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NGO Atina at the international seminar “Trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation”
The international seminar “Trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation” was held in Belgrade, on June 21, 2017, organized through the joint program of European Union and the Council of Europe, within the program “Horizontal Facility”, and the project “Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in Serbia”, and Citizens’ Association Atina was one of the participants.
The aim of this seminar was to present and discuss the findings of the Report on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation in Serbia, which has been created by the international expert Klara Skrivankova and the national expert Tamara Vukasovic. A part of this report presents the number of reports of violence Association Atina sent during 2016 to the Ministry of the Interior and the Center for Human Trafficking Victims Protection.
In addition to the authors of the report, among the participants were also Grazia Alessandra Siino, Senior Project Officer at the Council of Europe, Nicolas Bizel, Head of Operations I, as well as representatives of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Labor, Employment, Social and Veteran Affairs, Dutch Labor Inspectorate, Ministry of the Interior, trade unions, employment agencies, private companies, nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, embassies, and research institutions.
The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), a body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, recommended carrying out the research in order to discover the prevalence and trends of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation. With the aim of better prevention and combating the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation, GRETA recommended engaging civil society, labor inspectorate, private companies, trade unions, and employment agencies.
This report recommends improvement of the existing legal and strategic framework in Serbia through further revisions and amendments. Some of the key recommendations of this report are as follows:
- Urgent adoption of the National Strategy and the National Action Plan;
- Raising awareness about the risk of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labor exploitation related to current situation at the labor market;
- Providing authority and training to labor market regulators, including labor inspections and market inspections, for a proactive investigation with the aim of identifying and combating trafficking in human beings in the areas of risk;
- Considering adoption of additional regulations for private employment agencies;
- Engaging private sector in combating trafficking in human beings through the adoption of policies and legislation in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and proactive engagement of private companies in development and implementation of the policy directed toward combating trafficking in human beings;
- Engaging trade unions and private sector in development and implementation of policies directed toward combating trafficking in human beings;
- Implementation of pilot projects for proactive identification in risky work areas (such as agriculture or construction), in cooperation with NGOs, trade unions, private sector.
On the same day, June 21, the second meeting of the Steering Committee took place, co-chaired by Grazia Alessandra Siino on behalf of the Council of Europe, and Mitar Djuraskovic on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior. Among others, the meeting was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Social and Veteran Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ombudsman’s office, European Integration Office, EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, NGO Astra, and NGO Atina.
On that occasion, the participants reviewed realized activities in accordance with the adopted work plan during the past 6 months. Co-chairman, Mr Djuraskovic, emphasized the importance of the partnership approach among competent services, stressing that knowledge and experience of all the participants are of great importance for the successful implementation of actions. Members of the Steering Committee discussed and adopted activities to be implemented in the next six months, by December 2017.