10 March 2009 Source: www.novosti.rs
The Anti Trafficking Council had its first session on Sunday, which was, according to the members of the Council, symbolically held on March 8, the International Women’s Day. It is announced that in the following month the Government is supposed to adopt the National Action Plan for combating this type of crime.
Deputy Prime Minister and the Interior Minister Ivica Dačić, who is the chairman of the Council, reminded that 48 trafficked victims had been discovered in Serbia in the previous year.
– These are identified cases, and there are certainly much more – Dačić said. – Of this figure, 39 were women, 28 victims of sexual exploitation, 12 persons forced into begging. Also, while in the previous period victims had been mostly foreign women, now an increasing number of victims were from Serbia – as many as 41!
Justice Minister Snežana Malović stressed that as many as three million trafficking victims are exploited in the world every year, while the profits for this type of crime amount to up to couple of billions of dollars.
– This is one of the most profitable criminal activities, right behind arms and drug trafficking – Minister Malović said. – Human trafficking requires the widest possible cooperation and must include the countries of origin, transit and destination. For this region, the Justice Ministry has initiated the signing of Council of Europe’s Convention on Action against Human Trafficking, and I will advocate for its prompt ratification by the National Assembly.
Besides Minister Dačić and Minister Malović, other members of the Anti Trafficking Council are Health Minister Tomica Milosavljević, Education Minister Žarko Obradović, Labor and Social Policy Minister Rasim Ljajić and Finance Minister Diana Dragutinović. They agreed on Sunday to held another session by the end of the month and proposed October to be pronounced the Anti Trafficking Month.