According to the official statistics, since 2017 there have been 43 formally identified victims of trafficking of human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation in North Macedonia, out of whom 37 were malе, including two children. In this context, labour inspectors and social workers play a fundamental role in the fight against human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation and assistance for the victims of human trafficking. To support them, the EU and Council of Europe joint action on “Strengthening anti - trafficking action in North Macedonia” facilitated a multi-disciplinary training of trainers with 30 selected labour inspectors, social workers, police officers and NGO representatives acting to prevent and combat trafficking cases for labour exploitation.
Since 2017, in co-operation with the State Labour Inspectorate, the action has continued to deliver basic capacity-building activities on human trafficking for labour exploitation, which benefited approximately 95% of all labour inspectors in North Macedonia. These activities aim at increasing the skills of labour inspectors to transfer knowledge to their professional cohort and to deliver effective online trainings. Increased knowledge and skills of labour inspectors and enhanced inter-institutional co-operation will bring benefits to the general public in terms of prevention of this heinous crime.
“The aim of the National Referral Mechanism is to improve the process of identification, referral and protection of trafficking victims for labour exploitation and to strengthen the multidisciplinary cooperation at all levels" says Svetlana CVETKOVSKA, the Head of Unit for Equal Opportunities in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, addressing the participants. “The Co-ordination office of the above mechanism takes multiple steps to assess the initial needs of victims of labour exploitation, victim’s referral to the point of direct assistance, co-ordinates protection, informs the victim about his or her rights and follows the assistance process” she stresses.
The new trainers will be able to practice their newly gained skills in the upcoming pilot training and online capacity-building activities on human trafficking for labour exploitation targeting labour inspectors in the entire territory of North Macedonia, with a goal of proactive identification, protection and referral of trafficking victims for the purpose of labour exploitation.
This activity was organised by action on “Strengthening anti - trafficking action in North Macedonia” within the framework of the European Union/Council of Europe joint Programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” (Horizontal Facility III), co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.