Promising practices in protecting victims of human trafficking during the COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has shown that the life of a girl or a woman, victim of violence, is in many ways reminiscent of a permanent state of emergency. Many of the girls and women with such experience, particularly victims of human trafficking, were socially isolated even before the crisis caused by the pandemic. Unfortunately, all the worries other citizens had in COVID-19, which referred to whether they would have enough food, work, and freedom, came true for victims of human trafficking. Atina’s experience from the past period shows that the coronavirus pandemic has exposed many other problems in our society which have also negatively affected trafficking victims who already lack support to go through life.

One of the projects we were carrying out at the time “Support to civil society organisations’ initiatives to assist and protect victims of trafficking in human beings during the COVID-19 pandemic”, supported by the Council of Europe, inspired us to put on paper everything we lived through during that time. In this publication, we wanted to show the strength of women and girls, victims of human trafficking, which has managed to overcome everything despite the distress they experienced. Because of that, we decided to share promising practices in the COVID-19 pandemic, which we are very proud of, and which resulted from a lot of patience and hard work.

We would like to use this opportunity to thank all the girls and women who have shared their valuable experiences with us. We also owe gratitude to colleagues Olivera Sekulić Šošdean and Tanja Dobrić Brankov for their dedication and the efforts they invest daily in their work.

Organization Atina's team