The mission of La Strada Czech Republic is to contribute to the elimination of the exploitation of and trafficking in human beings and to provide support and protection to exploited, trafficked and vulnerable people.
La Strada Czech Republic o.p.s. is a specialized non-profit organization that works in the field of the prevention of trafficking in and exploitation of human beings, names their causes and consequences, influences public policy and provides social services in this area.
La Strada is part of the international organization La Strada International.
- Human rights
- Equal opportunities
Our public service company La Strada Czech Republic was founded in 1995 as a proFem project, and since 1998 it has been registered as an independent legal entity. In 2004, we became a co-founder of the international association La Strada International, which currently has 28 member organizations in 23 European countries and an international secretariat in the Netherland (https://lastradainternational.org/).
Time line : here 1996 – 2021
The Court of Appeals upheld a judgment that awarded damages totaling nearly 5 million CZK to victims in a human trafficking case directly in criminal proceedings and sentenced the perpetrators to unconditional prison terms of 9 and 18 years.
25th anniversary of La Strada ČR 25 LET
Registration of a new social service “Terénní programy” (Outreach programmes) with nationwide coverage.
In collaboration with SB Films, we have produced a short spot called “Na druhý pohled” (At Second Sight), which shows that human trafficking may not be obvious at first glance.
The La Strada low-threshold team received the annual award for the greatest contribution in the field of low-threshold social services of the Czech Association of Streetwork, the so-called “ČASovaná bota” for its activities in the previous year.
The Constitutional Court announced a groundbreaking ruling in the case of labour exploitation in the forests of the Czech Republic (the so-called “stromkaři” or “tree-cutters” case).
La Strada Czech Republic celebrates the 20th anniversary of its foundation.
- In the beginning of this year, La Strada joined an important research programme DemandAT aimed at researching the impacts of measures intended to decrease the demand for trafficking in human beings. The project is supported by the 7th European Commission Framework Programme.
- Towards the end of this year, we started a project aimed at increasing the awareness of migrant women at risk of exploitation and trafficking in human beings. Partner organizations Lefoe from Vienna and Ban Ying from Berlin have also joined the project.
- On January 1, the SOS and Info Line started to provide a registered social service of crisis aid.
- Since 2013, La Strada Czech Republic has been a member-observer of the Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organizations in the Czech Republic. In April 2013, an initial fieldwork training of workers from Integration Centre Prague took place.
- The first legally effective sentence for the criminal offence of trafficking in human beings in the Czech Republic, which was not connected to sex business. Eight-year, four-year and three-year sentences of imprisonment. The sentences were passed on the Lacko brothers from České Budějovice at the High Court Prague on May 10, 2012.
- In May 2012, initial training and fieldwork training of workers from the Novi Put organization took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- In January, a low-threshold section of La Strada was established and it started to operate as a low-threshold advisory center. In the same year, the so called ad hoc field was introduced, and the low-threshold advisory center started to offer its clients the service of ambulatory crisis aid.
- In October, La Strada Czech Republic celebrated the 15th anniversary of the SOS and Info Line and it launched a campaign to support exploited foreigners entitled “Every work has its value”.
In October, a freephone number 800 077 777 was activated.
- Development of advocating and lobbying activities (another Recommendation to the Government and comments on several legislative and strategic documents).
- La Strada Czech Republic became a member of PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) and joined the initiative of European non-profit organizations COMP-ACT EUROPE (European Action Pact for Compensation for Trafficked Persons).
- The following social services were registered: Counselling service, crisis aid and sheltered accommodation, pursuant to Act No. 108/2006 Coll., on Social Services.
- Situation started to be monitored with respect to the risk of trafficking in human beings in communities of working migrants.
- The concept of fieldwork is introduced.
- The organization starts to offer legal services.
- The beginning of cooperation with the Vietnamese community.
- The organization acquires another flat for sheltered accommodation.
- La Strada Czech Republic helps to cofound an international network La Strada International
- The advisory center is opened.
- The organization starts to offer services also to male clients.
- The first Recommendations to the Government of the Czech Republic are published, summarizing which measures would be desirable to adopt in order to prevent trafficking in human beings and to provide effective help to those already being victims of trafficking.
- In 2004, after La Strada Czech Republic had over a long period pointed out the need to change the legislation, the Czech definition of the criminal offence of trafficking in human beings was changed, as to cover trafficking in human beings also for other purposes than sex business.
- The concept of social work with trafficked women.
- The organization acquires its first flat for sheltered accommodation to provide safe accommodation at a secret address.
- In 2003, after working with clients trafficked solely for the purpose of sex business, La Strada for the first time meets with and provides services to women trafficked for the purpose of exploitation in sewing workshops.
La Strada Czech Republic starts to operate a specialized prevention hotline.
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2018
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2017
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2016
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2015
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2014
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2013
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2012
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2011
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2010
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2009
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2008
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2007
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2006
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2005
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2004
- Annual Reports LaStrada 2003
What we do
WHO ARE OUR SERVICES FOR?
We provide assistance to all those who have become or may be the victims of the crime of trafficking in and exploitation of human beings. We offer them many options to handle such an unfavourable and harrowing situation and to protect themselves and their loved ones. We also help those who look for work abroad and want to avoid possible risks.
We provide services free of charge to citizens of the Czech Republic and to foreigners over the age of 18, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or nationality.
WHAT WE OFFER
As part of our social work, we explain how we operate to the client. A social worker will draw up a plan with the client about what, how and how quickly he/she wants to achieve it. A well-formulated goal will show what exactly the client needs, how to proceed, who will be involved in solving the situation and what will change in his/her life by achieving the goal.
An important principle of our social work is the value of empowerment. We respect the life decisions of our clients and we approach them without prejudices or moral judgements. Every person who receives social services has the right to:
- dignified and professional treatment,
- information on any significant steps taken in his/her favour; we do nothing without his/her express consent,
- decide on the next steps in resolving his/her case.
We maintain confidentiality in all our activities and communication with clients.
We can provide crisis assistance, accommodation in our shelters, or professional social counselling to people who have been the victims of exploitation or trafficking. Just call our La Strada SOS line.
We provide crisis assistance as a solution to real-time crisis caused by human trafficking or exploitation, and we create conditions to stabilize the overall situation that the client is in. By providing temporary, free accommodation for a maximum of seven days in a safe and dignified environment, and through social work, our service aims to expand a client’s ability to lead an independent life. The mission of Crisis Assistance of La Strada Czech Republic is to create a safe and dignified space where victims can consult their needs and share experiences in relation to their endured exploitation or human trafficking. Through crisis intervention and professional information, our service supports the resolving of their difficult life situations. When cooperating with trafficked or exploited persons, the staff concentrate on the client’s individual needs and emphasize respect for their privacy and rights. At the same time, we also try to motivate clients to try to find a solution by themselves. We communicate with clients in a language they understand. All this aims to minimize the effects of criminal activity related to the exploitation of or trafficking in human beings.
Telephone crisis assistance
We provide telephone crisis assistance. We know from experience that we are approached by two basic groups of people. The first consists of trafficked and exploited people who, in cooperation with us, solve their situations comprehensively and use further services at the same time. The second includes people who use only professional social counselling – either they are not interested in other services because they find their way on the basis of one phone call or several anonymous personal consultations, or because we cannot provide them with the necessary stay in our shelters.
We have shelters to provide effective assistance. These shelters may temporarily accommodate people who have been forced to work or provide services, including prostitution, and whose work has been exploited by others. The shelter service is provided to people over 18 years of age regardless of their nationality and residence status.
Professional social counselling
The mission of our counselling centre is to create a safe and dignified space in which clients can consult their needs and share their experience in relation to exploitation or human trafficking. This service is provided in person or by telephone.
There are many reasons why people at risk of exploitation and human trafficking do not seek or cannot seek help on their own. For example, migrant workers are in isolation due to their language barrier and unfamiliarity with the new environment. As a result, they are dependent on various intermediaries and people who may not have honest intentions toward them. If they are also in an irregular position, they avoid any contact that could endanger them out of fear of the authorities. That’s why our workers go to places where human trafficking and exploitation can be expected.
(Click on the downloadable prevention materials.)
SOS LINKA LA STRADA
Phone: (+420) 222 71 71 71, 800 077 777 (free of charge)
Our La Strada SOS line is intended primarily for trafficked and/or exploited persons. We provide them with information about their rights and options for resolving their unfavourable situations. For some of them, the line is a precursor to wider cooperation with us within our social services. Since 1. 1. 2013, we have also provided telephone crisis assistance on the La Strada SOS line.
Among other things, the staff of the La Strada SOS line is trained in crisis intervention and the issue of human trafficking, so we are able to take into account the mental state of the callers and possible security risks. In addition to the Czech language, we also provide standard consultations on this line in selected hours in English, Bulgarian, Romanian, Spanish, Russian and Tagalog. If necessary, we are able to provide interpretation into/from other languages.
|Mon||10.00–16.00||(Czech, English, Russian and Romanian)|
|Tue||10.00–16.00||(Czech, English, Russian and Romanian)|
|Wed||10.00–16.00||(Czech, English and Russian), 12.00 – 16.00 (Tagalog)|
|Thu||10.00–16.00||(Czech, English, Russian and Romanian)|
|Fri||10.00–14.00||(Czech, English, Russian and Romanian)|
Outside the operating hours of the La Strada SOS line, there is an answering machine where you can leave a message and we will get back to you.
Information on human trafficking
The following international documents are binding on the Czech Republic.
- Directive 2011/36 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA (here).
- Council Directive 2004/81/EC of 29 April 2004 on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings or who have been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration, who cooperate with the competent authorities (here).
- Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA.
- Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.
- International Labour Organization Convention No. 29 concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour.
- UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (1949).
- The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, the so-called Palermo Protocol, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The Convention entered into force for the Czech Republic in 2013 – see the Communication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs No. 75/2013 Coll., Ms, on the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The Protocol was ratified by the Czech Republic on 17 December 2014 and entered into force on 16 January 2015 (here).
National reference mechanism
The main coordinator of anti-trafficking policies is the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic (MI). The Department of Security Policy of the Ministry of the Interior is authorized to perform the role of a so-called National Rapporteur, whose task it is to monitor and analyse the situation. Its activities (always for a period of 4 years) are based on a National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings. They annually publish “The Status Report on Trafficking in Human Beings in the Czech Republic”. The Ministry of the Interior implements The Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings Programme, which offers trafficked persons medical, social and legal assistance, and accommodation, and secures their return to the country of origin.
Stay of trafficked persons in the Czech Republic
If the trafficked persons decide to cooperate with law enforcement authorities, they may be granted a long-term residence permit for the purpose of protection in the territory of the Czech Republic. Pursuant to Section 42 (e) of Act No. 326/1999 Sb., On the Residence of Foreigners in the Czech Republic (available in Czech here), possible victims of the crime of human trafficking are given one month to consider cooperating. The Department of Asylum and Migration Policy of the Ministry of the Interior decides whether to grant long-term residence permits for the purpose of such protection.
The right of trafficked persons to financial compensation
The victims of exploitation and trafficking are entitled to financial compensation for the work done and for the psychological and health consequences. It can help them to repair the damage suffered and to make their return to normal life easier. However, current practice shows that this law is still more at a theoretical level.
Act No. 40/2009 Sb., Criminal Code (available in Czech here), regulates in § 168 the criminal offence of trafficking in human beings. The material elements underwent a substantial amendment in 2014 (by Act No. 141/2014 Sb.), when the three forms of trafficking (service in the armed forces, slavery or servitude, and forced labour or other forms of exploitation) as defined by the original, tripartite relationship (trader – exploiter – victim) were reduced to a bilateral relationship (the trader may be the exploiter at the same time).
Section 168 Trafficking in Human Beings
(1) Whoever forces, procures, hires, incites, entices, transports, conceals, detains, or consigns a child to be used by another for
- for sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual abuse or harassment or for production of a pornographic work,
- extraction of tissue, cell or organs from his/her body,
- service in the armed forces,
- slavery or servitude, or
- forced labour or other forms of exploitation, or who profits on such conduct shall be sentenced to imprisonment for two to ten years.
(2) The same sentence shall be imposed to anyone who forces, procures, hires, incites, entices, transports, hides, detains, or consigns a person other than referred to in sub-section (1) by using violence, threat of violence or other grievous harm or deceit, or by abusing his/her error, distress, or addiction in order to use him/her for
- for sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual abuse or harassment or for the production of a pornographic work,
- extraction of a tissue, cell or an organ from their body,
- service in the armed forces,
- slavery or servitude, or
- forced labour or other forms of exploitation, or who profits/exploit on such conduct.
(3) An offender shall be sentenced to imprisonment for five to twelve years or to confiscation of property if he/she
- commits the act referred to in Sub-section (1) or (2) as a member of an organized group,
- exposes another person to a risk of grievous bodily harm or death by such an act,
- commits such an act with the intention to gain a substantial profit for him-/herself or for another, or
- commits such an act with the intention to use another person for prostitution.
(4) An offender shall be sentenced to imprisonment for eight to fifteen years or to confiscation of property if he/she
- causes grievous bodily harm by the act referred to in Sub-section (1) or (2),
- commits such an act with the intention to gain extensive profit for him-/herself or for another, or
- commits such an act in connection with an organized group operating in more than one state.
(5) An offender shall be sentenced to imprisonment for ten to eighteen years or to confiscation of property, if he/she causes death by the act referred to in Sub-section (1) or (2).
(6) Preparation is a punishable.
Act No. 45/2013 Sb., On Victims of Crime (available in Czech here) defines victims of trafficking in human beings as particularly vulnerable victims, who are as such entitled to free professional assistance.
Act No. 141/1961 Sb., the Criminal Procedure Code (available in Czech at here) regulates the elements and course of criminal proceedings. From the point of view of trafficked persons as victims of a crime, the possibility of legal representation by a representative and a number of other procedural rights, such as the right to inspect a criminal file, are very important.
Labour law legislation (Employment)
We provide assistance to victims of human trafficking, as well as to those who find themselves in a situation close to this phenomenon. The most important Acts in this area:
- Act No. 262/2006 Sb., the Labour Code, as amended (here)
- Act No. 251/2005 Sb., on Labour Inspection, as amended (available in Czech here)
- Act No. 435/2004 Sb., on Employment, as amended (available in Czech here)
- Act No. 118/2000 Sb., on the Protection of Employees in the event of Employer´s Insolvency and amending other acts, as amended (available in Czech here)
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is responsible for control activities in the area of compliance with the labour law (Regional Labour Inspectorates and Labour Offices).
Ten basic principles of safe work abroad
- Handbook for Professionals – Migrant Women and Human Trafficking
- Handbook for victims of crime
- Vít Střítecký, Daniel Topinka et al. DEVELOPMENTS IN TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS FOR THE PURPOSE OF LABOUR EXPLOITATION AND FORCED LABOUR
- Puttarak Prachakitbamrung. 2011 Findings from a Migration Mapping Study: Thai Migrant Workers in the Czech Republic.
- La Strada Czech republic. 2010: Negative Impact of the Duty to Report.
- Kutálková, Petra. 2010. The narow gateway to human rights, identification of trafficked persons in the Czech Republic.
- Aleinik, Maryna. 2010. Recruitment mechanisms and working conditions of Russian speaking female migrants in the Czech Republic.
- Krebs, Michal. 2009. Analysis of the Agency Employment of the Vietnamese in the Czech Republic.
- Krebs, Michal; Eva Pechová. 2008. Vietnamese Workers in Czech Factories. Research Report.
- Burciková, Petra; Daniel Hule, Petra Kutálková. 2008. It´s cool to know more. Institutional care and the risks of commercial sexual exploitation.
- The Way Forward – Reccomendations to prevent human trafficking… (2008)
- Stolen Smiles – Summary Report on the Physical and Psychological Health Consequences of Women and Adolescents trafficked in Europe (2006)
- Trafficking in Human Beings and Forced Labour or Labour Exploitation… (2006)
Advocacy and lobbying activities
Exploitation of or trafficking in human beings violates human rights. It is a crime that needs to be prosecuted. Our lawyers and other professionals thus work with politicians, lawmakers, authorities and organizations to get the support they need. They also cooperate with similar organizations abroad. They protect the victims of crime and help them return to normal life.
The purpose of our lobbying activities is to give a voice to trafficked persons – to analyse and comment on measures against trafficking in human beings from the point of view of securing their rights. We advocate systemic measures that lead to the removal of vulnerability factors for (potentially) trafficked persons.
Part of our activity is the education of two groups of people – young people (primary prevention) and professionals (identification of trafficked and exploited persons).
We have prepared preventive programs for basic (8th and 9th grade), secondary, and vocational schools, and universities. The lectures are led by an experienced team of lecturers who have professional education in the field of social work, social pedagogy, or law, and who have gained extensive practical experience with the target group of our organization. We have created two comprehensive blocks of lectures for schools – each lasting two teaching hours. The first block gives students a basic insight into the issues of human trafficking and labour exploitation. They will receive information on how to prevent crisis situations. We have supplemented the lecture with instructional videos that show specific stories from practice. The second block of lectures expands on the first block and contains more practical examples. It is possible to attend only the first block or both blocks.
Training for social workers and workers in social services
After completing our training, participants will have gained basic knowledge about the issue of human trafficking. The aim for them is to be able to identify a trafficked person upon first contact and to be able to offer such a person help. The training module is led by lecturers who have extensive, practical experience in providing services to trafficked persons. We offer interactive, one-day (8 teaching hours) and two-day (14 teaching hours) training accredited by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Training for doctors and other medical staff
Participants will gain a basic knowledge of the human trafficking issue. The aim for them is to be able to identify a trafficked person upon first contact and to be able to offer such a person help. The training module is led by lecturers who have extensive, practical experience in providing services to trafficked persons. The training focuses on a general insight into the issue of trafficking in human beings and the health effects of this crime. It is divided into four educational blocks – human trafficking; forced labour; forced prostitution; and identification of such persons, including security aspects. We can train other groups of experts upon individual agreement.
If you are interested in any of the educational activities of our organization, more information, or a price offer, send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 222 721 810.
How Can You Support Us?
You can support us not only with a financial or material donation, but also with help and advice. We welcome your experience and knowledge in various areas, such as management, finance, information technology, public relations, and marketing. Let us know what you think we should and might be interested in.
Account number: 478625923/0300 kept at the Československá obchodní banka (Czechoslovak Commercial Bank)
IBAN code: CZ11 0300 0000 0004 7862 5923
SWIFT/ BIC code: CEKOCZPP
Phone number: +420 222 721 810
La Strada Czech Republic, o.p.s.
P.O. Box 305
111 21 Prague 1
Company ID number: 25656317
Account number: 478625923/0300 kept at the Czechoslovak Commercial Bank
IBAN code: CZ11 0300 0000 0004 7862 5923
SWIFT/ BIC code: CEKOCZPP
Phone no: +420 222 721 810