their homeland as well.
For countries such as Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Slovenia, the Czech Republic is a source of people for the offenders to trade in, the statistics show.