Report and handbook from ASTRA: anti-trafficking laws and policies in Serbia
On December 2, International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Anti Trafficking Action – Serbia (ASTRA) presents a report and handbook on human trafficking in Serbia. The report, “Monitoring and Evaluation of Anti-Trafficking Laws and Policies and their Implementation in the Republic of Serbia in 2014 and 2015”, outlines the actions that have been taken to stop trafficking practices in Serbia during the year 2015. The document outlines five issues:
1.) The law and the national legal framework for criminalizing trafficking in human beings
2.) The identification of trafficking victims
3.) The protection of victims of trafficking
4.) Assistance and support for victims
5.) Compensation and legal redress
Accordingly, each section is supplemented with an overview of the compliance with international standards, an explanation of what happened in practice, as well as information regarding investigations, prosecutions, and trials that took place. Information regarding the availability of medical resources, shelter, and material assistance is also given. The document ends with a list of laws and recommendations for how to improve the current state of affairs.
The information for this report was complemented by guidelines from the handbook ‘Monitoring and Evaluation of anti-trafficking policies: a handbook for victims’ advocates’. The manual was created to aid civil society organisations in assessing laws, policies and practice in relation to the international and European standards. The handbook contains a comprehensive overview of legal and policy frameworks in Serbia, as well as information regarding to what extent such frameworks are applied in practice. It was developed within the EU-funded project Balkans ACT Now! and is the outcome of three years of collaboration between ASTRA, ISF Emmaus (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Open Gate La strada (Macedonia), Women’s Rights Centre (Montenegro) and La Strada International (The Netherlands).
Though the handbook reports on anti-trafficking progress in Serbia, the issues addressed are not limited to one region. It is therefore a tool that can be used by a large array of practitioners, from law enforcement officials to individuals working for civil society organisations. It takes treaty obligations as a point of reference, thus placing localised issues within a larger international context and allowing human rights advocates to measure progress and re-examine policies in their respective nations.
The handbook can be found in English, Serbian, B/H/S, Montenegrin and Macedonian at: http://nadoknadimo.org/documents?locale=en