RTS: Traffickers are mostly known to the victim

After drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking is one of the most lucrative illegal businesses. The most common victims are children and women. The number of people globally at risk of falling prey to this crime ranges between tens of thousands to several millions. Since the beginning of the year, 25 victims of human trafficking have been identified in Serbia. On European Anti-Trafficking Day, a message is sent to all the citizens that they are obliged to report this criminal offense.

Girls and women who managed to exit human trafficking chain state that they were lured into it at a very young age, spending 15 hours a day on the streets.

"We are currently preparing to prosecute another case, with domestic victims, and the particular criminal offense has international elements as our children were taken abroad, where they were subject to both labor and sexual exploitation," explained Danijela Trajković from the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office.

Those with experience recognize the true intent e.g. in job ads that require exclusively girls and women. It is not easy for young girls to realize what lies behind empty promises.

"If you have a girl who has not even finished elementary school or high school, if you see a girl who lacks family care, she is an easy prey for any trafficker who usually picks such a background," said Jelena Hrnjak from Citizens Association Atina.

Life forces adults into risky situations. For many, accepting a job abroad to help provide for a family or pay off debts came with a high price to pay.

"Before you leave the country, make a copy of your passport, and if you are looking for a job or anything else abroad, come to us to check if that organization, company, or business you applied to, or plan to apply to, exists," says Beba Kanački from the Local Anti-Trafficking Network.

The Safe House for victims of human trafficking in Serbia assisted 76 persons last year, 71 of whom were Serbian citizens.

"We must continue working on this, there is no classic cure for such an issue as it is a highly complex criminal act, but prevention and education certainly are a way to do it," said Zoran Đorđević, Minister of Labor, Employment, Social and Veteran Affairs.

Society should have a developed awareness, and anyone with the knowledge that someone is a victim of human trafficking should report that. The victims themselves cannot do it so easily. Victims generally know the traffickers. They are known to the police as well, they have extensive records, and often repeat the crime. It is worrying, however, that only one percent of them worldwide receive deserved punishment.

The original text and video can be found via the link: https://www.rts.rs/page/stories/en/story/125/society/3703866/traders-people- mostly-su-know-the victims-http.html