In the new prEUgovor policy paper experts from coalition member ASTRA analyse the work of the state Centre for Human Trafficking Victims’ Protection and provide recommendations for its improvement.

Challenges of Recognition of the Status of Human Trafficking Victim in the Republic of Serbia

Trafficking in human beings is far from being a problem faced with by only one country, be it the country of origin, transit, or destination for human trafficking victims, but rather a global problem that must be tackled by the entire international community. From 2002 to 2021, prEUgovor member ASTRA identified the total of 562 human trafficking victims.

The necessity to put an end to human trafficking in Serbia has also been recognised by the European Union which included trafficking in human beings in Chapter 24 which deals with justice, freedom and security, in the section dealing with organised crime.

One of the most important state institutions responsible for identification of human trafficking victims on the entire territory of Serbia, is the Centre for Human Trafficking Victims’ Protection (hereinafter: Centre), established in 2012 via a decision by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

The purpose of this publication is to analyse the legal status of the Centre, manner of its operation, as well as the decision-making procedures and possibility of deliberating on a beneficiary filed complaint/appeal, but also to offer recommendations for the improvement of its work and operation. The very document is intended for the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs as the ministry responsible for the Centre’s operation, as well as to all key actors in combating trafficking in human beings in Serbia.

This policy paper is divided in three sections. The first includes an analysis of the institutional framework within which human trafficking victims in Serbia are identified; the second section identifies major problems in the Centre’s operation, while the third and final section offers recommendations that could potentially improve the system of identification of and support to human trafficking victims.

The publication is published as part of the project PrEUgovor for Rule of Law and EU integration of Serbia supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade. Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the abovementioned donors or its partners.