The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Croatia is guilty, as the Prosecutor, during the criminal proceedings, had not investigated thoroughly a suspicion of a criminal act of trafficking in persons with the aim of sexual exploitation, and the Prosecutor was charged by 5,000 EUR fine for immaterial damage.
A Croatian citizen has sued Croatia to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg claiming that she had been a victim of sexual exploitation and that Croatian institutions had not provided relevant protection due to faulty criminal proceedings. The European Court of Human Rights confirmed that Croatia breached Article 4 of the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which banned slavery and forced labour. By this ruling, the European Court of Human Rights has for the first time made a connection between exploitation in prostitution and human trafficking within Article 4.
In this case, the Croatian citizen has made a criminal charge against an ex-police officer, who had been earlier convicted to 6.5 year in prison for pandering and raping, having claimed that he psychologically and physically forced her to prostitution in year 2012. The suspect of trafficking had taken the victim to clients at different places and forced her to give sexual services and to live together with him in an apartment. If she refused, he would punished her physically. After she escaped, he threatened her and her family. The suspect was released then, after which the victim decided to seek protection at the European Court of Human Rights.
The European Court of Human Rights said in its ruling, among the rest, that in the criminal proceedings, not all the witnesses had been interrogated, and not all circumstances had been consistently investigated as to confirm the claim of the prosecution that the suspected ex-police officer had forced the victim to prostitution.
The ruling of the European Court of Human Rights contributes to the court practice of the criminal offense of trafficking in persons, as for the first time the connection has been made between the trafficking and the prostitution, which represents an additional duty to domestic courts to pay more attention to panderers and pandering organizers when processing cases of sexual exploitation of women in prostitution.
The news from the website VoxFeminae.