The problems which trafficking victims face in court proceedings in Serbia was the topic of the second CHATvrtak discussion organized by the coalition prEUgovor. The meeting was attended by representatives of state bodies and civil society organizations dealing with this issue.

Improve the position of human trafficking victims in court proceedings

Coalition prEUgovor continued with the organization of CHATvtak, panel discussions on the most relevant topics of Chapters 23 and 24, and the theme of the second CHATvrtka held on 26 November 2015, was the protection of human trafficking victims in court proceedings in Serbia.

On the problems of victims of human trafficking in practice spoke Biljana Sinanovic, a judge of the Supreme Cassation Court of Serbia, Dejan Spasojevic, a lawyer representing the victims, and Jovana Krotica from ASTRA, coordinator of SOS telephone for direct assistance to victims of trafficking.

Speakers were present to the fact that, despite slight improvements, the situation of victims in criminal proceedings is untenable for several reasons.

First, the victims are often confronted with so-called. secondary victimization, that the evidence in the proceedings against those accused of criminal act of human trafficking, a particularly difficult given the status of vulnerable witness.

Then, there is the problem of adequate compensation of the victim, and that victim is complicated to realize property claim in the criminal proceedings, and that later legal proceedings are often financially unprofitable, so that the victims of that they give up.

Although people usually traded for sexual exploitation, there are cases when people from Serbia are going abroad to work under very difficult conditions, where they were exploited, which is very often not recognized as human trafficking.

Speakers also took note of what happens in practice psychological profession that experts often do not recognize the problem in the right way, but in their findings and opinions know that the blame on the victim, not understanding that the human trafficking chain vicious circle from which it is difficult to get out.

Another problem is the non-implementation of the principle of victims impunity for the crimes that were perpetrated as a direct consequence of the fact that the victims of trafficking, as well as absence of an adequate system of social protection that would forestall a person becoming a victim.

It is also necessary as soon as possible adopt a strategy to combat human trafficking and the accompanying action plan, in order to start the implementation of these documents.