Compensation for Victims
Who should pay compensation, in particular the compensation to the victim of human trafficking, or any other violent crime? While no amount of money, nor any compensation can make the victim’s trauma disappear, the fact is that a substantial compensation gives the victim a chance to relax, recover without pressure, and make a more sustainable plan to return to normal life.
Access to compensation is seen as the weakest link in the system of assistance and protection of trafficked victims in the region, although the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings – ratified by Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro – requires that signatory states guarantee the right to compensation of victims in their national legislation.
Compensation for non-pecuniary damage, after lengthy and arduous court proceedings, is rarely granted to victims of trafficking. In addition, enforcement of verdicts is often ineffective, especially given that many traffickers do not have assets officially in their name.
Therefore, and in light of good practices of some European countries, experts from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro agree that it is necessary to establish a state fund or similar mechanism for the compensation / damage compensation to the victims, which would provide compensation regardless of any current court proceedings.
In order to further support this initiative, ASTRA has had a number of activities, including the Compensation Fund Feasibility Study. The aim of this study is to estimate the costs of such a fund, and to investigate possible sources of its financing. The Feasibility Study was prepared as part of the second phase of the project “Balkans ACT (Against Crime of Trafficking) Now!”, which was implemented with the support of the European Union (IPA CSF).