The first Steering Committee meeting of the Action “Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings in Bosnia and Herzegovina” was held in Sarajevo on 24 October 2019. The meeting was opened by the Ambassador Drahoslav Stefanek, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo, EUD representative, and the National Anti-trafficking Co-ordinator.
The meeting brought together the representatives of the Ministry of Security/National Anti-trafficking Co-ordinator, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (Education Sector, Health Sector, and Sector for Labour, Employment, Social Protection and Retirement), the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees / Human Rights Sector, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Public Institution Center for Education of Judges and Prosecutors of Republika Srpska (CEST RS), Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Public Institution Center for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Labour Inspectorate, Labour Inspectorate of Republika Srpska, High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, Bosnia and Herzegovina Directorate for European Integration as well as the civil society organisations IFS-EMMAUS and NOVA GENERACIJA.
The Action “Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings in Bosnia and Herzegovina” aims to contribute to preventing and combating trafficking in human beings in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Beneficiary) in line with the European standards. 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 (GRETA) concerning the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Action's implementation period is foreseen for three years, that is from 2019 to 2022. In these next three years, the Action will primarily focus on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation and child trafficking, which is in line with the Beneficiary's priorities and needs.
The role of the newly created Steering Committee is to contribute to design and review of the implementation of the Action’s activities in targeted areas and to enable all the main partners involved to monitor the implementation of the planned activities. During their first meeting, the Steering Committee members agreed on intermediate as well as immediate work plan for the upcoming months and the expected results in this regard. During the discussion, the National Anti-trafficking Co-ordinator highlighted the importance of the multi-disciplinary and inter-sectorial approach as well as direct co-operation of the main anti-trafficking partners as a pre-condition in reaching the expected results. He also emphasised the importance of the fulfillment of the concrete GRETA's recommendations throughout the implementation of Action.
The Action “Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings in Bosnia and Herzegovina” is a 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, where relevant.