Within SOS Hotline and Direct Victim Assistance Program, ASTRA provides preventive information on the problem of human trafficking, possibilities and conditions for safe and legal work in the country and abroad and about safe migrations.
Through ASTRA SOS Hotline you can obtain detailed information about safe migration, specifically information on the visa regime in the country of your destination, documents you need to produce and the conditions you need to fulfill to be able to get a specific job or enroll to a specific school (e.g. qualifications, nostrification requirements etc.).
According to ASTRA SOS Hotline’s data, one of the most frequent methods of recruitment of trafficking victims is through job offers and job ads, where alleged employers advertise their need for workers of various profiles, promising excellent pay, accommodation, good working conditions, visa and work permit if needed. They can be found on the Internet and in the newspapers. Often the only contact info accompanying such offers is a mobile phone number or an e-mail address (gmail, hotmail, yahoo) which cannot be checked for which reason it is not possible to establish the validity of the offer and who is behind it.
If you want to travel abroad to continue education, find out what programs make it possible for you to go regularly – students’ exchange, enrolment in graduate and postgraduate studies, professional development programs. Search for schools and countries which offer programs and scholarships for students of your profile.
If you call ASTRA SOS Hotline to check the destination you already have some information about, we will try, in cooperation with our partner organizations in that country, to establish whether the company which offers you a job really exists there, its reputation, whether it is registered as a legal business, whether it is hiring new people etc.
If you contact the company/school in question directly, you can check the data you already have and clarify any questions you may have about the job i.e. enrollment, pay/tuition, your future responsibilities, accommodation, health insurance etc.
Labor legislation regulates rights, responsibilities and obligations arising from employment. It differs from country to country. Before leaving the country for the purpose of employment, it is important to examine labor legislation of the destination country, i.e. how the law regulates an employer-employee relationship.
Because of numerous abuses, frauds and possible trafficking in human beings through the labor market, ASTRA’s lawyers provide free legal aid in the form of examination of labor legislation of a specific country, examination of employment contracts offered to citizens who call, clarification of specific clauses etc. It takes 7 to 10 days for our lawyers to conduct legal analysis of the contract which is then delivered to the client in a written form.
According to the Law on Employment and on Unemployment Insurance, job brokering services in Serbia may be provided by the National Employment Service and employment agencies. In order to be offered a job by an employment agency in Serbia, a person must be a member of that agency and pay membership fee. Employment contract or preliminary employment contract is often not signed with the agency, but directly with the employer. Pursuant to Article 31 of the Law on Employment and on Unemployment Insurance, unemployed persons are entitled to the services of the National Employment Service and of employment agencies free of charge.
Employment agency may not provide employment to underage persons or employment which involves increased risk. The agency shall be registered with the Serbian Business Registers Agency providing previously obtained license from the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy. The Ministry shall issue this license based on the written request. The license shall be issued if the agency fulfills conditions in terms of adequate office, technical equipment and employees’ expertise. It shall be issued for the period of five years and may be extended, but it also may be revoked before the expiry of five-year period, in which case the new license may not be issued in the three years following the date of revocation. The Ministry runs the register of issued licenses and has a database on the founded agencies.
The list of licensed agencies is available on the website of the National Employment Service.
Citizens who contact us to check the agencies may also benefit from information that we obtain from other people who cooperated with the agency in question in the past and who shared their experience with us.
Contacts of nongovernmental organizations, trade unions and institutions in the country of destination or in neighboring countries
Contacts of diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Serbia are available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Information on the precautionary measures when traveling abroad
Have a look at other sources of information:
• Learn about the visa regime and the documents you need in order to work or study in a specific foreign country; you can obtain such information at the embassy of the country you plan to travel to.
• Take an active part in the preparation of the documents you need for your trip, do not let other people or an agency to do everything for you.
• If you are looking for work abroad through an employment agency, check whether the agency in question is licensed.
• Do not agree on verbal employment agreements and sign the contract only after having it checked by a lawyer or legal specialist you trust; sign only contracts which are made in your language or the language you fully understand. If it is a bilingual or multilingual contract, make sure that the content of the contract is the same in all languages.
• Find the address and phone number of our embassy or consulate in your country of destination, as well as contacts of relevant NGOs in case you need help;
• Before leaving contact directly your future school/university or employer and ask about everything you read on their website, heard from the agent or found out in some other way.
• Tell your parents or the person you trust when, where and whom with you are traveling, give them the address and phone number of the place where you are going to stay as well as the travel details (date, time, flight number and the like).
• Leave the photocopy of your passport and all your documents, as well as a recent photo with your parents or a person you trust before you leave.
• Keep your passport with you all the time and do not give it to anyone else but the police or immigration authorities.
Information is the best prevention so be informed!
Uninformed persons are at greatest risk!
NOTE: ASTRA do not act as a job broker nor can we recommend an employment agency.