New Report: Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe
Tuesday, April 12, 2005 10:35 AM

The countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Bulgaria, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and the UN Protectorate of Kosovo are the subjects of a report co-produced by UNICEF on the prevention of trafficking in human beings in South Eastern Europe (SEE).

The report describes the changing phenomenon of trafficking in these countries. For example, fewer trafficked women are returning to their countries of origin after their victimization abroad. Further, victims are refusing assistance that would enable them to return to their home countries, which suggests that such individuals are hesitant to go home.

Also changing are the SEE Governments’ responses to trafficking, as governments in this region have begun to take initiative in developing anti-trafficking measures through the enactment of legislation and NPAs (National Plans of Action). Although strong political commitment exists in the region to prevent trafficking, the measures that regional governments have taken have not always proven to be the most efficient means to respond to the problem. For example, migration, prostitution and organized crime have remained the focus of prevention campaigns whereas long-term strategies to curb trafficking have been left out of the equation. In addition, poorly organized educational campaigns, the inadequate number of re-integration programs and the ongoing problems of poverty, discrimination, lack of education and unemployment continue to thwart prevention efforts.

The report proposes that the region should remedy such deficiencies by recognizing the links between poverty reduction, development, gender equality and anti-trafficking programs, understanding and analyzing the problem of trafficking in a broader socio-economic context, developing flexible programs that facilitate cooperation between institutions focused on development issues and those focused on trafficking, and researching the impact of economic reform and the demand-side of trafficking.

Please click here to read the report.

Compiled from: Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe, Barbara Limanowska, Published by UNDP, March 2005.