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Slovenia Weekly

An undeniable link between poverty and human trafficking


Photo: Mostphotos
Every year, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty draws attention to the issue of global poverty and promotes activities for its reduction. The less developed parts of the world are still facing absolute poverty, meaning that they suffer shortage of goods and services essential for life, while Europe measures relative poverty by assessing how many people are poor in comparison to others.

For the first time in two years, the at-risk-of-poverty rate has decreased in Slovenia as the poverty rate is turning into a positive direction, having decreased for the first after the economic crisis. The reason for this positive trend in the reduction of the poverty rate are certainly changes in the social legislation which raise social benefits granted to the most vulnerable population groups. Humanitarian organisations, which are complementing the public social network, are helping considerably in resolving the situation. Special attention is given to the activation of the most vulnerable population groups with employment opportunities since measures in the field of employment and social activation can significantly contribute to the reduction of poverty.

Poverty is certainly linked to human trafficking; it is, in fact, its main driving force. Individuals who are caught in the grip of poverty seek better life for themselves and their families and often easily fall victims to corrupt people who pretend to offer new opportunities.

Recently, we have marked the European Anti-Trafficking Day, with human trafficking representing a problem of global proportions, which is also present in Slovenia. In addition to human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, over the recent year there has also been an increase in forced labour and labour exploitation. Identifying, detecting and proving this form of abuse is very challenging, therefore preventive actions are very important. Raising awareness among employers, especially those who employ foreign workers, is this year’s priority task of the special governmental inter-ministerial working group for fight against human trafficking, which has been active in Slovenia since 2001.

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