Twenty-two newly employed labour inspectors in Serbia successfully completed the two-day workshop on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation, organised by the joint European Union and Council of Europe action “Strengthening anti-trafficking action in Serbia” on 10-12 May, in Vrdnik, Serbia.
Human trafficking for labour exploitation remains under detected and under reported. Labour inspectors can play a key role not only in the detection of labour law and labour rights violations, but also in the detection and assistance of victims of human trafficking for labour exploitation as a crime.
The participants in the workshop met with representatives of the National Anti-trafficking Co-ordination Office, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Centre for Human Trafficking Victims’ Protection. They gained knowledge on the phenomenon of human trafficking for labour exploitation, the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking Convention, and the national anti-trafficking strategic and legal framework.
Through group work and case studies, the labour inspectors learned and exercised the use of indicators and standard operative procedures to detect and deal with potential cases of labour trafficking. Good practices from Belgium regarding the role of the Labour Inspectorate in preventing and combating labour trafficking were presented.
In its reports on Serbia, The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) considers that the Serbian authorities should continue to provide regular training on human trafficking, among others, to labour and market inspectors, as well as resources and guidance so that they can be actively engaged in the prevention of human trafficking. Approximately 220 Serbian labour inspectors already participated in capacity building activities in the period 2016-2022.
The Council of Europe’s recent Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation and study “Labour trafficking in Serbia: risk factors, trends and challenges” were presented.
The action “Strengthening anti-trafficking action in Serbia” is implemented in the framework of the joint European Union and Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye”, and builds on the results achieved since 2016, during the previous phases of the programme. The action contributes to strengthening partnerships and capacities of relevant public institutions, professionals and civil society organisations to prevent and combat human trafficking, to detect and protect victims of trafficking. The action also seeks to strengthen the criminal justice response to human trafficking.