Slavery in Austria

Overview

 

The Government of Austria fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continues to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts. The government demonstrates serious and sustained efforts through an increased number of prosecutions and convictions, by bolstering rights for victims, and increased funding for victim services. Law enforcement collaborates with neighbouring countries on cases and works closely with NGOs on victim care.

 

The government makes efforts to identify trafficking victims among refugees, irregular migrants, unaccompanied minors, and asylum-seekers by providing new training in victim identification to border officials and NGOs providing care to migrants and asylum-seekers.

 

As part of its efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, the government has subsidized and distributed a brochure, published in seven languages, which raises public awareness about trafficking within commercial sex. The government worked with business and labour organizations in awareness training on labour exploitation.

 

Austria is a destination and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Victims primarily originate from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Bosnia, and Serbia, with some victims coming from Nigeria, Southeast Asia, China, and South America. Vienna has the majority of trafficking cases. Most identified victims are foreign women subjected to sex trafficking.

 

Children and physically disabled persons are the primary victims of forced begging. A growing number of victims from Nigeria and China are abused for sexual exploitation, some in massage parlours and brothels. Traffickers are primarily male and are largely Austrian or are the same nationality as their victims

 

Legislation

 

Aliens Act 2000

 

Protects trafficked, smuggled and other unlawful resident aliens from exploitation.

 

Section 104 defines “smuggling of human beings” as the facilitation of the illegal entry of aliens into an EU Member State or one of Austria’s neighbouring states, making it a punishable offence if such smuggling of human beings is carried out with the intent of acquiring monetary gain for oneself or others. This offence carries a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

 

Section 104 added a new penal provision against trafficking in human beings that is not restricted to trans-border trafficking of persons for the purpose of prostitution. The new statutory definition of this crime comprises trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation, exploitation through the illegal removal of organs as well as exploitative employment.

 

Article 104a criminalizes all forms of sex and labour trafficking consistent with the international law definition, with penalties ranging up to 10 years imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.

 

Article 104 also criminalizes slavery, with penalties ranging from 10 to 20

 

Austrian Penal Code as amended in 2004

 

Section 217 which had hitherto made the trafficking of women and children a punishable offence under the heading “trafficking in human beings”, has remained unchanged with regard to its contents, but its heading has been changed to “Trans-border Trafficking for the Purpose of Prostitution”.