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Towards enhanced protection of victims of human trafficking provided by state institutions

This month, with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Serbia, ASTRA began implementing the project Knowledge sharing and strengthening joint proactive response to THB for the victim-centered approach, with the aim of enhancing protection of human trafficking victims when in contact with the relevant state institutions.

ASTRA launched this project based on our experience in the field through working with victims of human trafficking, and also based on the analysis of the quality of available services provided by health care system and judiciary, by looking at court proceedings where victims were part of.

Within this project, several activities will be implemented: 1) Two trainings for health care professionals and associates in both Belgrade and Niš. Priority will be given to those departments with the greatest likelihood to come directly in contact with human trafficking victims, such as: gynecology, psychiatry, pediatrics, orthopedics. 2) Development of a Handbook for judges, based on the U.S. approach of victim assistance in the cases of THB. Following this activity, ASTRA will organize a roundtable with more than 30 relevant representatives of different institutions, such as police, judiciary, prosecutor’s office, Ministry of Justice, health care system where we will present the handbook and point out the benefits of a new, different approach of victim assistance. 3) Elaboration and presentation of an analysis of court rulings and processes in human trafficking cases for 2019, which will providee insight into the protection of victims’ rights in court proceedings.

Based on these activities, we expect the following results: 40 sensitized health professionals trained to identify and assist victims in an appropriate manner; enhanced position of victims in the justice system through employee education; reduced volume of secondary victimization by educating more than 30 employees from different institutions of the system involved in assisting victims.

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