Anti-trafficking Legislation Passed

In August, the Serbian Parliament passed a series of amendments to the 2006 version of the Serbian Criminal Code in an effort to curb human trafficking. Article 388 increases the punishment for human trafficking offenders to between three and twelve years in prison, increases the minimum sentence for child traffickers to no less than three to five years in prison, and increases the minimum sentence for trafficking offenses committed by organized crime groups. Importantly, Article 388 allows both buyers and sellers to be prosecuted for trafficking, provided the buyer knew or could have known that the purchased services involve a trafficking victim.

 

Article 389 was renamed Trafficking in Minors for Adoption, expanding the protections of the Trafficking in Children for Adoption provision to everyone under the age of 16; the law previously protected only children under the age of 14. Because the amended legislation falls short of protecting persons up to 18 years of age, the the Code is still in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

Finally, Article 185, Showing Pornographic Materials and Abuse of Children for Pornography, was extended to allow prosecution for possessing and obtaining pornography created by abusing a child.

 

Compiled from: ASTRA- Anti Trafficking Action, “Legislative Activity.” (July/September 2009).