Zoran Pašalić, the Protector of Citizens, stated today that in the fight against trafficking in human beings, timely identification of trafficking either in the family or particular social groups is of utmost importance, and then urgent, adequate coordinated competent authorities’ reaction to protect THB victims.

“Trafficking in human beings poses a severe social problem, which is frequently invisible and may be anywhere without us being aware. This is why it is crucial to timely identify that it is human trafficking, which is something competent authorities should pay special attention to, and they would be monitored by the Protector of Citizens in the capacity of the National Rapporteur in the field of Human Trafficking who addressed the protection of victims of trafficking over the previous years,” Pašalić said.

Following the information from the media about suspicion of the trafficking in human beings, the Protector of Citizens launched its own initiative investigation to control the work legality and regularity of the Social Welfare Center “Solidarnost” Pančevo, Center for the Protection of Human Trafficking Victims, Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy and the Ministry of the Interior. This case ended before the court with a conviction against the abuser.

In the control investigation, the Protector of Citizens determined that the SWC in Pančevo and the Center for Protection of Victims of Trafficking did not react timely in this case, thus creating an environment that led to trafficking because they failed to timely recognize that it was human trafficking, and sent recommendations to these authorities to rectify shortcomings and improve the work.

“When it is not recognized timely that it is trafficking in human beings, the traumas that victim suffers are extremely difficult and long-lasting. This is why it is very important to determine as soon as possible, on the grounds of available information, that it is trafficking in human beings, especially when the victims of trafficking are children” Pašalić underscored.