In the period from May 9 to June 26, 2022, with the use of the HELP platform of the Council of Europe, intended for the training of professionals from various fields, a course on human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation was realized for representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Labor Inspectorate and trade unions.
The training aimed to comprehensively acquaint the participants with the phenomenon of human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation, as well as to strengthen the knowledge and skills of experts in institutions and organizations. The professionals went through five carefully designed areas, focusing on clarifying the concept and establishing clear differences between human trafficking for labor exploitation and related forms of labor and human rights violations. In addition, participants are familiar with the international and domestic legal framework governing this area and practices in the fight against human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation. Also, work was done on clarifying the individual roles of all actors in combating human trafficking, including the role of institutions/organizations of the participants. Special attention is paid to indicators and the identification of victims.
Two tutors conducted the training: (1) a representative of the NGO ASTRA, Marija Anđelković (2) and a professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade – Ivana Krstić.
The course was attended by 25 participants (12 men and 13 women). The course’s conduct was adapted to the different levels of the participants’ knowledge. Tutors had in mind that the group has a particular foundation, i.e., intermediate knowledge of the topic. 80% of participants successfully completed the course and were introduced to the phenomenon of human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation.
As a special addition to the course, on June 10, a webinar/online session was held on human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation with a focus on the case of the European Court of Human Rights “Zoletić and others v. Azerbaijan.” Sena Uzunović, a State Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina prosecutor, told the participants about this case. She introduced the attendees to the case and details of recruitment and exploitation to which workers from B&H, Serbia and North Macedonia were exposed in Azerbaijan, as well as the treatment of this case by the institutions in Serbia and B&H. She especially emphasized the importance of quality and timely response of the civil sector in this case, above all ASTRA (and a few other collaborating organizations from the region), thanks to which, and based on the testimony of injured workers, a detailed report on this case was prepared. This report served as a key piece of evidence when the case was initiated at the ECtHR but also when the ECtHR decided to favor the injured workers. The participants of the webinar reacted very well to the presentation, and the representatives of the police and labor inspectors joined the discussion and presented their views of the case. Seventeen course-participants attended the presentation.
The entire HELP course on human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation was evaluated by the participants with the highest marks. According to their statements, they will apply the acquired knowledge in fieldwork and share it with their colleagues. Extensive literature available during the course will enable them to work further and improve. On the other hand, our assessment is that the training’s main goal- to familiarize the participants in detail with the phenomenon of human trafficking for labor exploitation – was fully achieved.