To support the Serbian authorities in tackling trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation, the Council of Europe convened an expert round-table meeting on engaging the private sector to prevent and combat human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. The meeting gathered representatives of public bodies, private enterprises, agency labour providers, trade unions, civil society and international organisations, as well as academic institutions. The aim of the meeting was to provide a forum for professional exchange on countering human trafficking through business and to present promising practices.
Media coverage of the event:
Mitar Djuraskovic, National Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, highlighted that one of the tasks envisaged in the National Strategy to prevent and supress human trafficking 2017-2022 is to define and adopt a model of co-operation with the companies promoting corporate social responsibility, as well as to strengthen partnerships with employers’ associations and labour unions.
“Even if we recognise that private investment, both national and foreign, is key for the economic and social development of any country, and that the profit motive is central to our market economy, we cannot but accept that human trafficking for labour purposes is a gross violation of human rights, not to be tolerated and to be pro-actively countered by companies that incorporate and mainstream corporate social responsibility as an integral part of their market appeal” was the message conveyed by Tim Cartwright, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade.
This activity was organised within the framework of the “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey”, a joint co-operation framework of the European Union and Council of Europe that seeks to assist beneficiaries in South-East Europe to comply with Council of Europe standards and European Union acquis in the framework of the enlargement process.