NGO ASTRA, on the occasion of EU Anti-trafficking Day, 18 October 2008, wishes to point out the presence of human trafficking problem in Serbia and in the region.
We would like to remind you that NGO ASTRA is active since 2000, and in 2002 we have opened first and so far unique SOS Hotline in Serbia for human trafficking survivors and their families and relatives. SOS Hotline is basic mean of support and access to information concerning this global problem and up to date ASTRA has received over 8,000 calls from 1790 clients. In this way, ASTRA identified 269 victims of human trafficking wherefrom 106 are children.
ASTRA is now running its’ fifth anti-trafficking large-scale campaign, called Naked Facts, by which ASTRA wants to draw attention of general public and of state at this specific form of organized crime. We invite citizens to inform themselves and/or to report (potential) cases of human trafficking they might have information about.
We consider extremely important that all future efforts which are put into strengthening of institutions and state mechanisms, especially when it comes to work of judicial organs, result in more severe punishment policies for the criminal act of human trafficking.
We support previous efforts of both state and civil society in suppression of this problem and appeal to competent institutions and organizations to engage more efficient efforts in actions that would have influence on reduction of the number of (potential) victims of human trafficking.