The Deputy Protector of Citizens, Jelena Stojanović, stated today that this independent state institution has intensified its work to protect against human trafficking, primarily children as the most vulnerable category of the population, and that last year, through its control procedures, it contributed to the identification of many victims of human trafficking.
"In 2022, as part of the control investigations, for the first time we sent two applications to the Centre for the Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking, based on which several victims were identified, who were provided with protection. We received initial information about the possibility of human trafficking from the media", Stojanović said at a lecture to students of the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade, as part of the Law Clinic for Combating Human Trafficking.
Stojanović introduced the students to the powers, working methods and competences of the Protector of Citizens, especially the new competences assigned to him by the Law on the Protector of Citizens adopted in November 2021, among which is the competence of the national rapporteur in the field of human trafficking.
She pointed out that the Protector of Citizens pays special attention to children and young people from vulnerable groups, such as children with disabilities, children belonging to national minorities, children victims of violence, abuse, exploitation and human trafficking, children on the move, children who live and work on the street, children without parental care.
"I emphasize once again that for the protection against human trafficking, the general information of citizens, especially children and young people, about the sources and types of risks of human trafficking is important. It is also necessary to have adequate and timely cooperation of the competent authorities on the protection of victims of human trafficking, which was absent in certain cases that we worked on, which resulted in the prolongation of the provision of protection to the victims", stated the Deputy Protector of Citizens.
The Protector of Citizens has many years of experience and knowledge in controlling the work of competent authorities when it becomes known that there is a suspicion of human trafficking or sexual abuse and abuse of children. We will continue the efficient work of this institution through the performance of tasks of the national rapporteur in the field of human trafficking, said Stojanović.