Every year, dozens of Slovaks become modern slaves. Anyone can fall into the trap of traffickers – women and men of all ages and education, people with minimal income, but also people from standard social background who went to earn money abroad. What are the things to be aware of if you are going to travel or work abroad?
Be informed before it's too late!
You can download the mobile application SAFE Travel & Work Abroad. It is available for free in the Google Play for Android and in the App Store for iOS and on the website www.safe.iom.sk.
As the app user, you can play an interactive game in which your decisions influence if you can successfully avoid the risk of becoming a victim of human trafficking. The application also contains vital information about warning signs of human trafficking, tips on safe travel abroad, and it also provides practical information on criteria job placement services or a job contract should meet and useful contacts in case of emergency.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) also provides detailed information on how to avoid becoming a victim of human traffickers at www.bezpecnecestovanie.iom.sk, in particular:
- Find the address and the telephone number of the Slovak embassy in the country where you are travelling and memorise them.
- Carefully check any person or agency offering a job. Recruitment services for work abroad can only be provided by individuals or legal entities, that are authorised to offer this service for a fee. You can verify the list of such agencies at the headquarters of the Office of Labour or at any branch of the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family or on www.upsvar.sk.
- Only sign an employment contract in a language that you understand and depart only after it was signed. The contract must contain the name and address of the employer, identification details, contact data, duration of employment, job terms and conditions, salary and other insurance conditions.
- Make a photocopy of your passport and put it in a safe place that only you know about. Because having a photocopy facilitates the issuance of a new passport in case of its theft, loss or withdrawal. Leave another photocopy of your passport, an up-to-date photo, the exact address and phone number of your planned stay and all information about your future employer at home with reliable persons as well.
- Get travel insurance and take with you enough money for the return travel should the job offer not work out for any reason.
- Never, under any circumstances, give your passport or ID card to anyone (except police officers). You should handle all the administrative issues on your own and make sure that you do not generate a debt that could rise and you would have to repay it under unfavorable conditions.
- Immediately upon your arrival, inform your relatives or reliable persons where you are staying and regularly call them. Agree with them on a warning signal (for instance a certain sentence or a phrase) that you would use if you were in danger and your call was under surveillance.
- In case of an emergency, do not hesitate to contact the Slovak embassy, local police, or other public or non-governmental institutions.