In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of the Interior set up a special programme for support and protection of victims of THB older than 18 years.
The objective of the programme is to provide probable victims of THB with support and protection, based on an individual risk assessment. It also enables access to the programme of witness protection. The programme also protects possible victims of THB who are witnesses in a trial and who cooperate with law enforcement authorities.
If possible victims voluntarily accept an offer to participate in the programme, they fill in and sign an initial statement which encompasses the rights and duties relating to their involvement in the programme.
The victims are provided with accommodation, psychosocial services, legal services and vocational training. As an integral part of the programme, the victims are granted a 60-days reflection period during which they can decide whether or not they want to come into contact with law enforcement agencies. A system of voluntary return is also included in the programme.
This system is for third-country nationals and EU citizens who have become victims in the Czech Republic, and for Czech victims identified abroad.
Partners involved in the cooperation
Specialised NGOs or the police can nominate people for placement in the programme, after which the Ministry of the Interior is consulted.
What made this practice successful?
All the victims enrolled in the program in 2014 gave consent to provide the police with evidence concerning their cases. NGOs can thus make an important contribution to the willingness of victims to cooperate with the police.
The NGOs motivate the victims during their reflection period by providing them with information about their rights as well as obligations that arise from being a witness in a trial.