Terms of Reference for Cultural Mediator for the project “From Harm to Safety: Improving the Protection of Victims of Trafficking (VoTs) in Serbia “

Terms of Reference for Cultural Mediator for the project “From Harm to Safety: Improving the Protection of Victims of Trafficking (VoTs) in Serbia “

Published on December 1st, 2018


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Atina – Citizens Association for combating trafficking in human beings and all forms of gender-based violence proposed a 30-month project “From Harm to Safety: Improving the Protection of Victims of Trafficking (VoTs) in Serbia “to combat modern slavery in a context where trafficking networks target not only traditional VoTs, but also especially vulnerable individuals within the population of refugees and migrants. Project got its approval and funding by the Government of the United States. 

The IRC and Atina are, through a two-pronged approach, to protect and support both conventional and refugee VoTs to recover from the consequences of violence and exploitation. The project is bringing the IRC’s expertise working with refugees and migrants, and Atina’s role as a Serbian NGO working with survivors of human trafficking. This is building upon the IRC's and Atina’s ongoing partnership and collaborations with the Government of Serbia (GoS), local authorities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and existing relationships with the Center for Human Trafficking Victims Protection and Centers for Social Work. In partnership with Atina, the GoS, and other relevant stakeholders, the IRC seeks to achieve the following strategic objectives: 1) VoTs receive effective, client-centered care through proactive victim identification and direct support; 2) local authorities and NGOs provide specialized assistance to child VoTs, including unaccompanied and separated children (UASC); and 3) the GoS develops national SOPs for first responders and takes concrete steps to revise the national anti-trafficking strategy and action plan.


From 1992–2004, the IRC provided support to refugees in Serbia after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. In response to the massive influx of refugees in Europe in 2015, the IRC returned to the region and has since worked in partnership with local NGOs and civil society organizations to prevent and respond to violence against women, children, and other vulnerable groups. The IRC and Atina jointly implement a DFID-funded project to identify unaccompanied refugee children and provide them with access to protection services, including accommodation, legal guardianship, psychological care, legal aid, and referrals to other urgent care. Since July 2016, the IRC’s program has embraced a regional approach, expanding beyond Serbia to strengthen coordination and service provision across countries along the Balkan corridor. Globally, the IRC received J/TIP funding in 2012 to complement the Government of Haiti’s efforts to combat child trafficking and provide protection to children in institutional care and situations of domestic servitude. In this project, the IRC successfully supported 3,746 children at risk of trafficking, including successfully completing family reunifications for 174 separated children, of whom 43 were child victims of trafficking and domestic servitude. The project further supported the closure of nine residential care centers due to unsafe conditions, abuse, and/or suspected trafficking. The IRC has extensive experience in trafficking prevention and protection services through U.S. programs in Miami, Phoenix, and Seattle.

Since 2004, Atina has been the anti-trafficking NGO in Serbia providing shelter, psychosocial support, legal, medical services, and employment opportunities to survivors, with the goal of facilitating sustainable systems for the survivor’s social inclusion and reintegration. Atina is a strategic member of the Women against Violence Network and coordinates closely with stakeholders and service providers involved in anti-trafficking measures. Atina has established mobile teams throughout Serbia, providing specialized assistance for the most vulnerable refugees and migrants seven days a week, at the borders of Macedonia, Hungary and Croatia, as well as in Belgrade. Atina participated in the development of national anti-trafficking guidelines, including the official identification and assessment tool, the human trafficking referral pathway, and the national anti-trafficking strategy and action plan, which has yet to be adopted. Atina works with the media, authorities, and other NGOs to improve legislation and services available for survivors of human trafficking. To help advance the response to the needs of women and girls, Atina has trained more than 1,000 professionals in Serbia on the provision of adequate support to VoTs.


Cultural mediator represents an intermediary between the refugee and the case manager, using their knowledge of values, beliefs and practice of the culture of refugee’s country of origin, enabling a better understanding of the needs of refugees that should be fulfilled within existing programs and services. An important role of mediators is direct assistance and joint work with the case manager, particularly with the vulnerable categories and in situations of gender-based violence. In particularly sensitive cases, the role of cultural mediators can be even more crucial due to the relationship of trust beneficiaries will establish more easily with a person who is coming from the same environment, culture and speaks the same mother tongue.

Cultural mediators will be actively involved in the following:


1. Informs case manager or coordinator about any difficulties in activity implementation.

2. Works closely with case managers to collect and share case management intake forms and analyze the reported cases.

3. Informs and reports to Monitoring and Evaluation officer about ongoing activities and cases on a daily, weekly and monthly level.



  • Available to participate in meetings, workshops and training, both internal and external.

  • Meet with relevant staff members as required

  • Maintain positive coordination and relationships with partners by liaising and seeking collaboration with other INGO and NGO promoting a holistic approach to case management.

  • A high degree of flexibility on the part of all staff is expected in order to respond to the ever-evolving situation. This job description may change based on the situation in the field.

  • Cultural mediators may be required to perform other related duties as identified by their supervisor...

Direct work:

  • Promoting intercultural dialog by stimulating respect and reciprocal acknowledgment, cultural diversity and social inclusion;

  • Activities of identification and referral of beneficiaries (separated and unaccompanied children, SGBV survivors);

  • Assisting case managers and counselors in assessments;

  • Organizing cultural accommodation sessions and participating in all relevant activities related to direct or indirect work with refugees;

  • Attending meetings, conferences and reporting about the development of activities and, if necessary, contributing to the management of certain administrative or logistical aspects of the project;


  1. Get to know all the relevant legal framework and documents of meaning for refugees, asylum seekers, gender-based violence, human trafficking and etc.

  2. Get to know with all monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of the organization  

  3. Establishment of contacts with different systems (judiciary, health and social protection system) to assist refugees/migrants in the best possible way

  4. Mapping relevant actors in the field and cooperation with relevant institutions at the local level - the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, Red Cross, Center for Social Work, Police Administration, UNHCR, UNICEF, IOM, other civil society organizations, etc.

  5. Participation in staff meetings

  6. Mandatory participation in education and training which Atina organizes with the purpose of improving the assistance for the refugees/migrants


Specific requirements:

  1. Willingness to work as part of a multidisciplinary team;

  2. Ability to work and problem-solve in high-stress situations;

  3. Good knowledge of the community they represent;  

  4. Good understanding of the local and social context of the Serbian society;

  5. Ability to share information and communicate with the community, ATINA (internally) and all relevant stakeholders;

  6. Must have a cooperative problem-solving approach, with the aim of finding the best way to enable people to access the services they need;

  7. Follow all relevant procedures, processes, and policies.


Interested cultural mediators should submit their CVs and cover letters in English language to respond to above mentioned specific tasks.


The selection process will be based on the following evaluation criteria:

1. Displayed competences in work with particularly vulnerable groups;

2. Native/proficient language(s) knowledge;

3. Relevance of biography;

4. Previous experience.


All applications must be submitted no later than 24st December 2018, 5PM, in electronic version, to the email marija.pantelic@atina.org.rs. A selection will be made no later than 30th December, 2018, and the selected cultural mediator will be contracted no later than 31st December, 2018.

Only short-listed cultural mediators will be contacted.