In order to solve the problem of sham marriages in Slovakia and other European countries the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) of the Slovak republic became a partner within a project "Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme - HESTIA" that was supported by Directorate General of Home Affairs of European Commission (EC). The project leader is Ministry of the Interior of Latvia and other non-governmental organization from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, and, Ireland are involved.
The project started on January 1. 2015. Within the framework of the project during two years a variety of activities are provided: by the organization of discussions of legislators, policy planners and practitioners at national and regional level in each country a comprehensive research of the problem of sham marriages will be prepared; learning methodology will be developed and training will be implemented during which social workers, social educators, workers of educational institutions, media representatives, state and municipal police officers and representatives of non-governmental organizations will be educated; awareness raising campaigns and final conference of the project will be implemented. Overall, during the activities of the project it is planned to involve and address more than 700 thousand members of the society in six European Union (EU) countries.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of the Interior of Slovak Republic in 2014 30 victims of trafficking in human beings have been identified, 13 of them are victims of sexual exploitation, 9 of sham marriages, 4 of forced labour, 2 of forced begging, 1 of involvement in criminal activities, 1 of other form of trafficking in human beings . In the case of sham marriages in Slovakia there is a tendency of this form of trafficking in human beings to increase: 2 victims were registered in 2011, 2 victims in 2012, 7 victims in 2013, 9 victims in 2014. In many cases of sham marriages women were forced into prostitution.
For more information on the project, click here.
Update: HESTIA project partners are preparing for ambitious anti-trafficking activities
Implementing the project "Preventing human trafficking and sham marriages: A multidisciplinary solution" (HESTIA) project partners from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ireland and Finland met at the project’s coordination meeting in Bratislava hosted by the project’s Slovak partner – Ministry of the Interior.
The HESTIA Research Report prepared by European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control of the United Nations (HEUNI) will be officially published on the 18th of October. The Report contains the research and five national reports done by Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and the Slovak Republic and it focuses very much on the commonalities and differences related to exploitative sham marriages in the project partner countries.
The Training Methodology developed by the society “Shelter “Safe House”” and the State Police (LV) in cooperation with HEUNI will provide guidance for counter-trafficking activities for trainees about the topic of sham marriages and trafficking in human beings and could be further adapted by every EU Member States to provide anti-trafficking trainings for practitioners. Autumn 2016 is approaching with a set of anti-trafficking measures – pilot trainings for multi-disciplinary groups awareness raising campaigns marking the EU Anti-Trafficking Day.