Underage girls most common targets

Underage girls most common targets

Shelter for victims of domestic violence currently accommodates one victim of trafficking in human beings.  This issue is not something that is happening elsewhere, but it is happening here, and so far we have identified 11 victims of human trafficking in our city. To that end, it is essential to stress that our Local team has been working on prevention, in this lecture and events of this kind, tailored to senior high school students as the most vulnerable group, Director of the Center for Social Work in Leskovac, Predrag Momcilovic has stated today.

Momcilovic emphasized that their coordination team is comprised of several state authorities, each working within its respective jurisdiction, which produces excellent results and thus has been recognized by the Ministry and the Center for Protection of the Victims of Human Trafficking, who they signed the first cooperation agreement with.  

In cooperation among the Local Coordination Team for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, the Center for Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking and Organization “Atina“ today organized a lecture dedicated to this topic in the auditorium of the Arts and Humanities High School (Gimnazija).  The lecture took place as the introduction to the marking of European Anti-Trafficking Day on October 18. Aside from the representatives of the abovementioned institutions, the lecture was also attended by senior students of Arts and Humanities High School, as well as the School of Economics.

At the press conference that took place after the discussion, the member of the City Council Brankica Stefanovic addressed the audience on behalf of local self-government of the city of Leskovac, where she has stated that, sadly, neither our country nor our city is immune to the global phenomenon of trafficking in human beings.  

“For that reason, as per decision of the City Council and Mayor Gorana Cvetanovic, in November 2013, “Local Coordination Team for Combating Human Trafficking in Leskovac” was formed. Its role is not only to act preventively, but to provide adequate protection to the victims of human trafficking. Owing to the fact that combating human trafficking is a part of social protection, I would like to stress that Leskovac spares huge budget for the area of social protection, thus over 214 million dinars has been envisaged for this purpose. Besides funding numerous entities, organizations, associations that provide social protection services, the city budget has been funding the work of the Local Coordination Team for Combating Human Trafficking“, Stamenkovic pointed out.

Jelena Hrnjak spoke on behalf of NGO “Atina“ and she pointed out that in 2021 in Serbia 34 victims of trafficking in human beings have been identified, out of who 10 are underage girls who were exploited for the purpose of sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, forced into committing criminal offence, which is one indicator that girls are the ones who are, to a greater extent, vulnerable and targeted by the traffickers.

“The number of identified persons should increase and strengthen, in a way to form and create wide range of services that would be offered to the victims of trafficking in human beings so that they can recover easier and faster“, Hrnjak believes.

Photo: Leskovac city website

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