On October 11th and 12th, a two-day training session was held for education professionals, including teachers, support staff, and representatives from the Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Violence, Abuse, and Neglect Protection Teams. The training was conducted following the accredited program of the Institute for the Advancement of Education.
The presence of representatives from vocational schools was particularly noteworthy, as they confirmed that their students, sometimes during their education or after completing it, accept various unverified job offers abroad. Among the participants were representatives from the Pharmaceutical-Physiotherapy School, the Geodetic-Technical School, the Tourism School, the School of Beauty Care (located within the city of Belgrade), and the Agricultural-Veterinary School with a student dormitory (located in Svilajnac). Additionally, representatives from elementary schools in Belgrade, Pančevo, Vranje, and Šajkaš also attended.
The training covered the legal framework and specific aspects of human trafficking, defining the problem’s prevalence. Emphasis was placed on the legal obligations of employees in educational institutions regarding human trafficking. The complex social concept of human trafficking as a form of organized crime was discussed, as well as common myths and prejudices surrounding human trafficking, particularly concerning its victims. The social barometer technique was used, encouraging active participant engagement and dialogue with the educators.
Internet safety was an essential topic, and ASTRA applications were presented as a positive aspect of the Internet for human trafficking prevention. The training emphasized the role of schools in human trafficking prevention, the protection and reintegration of minor victims, and the National Referral Mechanism and the work of relevant institutions in addressing potential trafficking cases.
Participants were introduced to indicators, their form, content, and how to use them. Indicators were practiced through case examples in small group work, allowing for a detailed understanding of the National Referral Mechanism and the roles and responsibilities of relevant institutions in cases of (potential) human trafficking victim reports.
During the final session, participants developed action plans for human trafficking prevention in their schools. Educators and participants identified opportunities and methods for preventive action within school settings. Suggestions included sharing the knowledge gained with colleagues in their schools, marking October 18th (European Day against Human Trafficking), and training student parliament members to convey essential information about human trafficking to their peers.
Through evaluation, participants confirmed that all training objectives were met, and the instructors had taken into account the participants’ previous knowledge and experiences. They praised the presenters’ expertise in the subject matter, their encouragement of participant learning, and their effective responses to questions.
Some written comments from participants in the evaluation included:
“Interesting, dynamic, very informative. Excellent presenters. Thank you.”
“I would recommend this training to colleagues because there is insufficient awareness of this topic in education. A problem that we often overlook.”
“Competent presenters, an adequate approach, engaged participants, a positive and encouraging atmosphere.”