Domestic servitude case (Slovenia)

In Slovenia, a group of neighbours was prosecuted for exploiting a man for almost eight years. The 45-year old man was forced by the group of neighbours to do different types of work for almost eight years. The victim was very vulnerable because he had an alcohol addiction. The neighbours started exploiting him by taking his small unemployment benefit.

The group subjected him to their will by giving him some food and wine when he did what they told him to do. Five years before his escape, local people informed the police about his captive situation. When the police stopped by to check on his situation, he denied everything because he feared repercussions from the perpetrators.

The exploitation ended when the neighbours who held him captive burned him severely. The man escaped and after eight hours he reached the place of a man he knew. Together they decided to go to the police. When the police discovered it might be a case of trafficking in human beings (THB), they called an NGO.

The police, NGO and health care professionals cooperated to protect the victim. They helped him get off his alcohol addiction and recover from his wounds. The victim managed to testify in court, thanks to the extensive counselling and protection he received.

His neighbours were prosecuted for enslavement for the purpose of servitude. In the end, two men were convicted for violence, but not for THB.

Partners involved in the cooperation

  • Police
  • NGOs
  • Health care professionals

What made this case successful?

In Slovenia, before this case there was no case of enslavement for the purpose of servitude. The victim recovered successfully and the perpetrators were convicted.