This year, the annual international conference of the Victimology Society of Serbia was organized online, on November 26 and 27, 2020, entitled COVID-19 in the Balkans: Patterns of Victimization and Victims’ Rights.
The conference aims to enable the exchange of experiences and knowledge related to the impact of COVID-19 on patterns of victimization, rights, and victim support in the Balkans. Special attention is paid to particularly vulnerable categories of victims in the Covid-19 era, such as women, children, and the elderly, and the challenges and lessons learned in providing support to victims in general and victims of trafficking and domestic violence. The conclusions and recommendations reached during the conference should serve as a basis for proposing policies and practices for dealing with victims in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises. These practices must be based on respect for human rights and, in particular, the rights of victims.
On the first day of the conference, within the last thematic session: Support to victims in the age of COVID-19: challenges and lessons learned, ASTRA Director Marija Andjelkovic spoke about the challenges of working with victims and finding ways to provide direct assistance during a pandemic. This demanding period required many adjustments and quick reactions. The exchange of such knowledge is valuable because of every similar future scenario in which we may find ourselves.