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Polish consuls dismissed amid allegations of human trafficking

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Suzannah von Strandmann
WVoN co-editor

A spokesman for Poland’s foreign ministry has apologised for the “shameful behaviour of several consuls”, after it emerged they had been involved with issuing women with visas so that they could be trafficked for sexual exploitation in Germany.

The Polish consulate, located in the Ukrainian city of Lutsk, came under investigation from Polish-Ukrainian law enforcement agencies at the end of 2011, when information emerged about a criminal cell trafficking women out of the Ukraine.

The investigation discovered that the women were being issued with Schengen visas for which they would otherwise have been ineligible, to aid their transportation across Europe.

As a result all employees of the Polish consultate in Lutsk, together with the consul-general, have been dismissed.

Ostensibly the Polish government appears committed to tackling the problem of human trafficking; a revision to the counter-trafficking laws was implemented in 2010, designed to ease application, understanding and coverage.

In addition, foundation level training for border guard officers and a more specialised intensive programme for the national police force continues to be implemented nationwide.

Nonetheless, this is not the first time that Polish law enforcement officials have been accused of involvement in human trafficking.

In 2001 six border guards were accused of trafficking 600 female migrants to Germany, and in 2006 Austrian authorities investigated two Polish policemen suspected of trafficking 440 women to Austria.

Despite numerous claims of corruption against border control officials and police officers, the Polish government has not reported any conviction against a public official for human trafficking-related offences to date.

  1. vicki wharton says:

    Governments involved in facilitating sexual slavery of women and children – surely not? Oh yes, 3,000 girls and women bought and sold in the UK every year … and what does our Government do, what does the men’s media say to rape punters, what does anyone do in this country … we laugh indulgently and shrug our shoulders and say, ah well, the world’s a bad place, oldest trade in the world, as long as its all consenting stuff and turn away without questioning any of it. The level of denial and disinterest in the world about women and children’s plight is stunning and shameful. We seem to have lost our souls …

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