ASTRA is an organization dedicated to the eradication of all forms of exploitation and trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, as well as providing support in the search for missing children.
Who are we?
ASTRA started operating in the year 2000. as a local grassroot organization and it represents the first direct social response to the growing problem of human trafficking, especially trafficking in women and girls. It was the first one to draw the public attention to the problem of human trafficking and it has directly influenced creation of legal solutions that address this issue. We approach the prevention and fight against human trafficking comprehensively and holistically, by examining all aspects of the problem and offering concrete solutions and assistance, all with the aim of improving the position of victims in the system and beyond.
The core of ASTRA is the ASTRA SOS line to support and assist victims of trafficking and provide preventive information. Thanks to the knowledge gained in direct contact with victims of trafficking and potential victims, we have developed all our other programs and activities.
What do we do? ASTRA’s programs
Prevention and education
ASTRA is constantly improving the ways of communicating with the public and is paying great attention to raising awareness about the problem of human trafficking. So far, we have organized and conducted 16 independent national campaigns, two crowdfunding campaigns and participated in partnerships in numerous domestic and international initiatives and campaigns. At the same time, we are working on developing education programs for all the actors whom (presumed) victims of trafficking encounter in the system – police, health sector, prosecutors, education sector and media. The programs offer general and specific knowledge, as well as useful practices to be applied in working with victims and potential victims of trafficking. We pay special attention to working with young people as a particularly sensitive category. Therefore, for years now, ASTRA, together with a team of peer educators, has been implementing a special type of education intended for young people of primary and secondary school age.
Direct victims' assistance and SOS Line
Expanding Influence - Networking, Cooperation
Until there is no adequate systemic response, ASTRA will work to improve the system of prevention of human trafficking and support provided by the civil sector, network and expand its influence, locally and globally. To this end, ASTRA has established the Anti-Trafficking Network of Serbia in order to decentralize the support and prevention system and harmonize it somewhat with the needs of victims. Eight organizations, members of the network, primarily work on the prevention of human trafficking in their communities. In addition, ASTRA is a member of the Women Against Violence Network and the prEUgovor Coalition (an informal association of seven organizations monitoring the EU integration process, especially Chapters 23 and 24). At the international level, we are members of the GAATW Network, the La Strada Platform, the OMCT Network, the Missing Children of Europe Organization, the ICMEC, and the EIN Network. Since 2019, ASTRA has also had an ECOSOC status.
Research, Reporting and Advocacy
As a creator and initiator of changes in the field of anti-trafficking policies, ASTRA pays great attention to the development of studies, analyses and reports on the current situation with the aim of improving it. From this knowledge, and the one gained in direct contact with victims, ASTRA’s independent advocacy activities have emerged. Those are the introduction of the Victim Compensation Fund, the principle of impunity for victims of trafficking for crimes committed under duress and while in the trafficking chain, introduction of an independent institute of the National Rapporteur on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and others. As a direct consequence of these activities in the second half of 2021, we note the introduction of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings into the legal framework as part of the independent institute of the Protector of Citizens.
Human trafficking knows no borders and requires cross-sectoral and international cooperation, and synchronized action in addressing this problem. That is why ASTRA regularly, by reporting on the situation in Serbia, contributes to the development of most international reports related to the phenomenon of human trafficking and women’s human rights (US State Department report on human trafficking (TIP Report), Report on Serbia’s progress in the EU accession process, reports to various UN bodies: ECOSOC, CEDAW and else), which, by analysing the situation on the global scale, seek to find a common solution to the problem of human trafficking in the world.
In short: we learn from every direct contact with the victim, and through these four programs we work to improve all segments of the complex response to the problem of human trafficking.
Principles of work
ASTRA applies the highest professional and ethical standards in its work. When providing direct assistance to victims of trafficking, their best interests and individual needs are always taken into account. Given the fact that these people have gone through a traumatic experience of trafficking, it is important that each individual case is managed according to an individual recovery plan, respecting the pace tailored to each client individually and in accordance with their needs and desires.
In providing assistance, ASTRA is guided by the principle of trust, which is established in the relationship between employees, employees and clients, employees and volunteers and associates of the organization, while respecting diversity and individual wishes, needs and dynamics.
When it comes to the work of ASTRA employees, it is based on several important principles, to which all employees are committed:
ASTRA HAS ZERO-TOLERANCE TO ANY FORM OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLIGENCE AND HAS DEVELOPED A RULEBOOK ON PROTECTION AND TREATMENT IN SUCH CASES WITH CLEARLY DEFINED PROCEDURES.
IF YOU HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE ABOUT ASTRA’S EMPLOYEES OR ASSOCIATES NOT RESPECTING THIS DECISION, YOU CAN REPORT IT TO US, IF YOU WISH ANONYMOUSLY, AT SOS@ASTRA.RS OR BY CALLING 011 785 00.