Together in the fight against human trafficking

Together in the fight against human trafficking

Sremska Mitrovica – In City Hall (Gradska kuca) in Sremska Mitrovica a meeting was held today where the  working body was formed and its members who will be working on preventing and solving the issue of human trafficking selected.

The members of the working body are the representatives from several local institutions, that is the Center for Social Work “Sava“, National Employment Service Sremska Mitrovica branch, Health Center, the Youth Center, High Public Prosecutor’s Office, Sremska Mitrovica Police Directorate, Red Cross, City Administration for Health Care and Social Protection.

Aside from the above mentioned instititutions’ representatives, today’s meeting was also attended by the National Coordinator for the Fight against Human Trafficking and the representatives of Citizens’ Association Atina.

Jelena Hrnjak from the Association Atina explained that the Association will provide support to Sremska Mitrovica, more specifically local self-government and network of professionals dealing with fight against human trafficking. Atina has been implementing this project in cooperation with the International Rescue Committee and the U.S. State Department and it is amied at enhancing the results of the aforementioned entities, as well as networking at one level which will be much more beneficial than the current one, and thus enabling them to recognize higher number of victims of human trafficking thanks to various trainings, and to handle them in appropriate manner, that is to provide them with assistance and support prescribed by our laws, which is necessary for human trafficking victims in Serbia nowadays.

Sremska Mitrovica, according to Hrnjak, has been a best practice example in the area of combating human trafficking.

According to Hrnjak, the most common victims of  human trafficking in Serbia are women, girls and children, majority of which come from deprived families, or they, by the Association’s statistics, have already experienced some type of violence in the past they were trying to run away from and thus have certain experience with the social protection system.

She mentioned the example of women who decided to work abroad, as in Serbia they couldn’t make a living. These women would depart without required documents, illegally, and thus would stay of the country’s radar, left to their own devices and consequently usually end up as human trafficking victims.

There are some cases where, she adds, sadly parents are the ones who would sell their own children. These activities are carried out under project “From danger to safety: Improving protection for human trafficking victims in Serbia “implemented by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and NGO Atina, and funded by the Government of the United States.