Media play an important role in the fight against human trafficking

Photo: Jakov Simović, JK Media Plus

The 25 media representatives from all over Serbia who followed the first training session on ethical and fact-based reporting on trafficking in human beings, organised on 31 March 2022 in Belgrade, unanimously agreed that “media and journalists can be a megaphone when it comes to promoting the protection of human rights as they give a voice to those who cannot be heard”.

The special guest Jelena Stojanovic, Deputy Protector of Citizens for Gender Equality, recognised the important role that media play in the fight against trafficking in human beings. She informed that a recent law had established the National Rapporteur on trafficking in human beings within the Office of the Protector of Citizens and called on all participants to address this independent institution when they come into contact with victims of trafficking and need advice on how to report on their situation. Jelena Stojanovic also referred to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and its Article 11 requiring from the member States to ensure the protection of the private life, identity and personal data of victims of trafficking.

The media representatives learned about human trafficking, communication and interview methods with victims, most common mistakes in reporting on human trafficking cases, ICMPD guidelines on media and trafficking in human beings, thanks to the presentations by Jelena Hrnjak, journalist and anti-trafficking activist from NGO Atina and Madis Vainomaa from the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

The training was organised by the Action "Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings in Serbia", implemented within the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022.

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