Back Improving detection of child trafficking instances in schools in Serbia

Vrnjacka Banja 17 April 2024
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Training workshop on child trafficking / Serbia

Training workshop on child trafficking / Serbia

Child trafficking is a widespread and underreported phenomenon. According to official data from the Serbian Centre for Human Trafficking Victims’ Protection, the percentage of children among the identified victims of trafficking in Serbia has significantly increased in 2023 and amounts to 62% (out of 66 victims in total). The average age of the children is 12 years.

The role of schools in detecting instances of child trafficking, and the co-operation between the education system and key anti-trafficking actors from different ministries and anti-trafficking NGOs was the focus of the training workshop organised in Vrnjacka Banja from 15 to 17 April 2024, by the EU and Council of Europe joint action “Strengthening anti-trafficking action in Serbia” in co-operation with the Ministry of Education.

The 37 participants, representatives of 13 regional school districts, related ministries and public institutions, and two anti-trafficking non-governmental organisations, exercised the application of  “warning signs” for preliminary identification of students who are potential victims of human trafficking. Through case studies, participants discussed risk factors for child trafficking, and strengthened the communication channels between them.  

As a result of the delivery of materials and capacity building activities by the anti-trafficking action during the past two years, it has been observed that the referrals of potential child trafficking from schools have multiplied by 10  times. The various materials and assistance provided through the action (guidance, videos and tools) continue to facilitate the detection of and assistance to potential child victims of trafficking in schools.

The activity and results are accomplished within the joint programme of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” phase III.