Response to Human Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence Among the Asylum and Refugee Population in the Republic of Serbia

<p>According to the official statistics in&nbsp;January 2018, there are 4,314 refugees and migrants in Serbia, most of whom are women and children. They are the most vulnerable group&nbsp;of the refugee and migrant population, especially when it comes to their exposure to&nbsp;human&nbsp;trafficking and all forms of gender-based violence. As&nbsp;there are no unified&nbsp;statistics on the number of cases of those who survived&nbsp;violence among the&nbsp;migrant population in the Republic of Serbia, Association Atina&nbsp;has a need to further research&nbsp;this phenomenon and try to respond to the challenges that are arising&nbsp;in practice, to facilitate further actions in revealing various criminal offenses&nbsp;committed against women and children&nbsp;refugees and&nbsp;migrants. In this regard, Association Atina has, in cooperation and with the support of the Permanent&nbsp;Mission of France to the United Nations and the&nbsp;International Organizations in Vienna, created&nbsp;and launched a&nbsp;project “Response to Human Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence Among the Asylum and Refugee&nbsp;Population in the Republic of Serbia”.</p>

<p>The project itself is aimed at improving the response and protection of victims of human trafficking, gender-based violence and other related criminal offenses&nbsp;such as smuggling, forced&nbsp;marriages, sexual intercourse with a child, domestic violence, neglect, abuse of children and minors.&nbsp;The focus of all project activities are challenges faced by professionals in three local communities in Belgrade, Sid,&nbsp;and Vranje as communities with&nbsp;a high&nbsp;number of migrants. The aim is to assist&nbsp;these communities through a detailed&nbsp;analysis with recommendations, help&nbsp;them&nbsp;improve the support and protection of refugees and migrants who&nbsp;have&nbsp;survived,&nbsp;or are at high&nbsp;risk of, human&nbsp;trafficking and/or gender-based violence. Also, the solutions this project&nbsp;shall propose&nbsp;can be easily&nbsp;replicated in&nbsp;all&nbsp;the&nbsp;communities in Serbia facing&nbsp;the same or similar challenges.</p>

<p>The project envisages a creation of&nbsp;Analysis of the existing systemic response to protection of victims of human trafficking and gender-based violence,&nbsp;with recommendations for future conduct. Representatives of local institutions&nbsp;for&nbsp;the accommodation&nbsp;of migrants, as well as civil society activists and other actors who may,&nbsp;or do, come in contact with migrants and asylum seekers&nbsp;will also give their contribution to the Analysis. At the end of May,&nbsp;a joint conference will be held in Belgrade for&nbsp;all the professionals involved, as well as the wider community and experts&nbsp;from France&nbsp;who&nbsp;will contribute to the development of a joint&nbsp;document for further advocacy on&nbsp;the improvement of&nbsp;the existing systemic response to the challenges they&nbsp;are&nbsp;facing&nbsp;in the field&nbsp;of&nbsp;protection of migrants and refugees in Serbia. The project started in December 2017,&nbsp;and will last until November,&nbsp;2018.</p>