Photo: Council of Europe

The Deputy Protector of Citizens for Child Rights and Gender Equality, Ms. Jelena Stojanović, stated today that the cooperation of all competent bodies and Institutions is very important in combatting human trafficking and in the process of protecting the victims of such trafficking, as well as that the media have significant role in this combat.

“The Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings binds the Member States to take measures in order to prevent and eliminate human trafficking, and Article 11 recognizes the media as stakeholders in the combat against human trafficking and specifies the protection of victims’ identity and privacy”, said Stojanović in her address at the workshop for journalists organized by Council of Europe Office in Belgrade.

Stojanović added that the same Article of the Convention specified that member states should consider the adoption of the measures aimed at encouraging the media to protect the private life and identity of the victims and added that the protection of the privacy of victims in human trafficking meant not only the protection of their identity, but also the non-publishing of the photos of the premises in which they lived, interviews with close relatives or headlines.

The Deputy Protector of Citizens reminded that the Protector of Citizens was delegated the mandate of the National Rapporteur on the fight against human trafficking under the new Law on the Protector of Citizens and called on all journalists to contact this independent state institution regarding all doubts they have when reporting on human trafficking and victim protection.

The workshop for journalists on fact based ethical reporting on human trafficking was organized by the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, within the project "Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in Serbia" which is part of the joint program of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Horizontal facility for Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022 ".