Jelena Hrnjak

Committed to the Cause: Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking

Photo: UNODC

On the occasion of July 30, World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been publishing stories of people working on the frontline to end human trafficking. Our colleague Jelena Hrnjak, Programme Manager of NGO Atina, took part in the campaign and shared her thoughts and insights.  

My job in Atina is to make sure that our long-term social inclusion programme for trafficking survivors functions smoothly.


Growing number of women killed in domestic violence


Violence against women is on the rise in Serbia, according to data from the Safe House Belgrade, while the Autonomous Women's Center says that almost every third perpetrator repeats the act whose direct or indirect victims in a number of cases are children.

In the period from January to June, 14 women were killed in domestic violence, which is five more than in the same period last year, Vesna Stanojević coordinator of the Safe House said to “Vesti”.

English Children are the most common victims of human trafficking

Photograph: Piroshki Photography

The arrest of a Center for Social Work employee from Vranje, who tried to assist an Albanian citizen in adopting a girl from Serbia with falsified documents, once again drew public attention to an increasing number of cases of human trafficking in Serbia. According to Jelena Hrnjak from Citizens Association Atina for combating human trafficking, 60 percent of human trafficking victims in Serbia are children.


BLIC: "They act as friends, offer a job and quick profits” We investigate: Who and how falls prey to cruel human traffickers

“An arrest for human trafficking and mediation in prostitution” - not a month goes by without newspaper columns being filled with articles about the exploitation of people, workers, women for the purpose of human trafficking. “Blic” has been exploring this phenomenon, who the most common victims are, but also how we can deal with it as a society.


Jelena Hrnjak: Human Trafficking Victims are the Bravest Women of All

(, photo: Dragan Todorović)

Jelena Hrnjak: Human Trafficking Victims are the Bravest Women of All

Some of the bravest women and girls I have ever met were human trafficking victims. Those were the women who boldly stood in a courtroom and put traffickers in their place, resisting the system that crucified them with social attitudes and expectations. That boldness and bravery is what drives me, and should drive us all.  


RTS: Traffickers are mostly known to the victim

After drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking is one of the most lucrative illegal businesses. The most common victims are children and women. The number of people globally at risk of falling prey to this crime ranges between tens of thousands to several millions. Since the beginning of the year, 25 victims of human trafficking have been identified in Serbia. On European Anti-Trafficking Day, a message is sent to all the citizens that they are obliged to report this criminal offense.