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National Action Plan for Combating Human Trafficking Soon

BEOGRAD, 8 March 2009  Source Beta

Interior Minister Ivica Dačić has announced today that the National Action Plan for combating human trafficking, which will contain all those activities that state authorities will take in this field, will be adopted in one month.

At the press conference in the Serbia Palace, which followed after the session of the Anti Trafficking Council, Minister Dačić said that the Government of Serbia wishes to seriously combat this problem, adding that this is one of the most important obligations in the process of integration to the European Union.

Minister Dačić said that in 2008, 48 trafficked persons were identified, but this figure is certainly much larger, because there is always a certain number of unregistered cases.

According to him, victims increasingly originate from Serbia, as opposed to the previous period, when they were mostly foreign women. He said that out of 48 trafficked persons registered, 41 were from Serbia, and 39 of them were women.

Minister Dačić added that human trafficking does not include sexual exploitation only, but very often it is for the purpose of labor exploitation, forced marriage, begging and criminal activity.

He said that all members of the Council agreed that October should be marked as the Anti-Trafficking Month, since the European Commission pronounced October 18 to be the day of fight against this type of crime.

Justice Minister Snežana Malović said that the International Women’s day – March 8 – is a good opportunity for the Government of Serbia to publicly say that it would not tolerate human trafficking. She said that cooperation of all state authorities, but also of the sates from the region, is necessary in that fight.

According to Minister Malović, three million of trafficking cases is registered in the world every year, which shows that this type of crime is very profitable and dangerous.

Minister Malović estimated that the Law on the Confiscation of Criminal Proceeds, which came into force on March 1, would also contribute to the fight against human trafficking and shared her expectation that Serbia would soon ratify Council of Europe’s Convention on Action Against Human Trafficking, which governs this filed of organized crime.

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