For the ten years of work, ASTRA – Anti Trafficking Action received 14,594 calls through ASTRA SOS Hotline and identified and/or assisted 387 trafficking victims (37% of victims). Over three forth of victims identified in this period were the citizens of Serbia, while nearly for half of them Serbia was also destination country. The most often cross-border destination was Italy, followed by countries on a transit route to Italy – Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, as well as Austria and Germany. Trafficking victims assisted by ASTRA were exposed to sexual exploitation (72%), labor exploitation (14%), forced begging (7%), forced marriage (6%), illegal adoption (1%) and coercion into criminal activity (0,3%). In this period, ASTRA provided to its clients psychological assistance 932 times, legal assistance 496 times, medical assistance 243 times, 804 actions in the field were carried out, alongside with various forms of assistance and support in the process of recovery and reintegration in accordance with the needs of every particular victim that were always available (return to school, alternative accommodation, rebuilding social and family networks, issued associated with the status etc.).
The Republic of Serbia ratified, on 14 April 2009, Council of Europe’s Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which observes human trafficking above all as the violation of human rights and as an offence to the dignity and the integrity of the human being. The ratification means not only that Serbia has undertaken certain obligations, in particular in terms of the provision and enhancement of protection standards for trafficking victims and their rights – privacy, assistance to victims, recovery and reflection period, compensation, legal protection and the like, but also that it agrees to the monitoring and reporting on the compliance with this Convention on its territory by the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings – GRETA. The evaluation process in the third group of countries, including Serbia, will start in February 2012, while final report and recommendation are announced for the second part of 2013.
Independent and impartial monitoring of the fulfilment of obligations envisaged by international documents, including CoE Convention, represents an important prerequisite for the improvement of the quality of services provided to trafficking victims and protection of their rights. The first alternative report in that respect is ASTRA’s Human Trafficking in Serbia – Report on for the period 2000-2010 (http://www.astra.rs/eng/?