ASTRA – Anti-trafficking Action organized an online expert meeting on “Forced Begging as a Form of Human Trafficking” on December 21, 2023. The event was conducted within the framework of the project “Begging (In)visible Exploitation Around Us,” supported by SMART BALKANS – Civil Society for a Connected Western Balkans.
The goal of the project “Begging (In)visible Exploitation Around Us” was to improve the position of individuals who are potential victims of forced begging as a form of human trafficking and organized crime. The project’s results were intended to contribute to strengthening the capacities and knowledge levels of representatives from relevant institutions and organizations. Additionally, the project aimed to create specific proposals for improving identified areas within public policies, legislative, sub-legislative, or operational frameworks. In achieving these goals, a significant role was played by the exchange of experiences and knowledge through the established collaboration with organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These organizations are part of ASTRA’s informal regional network to combat human trafficking, known as Balkans Act Now (BAN), and have been addressing the issue of forced begging for years, possessing commendable expertise in this field.
Participants in the expert meeting had the opportunity to hear the experiences of partners from the organization “Zemlja djece” Bosnia and Herzegovina from Tuzla, who shared their rich experience in the fight against forced begging. Additionally, attendees were informed about current trends in this field in our country. The meeting served as an opportunity to deepen knowledge and strengthen collaboration among relevant stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking in the Balkans.