Preventive role of ASTRA SOS Hotline
Within SOS Hotline and Direct Victim Assistance Program, ASTRA provides preventive information on the problem of human trafficking, possibilities and conditions for safe and legal work in the country and abroad and safe migrations. Special emphasis is put on work with young people, as they have proven to be at major risk of falling victim to trafficking.
ASTRA provides the following information:
- Information on the precautionary measures when traveling abroad.
- Information about safe migrations.
- Information about the destination if it is known.
- Information about the labor legislation in the country of destination.
- Information necessary for examining employment contracts.
- Information on the documentation necessary for doing a certain job that is required in the country of destination (education, recognition of diploma/degree, nostrification requirements and the like).
- Information on the documentation necessary for studying in the country of destination.
- Information on licensed employment agencies.
- Contact information of organizations and institution in the country of destination or in neighboring countries if there is no relevant NGOs or diplomatic and consular missions of our country in the country of destination.
- Legal analysis of employment or similar contracts before the clients sign them.
Job search information
According to ASTRA SOS Hotline’s data, one of the most frequent methods of recruitment of trafficking victims is through job ads, where alleged employers advertise their need for workers of various profiles, promising excellent pay, visa and work permit if needed, accommodation, good working conditions…. Such ads could be found on the Internet or in the newspapers.
There are many employment agencies which, in exchange for money, offer assistance in job search in the country and abroad. Clients are often required to sign a contract or pre-contract. These offers do not always cover potential human trafficking, but very often their aim is financial scam.
According to the Law on Employment and on Insurance in Case of Unemployment, job brokering services may be provided by the National Employment Service and employment agencies. The agency may not provide employment to underage persons or employment which involves increased risk. The agency shall be registered with the Serbian Business Registers Agency providing previously obtained license from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy. The Ministry shall issue this license based on the written request submitted together with the documentation proving that the conditions for obtaining the license have been fulfilled. The license shall be issued if the agency fulfills conditions in terms of adequate office, technical equipment and employees’ expertise. It shall be issued for the period of five years and may be extended, but it also may be revoked before the expiry of five-year period, in which case the new license may not be issued in the three years following the date of revocation. The Ministry shall run the register of issued licenses and form a database on the founded agencies.
You should be aware of one of the principles of the Law on Employment and on Insurance in Case of Unemployment set out in Article 5, according to which services of the National Employment Service and the employment agencies shall be free of charge for unemployed persons.
It is not rare that ads, employment opportunities and “safe agencies” are recommended by persons of trust.