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Labour Exploitation

Awareness is the first step towards protection of your labour rights!

Fake job ads are the most commonly used tool of traffickers for the purpose of labour exploitation.

Example of a fake job advertisement

You are looking for a better paid job and you are ready to go to another city, country, even to another continent? You do not know the context there, you may not speak the local language, but the employer promises to get you a work visa, accommodation and food… This is an ideal scenario for labour exploitation and it happens around the world. Citizens of Serbia travel to European countries in search of work, sometimes even farther, and citizens of India, Pakistan, China, Turkey… are seeking work in Serbia.

According to the report of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) of 2017, there are 24.9 million victims of forced labour in the world. Out of that number, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector – in domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million people are forced into sexual exploitation; and 4.1 million people are victims of forced labour imposed by the state. This means that almost four out of 1,000 people are victims of forced labour.


According to the International Labour Organisation, forced labour is “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily“.[1]

[1]ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29).

If You Are Looking for a Job or Considering to Find a Job, Get Informed How to Protect Yourself From Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Labour Exploitation

What exactly are you going to do? What do you know about the working conditions, the place where you will work and the employer? Find out the company name, headquarters / address, phone number and name of the contact person.

Who is your agent? Get the contact information (name, address, phone number, etc.) of the person offering you the job as an intermediary.

Ask for a written contract! If possible, do not agree to oral job arrangements, and only sign a contract that has been verified by a lawyer you trust, and that is in your language or a language you understand well.


If Your New Job is Outside Serbia

What is the visa regime of the country you are going to for employment? What documents do you need? Check the information at the embassy of the country you are going to. DO NOT TRUST STORIES from unreliable sources!

Make a contact list of our embassy or consulate in the country you are traveling to for work. Look up for contacts of trade unions and NGOs in the destination country, so you can contact them fast if needed.

Keep your passport with you! No one has the right (except the police) to ask for it, nor to keep a travel document.

Before going abroad, leave copies of your passport with trusted people (friends, relatives) and agree with them a safe word (password), which will signal to them during the conversation that you are in danger.


The following types of free services are available to you in order to verify the veracity of a job offer to work abroad

  • Checking ads and business offers.
  • Analysis of pre-contracts or employment contracts before signing.
  • Checking the data on the company / agency that mediates on the portal of the Serbian Business Registers Agency.
  • Information on licensed employment agencies in our country.
  • Information on living and working conditions abroad.
  • Contacts of organizations and institutions in the destination country.

If You Are Already Employeed and Some of the Following Describes Your Workplace:

  • Performing work that was not originally agreed upon
  • Working 12 or more hours in inadequate and unsafe conditions
  • Physical punishment or threats by superiors
  • Restricted freedom of movement
  • Confiscated personal documents
  • Fear for own life and the lives of family members
  • Unregulated employment / undeclared work
  • Irregular or inadequate payment of wages
  • Inability to terminate employment when you wish
  • Lack of food and clean drinking water
  • Inadequate accommodation of workers
  • Poor hygienic conditions, lack of hot water

You Are Most Probably a Victim of Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Labour Exploitation!

This situation can cause a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. However, different FORMS OF AID are available to you.

Legal Aid

You have the right to adequate free legal aid – the right to a lawyer who will protect your rights and fight for your interests during court proceedings.

Medical Aid

You have the right to free medical services covered by compulsory health insurance, regardless of whether you are a citizen of Serbia, and even if you do not have health insurance as a citizen of Serbia.

Psychological Aid

You are entitled to free psychological aid, in order to help you cope with all the emotions that may occur as a result of inhuman treatment experienced during the exploitation.

Interpreting Aid

If you do not speak or understand Serbian language well, you have the right to an interpreter, and to receive information, especially those concerning your rights, in a language you understand. This right is guaranteed to you throughout the recovery process and in contact with all the institutions. This form of aid is also free.

SOS line and Victim support team

all calls are free and the line is available 24/7

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