Definition of THB in Poland

Published Publication date 31.10.2013

Poland adopted a definition of trafficking in accordance with article 3 of the Palermo Protocol and article 4 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings in September 2010.

According to the relevant regulation – article  115 (22) of the Polish Penal Code of 6th June 1997, which came into force on 8th September 2010 – trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of:

1.      violence or unlawful threat,

2.      abduction,

3.      deception,

4.      misleading, the exploitation of a person’s mistake or their inability to properly comprehend the action being undertaken,

5.      the abuse of a relation of dependence, taking advantage

6.      of a critical situation or state of helplessness, giving or receiving of payments
or benefits or its promise to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person 

– for the purpose of exploitation, even with the person’s consent. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others, pornography, or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, beggary, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of cells, tissues, or organs against the regulations of the article. Should the perpetrator’s behaviour concern a minor, it shall be considered “trafficking in persons” even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in points
1-6 of this article.’

The above-mentioned legal definition contains also a specific provision for children victimsof trafficking, in accordance with article 3(c) of the Palermo Protocol. 

In Polish legal system there is no special provision referring to prohibition of criminal prosecution, detention and punishment for activities they were involved in as a direct consequence of their situation as trafficked persons. Nevertheless, in practice when carrying on legal proceedings concerning trafficking in persons, prosecutors usually discontinue proceedings in cases where the trafficked person was suspected (e.g. when this person was forced to criminal activity). According to the Polish Penal Code, the punishment
for trafficked persons can be excluded under particular circumstances, when he or she acted in the state of necessity.  

Tags: Poland, Palermo Protocol, THB, Penal Code, definition