Last week, October 29 and 30, a training was held for law students. The participants were introduced in more detail to the problem of human trafficking in general, then child trafficking, and the methodology of monitoring trials for the crime of trafficking and related acts in trials involving children. This training aims to strengthen future professionals’ capacity to support children participating in court proceedings, monitor proceedings, and improve the level of children’s rights fulfillment within these proceedings.
On the first day of the training, after introducing the students to the program, the first session about the phenomenon of human trafficking followed. In this lecture, they also talked about why people became victims and trends, statistics, and the National Referral Mechanism for human trafficking victims. Marija Vukašinović (ASTRA) introduced the study cases to the students, followed by a discussion and exchange of opinions on the case from practice.
The second lecture during the first day of training was held by professor Milan Zarkovic, from the Criminal Police University, who spoke to students about the national and international legal framework governing the fight against human trafficking. In addition to clarifying general terms and defining the crime of human trafficking in the domestic and international legal system, Professor Žarković also spoke to students about his experiences from practice – human traffickers’ profile, ways of recruiting and exploiting victims.
On Friday, November 30, the second day of training began with a lecture by psychotherapist Biljana Slavković, a longtime associate of ASTRA, who talked about the profile of the victims of human trafficking, health and psychological consequences for victims of human trafficking, and the importance of understanding the victim’s trauma by professionals from the institutions. Special focus was given to the trauma effects that occur in child victims.
The second session was opened by lawyer Milena Banić, an associate of The Child Rights Centre, who spoke about children’s unique criminal proceedings position. In addition to reviewing the national and international legal framework for protecting juvenile victims or witnesses in criminal proceedings, Mrs. Banic also spoke about the practical experiences during her career. In the resumption of the second day of the training, lawyer Tanja Drobnjak, also an ASTRA associate, spoke about the fulfillment of children’s rights of human trafficking and related acts in criminal proceedings. Mrs. Drobnjak presented results of the monitoring of court practice so far for the criminal act of trafficking, and related offenses, in which the minors have participated.
The seminar ended with a conversation between the students and the representative of ASTRA, Srna Ignjatović and, a long-term associate of our organization, lawyer Tanja Drobnjak, who thanked the students for taking part in the seminar and active participation in the two-day training.
This training was organized within the project “Children’s Rights in Serbia – Improving the Position of Children in the Judicial System of the Republic of Serbia” (CRIS), which is jointly conducted by ASTRA, International Rescue Committee (IRC) and The Child Rights Centre (CPD). The project is supported through EU’s program “The Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC).
This project’s primary goal is to improve children’s position who have contact with the law by providing systemic assistance in fulfillment of the fundamental rights and support in proceedings conducted by public authority.