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Rights of the victims of trafficking in human beings

Trafficking in human beings is a criminal offense whereby one person /a perpetrator/ uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person /a victim/ for the purpose of sexual, labour or another type of exploitation. Trafficking in human beings may occur anywhere and anytime.

If someone forces you to work against your own will, or under conditions you have not agreed to or prohibits or limits your movement – you are a victim of trafficking in human beings.

Additionally, victims are considered those persons who originally agreed to the work, or who committed a crime under duress while being in the trafficking situation. 

Right to Information

You have the right to know everything about your legal status, your rights and procedures important for your situation. Additionally, you have the right to be informed on all forms of assistance programmes available to you

Right to Privacy

You have the right to protection of your privacy and identity. No one may disclose your private information without your consent. The Public Prosecutor and your lawyer may request that the trial in which you participate as a witness is not open to the public.

Right to Accommodation

If you do not have a place to live, or if it is not safe to return home, you have the right to accommodation in the shelter for victims of trafficking or in an alternative accommodation. Juveniles or very young persons may also be placed in foster families.

Right to Protection of Integrity and Safety

If you decide to testify in criminal proceedings, you have the right to witness protection and the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Additionally, you may request to be granted the status of an especially vulnerable witness /which means that you may testify without meeting the trafficker, in a separate room, via video-link etc./. The police and the court must protect you from threats, insults, intimidations and any other assaults during and after the investigation and trial.

Right to Humanitarian Residence

If you are not Serbian national and your residence in Serbia is not regulated, the police may grant you a temporary residence due to humanitarian reasons, in case of cooperation with the police and the Public Prosecutor in investigation and criminal proceedings against the trafficker or other persons who participated in your exploitation; or in case when return to your country of origin represents a danger to your life and safety.

Right to Compensation

You may claim this right in two ways: 

(1) IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS – Your lawyer should file a compensation claim during the criminal proceedings, clearly stating the compensation amount required. You, in any case, participate in the proceedings as a witness / injured. In the process of collecting evidence against the trafficker, the Public Prosecutor may (but is not obliged to) collect the evidence to corroborate the non-material damage you suffered. However, in practice, the court customarily refers the victim to file a compensation claim in a civil suit.
(2) IN CIVIL PROCEEDINGS – Your lawyer in the civil proceedings files a compensation claim against the trafficker, whereby you have the role of a plaintiff and cannot have the status of an, especially vulnerable witness. Then, you usually have to undergo forensic examinations, similar to the ones you have been subjected to in the criminal proceedings and to give statements on what has happened to you, i.e. to prove that you suffered a damage. This procedure may be instigated by anyone who is deemed injured within three years since the damage occurred or, if the damage was caused by a crime, within the statute of limitations for the investigation or the crime itself. If you decide to initiate a civil suit or you need legal support, you can contact us by phone or email.

Right to Return (Repatriation)

If you wish or need to return to the country where you lived before you came to Serbia, the Serbian state authorities must enable your return without any unnecessary or unjustified delay, and taking into account your safety. If you do not have necessary documents, the state authorities must issue those in order to allow you to return.

Right to Recovery and Reflection

You have the right to a three-month recovery and reflection period, i.e. to the time needed to decide if you wish to cooperate with the police. During the period you have the right to all other available forms of assistance.

Assistance of an Interpreter

If you do not speak, or if you do not understand Serbian well, you have the right to an interpreter, and to receive information, especially those related to your rights, in a language you understand. This right is grated to you during the entire recovery process, and in communication with all institutions.

(Re)integracija i socijalna inkluzija

Imaš pravo na informacije o programima čiji je cilj da ti pomognu da se vratiš u svakodnevni život, a koji nude različite aktivnosti, edukacije i obuke, mogućnosti školovanja i zaposlenja, kao i na uključivanje u one programe koji odgovaraju tvojim potrebama.
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