Legal information

Legal aid

Legal aid is essential to victims of trafficking in human beings. The availability of a lawyer at the earliest stage possible guarantees that victims will be supported, and their rights will be effectively protected.

Victims will be able to make an informed choice whether to take part in criminal proceedings or not. They will know that their potential involvement in criminal activities while being in a situation of trafficking will not be punishable; that they may be constituted as am injured party (and not just as a witness) in the criminal proceedings with all ensuing rights, including protection for the duration of the trial; or that they may be constituted as a civil claimant and seek compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage.

Victims of trafficking are advised to seek legal aid as early as possible. Free legal aid is provided by the National Bureau for Legal Aid – a government structure with the Ministry of Justice. Victims of trafficking may obtain free legal advice, help in the preparation of documents for the court and procedural representation. There are also other organisations, mostly non-governmental ones, which provide free legal aid, including representation by a lawyer, to victims of trafficking in human beings under different project activities.