The first Steering Committee meeting for the Action “Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings in Serbia” took place in Belgrade on 26 September 2019.
The aim of the Action is to contribute to preventing and combating trafficking in human beings in Serbia in line with the European and Council of Europe standards and best practices. In particular, the Action supports the national authorities in implementing selected recommendations made by the monitoring body, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, concerning the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Beings by Serbia.
The meeting was opened by the representatives of the Council of Europe and the National Anti-trafficking Co-ordinator. The Council of Europe project team made an overview of the achievements accomplished in phase I and presented work plan, expected results and activities for the upcoming period. Referring to the achievements, the National Anti-trafficking co-ordinator highlighted the component of the Action implemented in phase I, which concerned the transnational referral mechanism of victims of human trafficking. He noted that it enabled a direct co-operation of the main anti-trafficking partners, which was highly significant for victims’ protection at both national and international level.
The meeting brought together representatives of the Ministry of Interior/National Anti-trafficking Co-ordinator, the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs/ Labour Inspectorate, the Ministry of European Integration, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the European Union Delegation to Serbia, Ombudspersons’ Office as well as the civil society organisations Astra and Atina.
The Action “Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings in Serbia” is part of the “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey II”, a co-operation initiative co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe, which aims at assisting beneficiaries in South-East Europe to comply with the Council of Europe standards and European Union acquis in the framework of the enlargement process.