Terms of Reference for the Editor of the Report on the position of Afghans in Serbia

Terms of Reference for the Editor of the Report on the position of Afghans in Serbia 

Published on February 10, 2023, by Atina – Citizens' Association for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and All Forms of Violence against Women (i.e., NGO Atina)

Name of the Project: Countering human trafficking and GBV among migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Serbia

Location/s: Republic of Serbia - Asylum centers in Belgrade, Šid, Bosilegrad, and other centers if needed and on call, Atina’s Reintegration center and Safe houses

Start and End Dates: April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023

Project is supported by the INGO International Rescue Committee 


Since 2015 when the European refugee and migrant crisis erupted, hundreds of thousands of people from different countries of Asia and Africa transited through Serbia and Western Balkan on their way to central and western Europe. After the migrant route was closed in 2016, refugees and migrants in Serbia found themselves in a so-called long stay and have remained in such a position ever since. According to data from the field, over 1/3 of refugees and migrants currently residing in Serbia originate from Afghanistan.

Migrants and refugees from Afghanistan, especially women, children, young men, and girls, are particularly vulnerable. They face severe violations of basic human rights, psychological, physical, and sexual violence, social stigma and marginalization, and constant fear for personal safety. During the years of Taliban terror, women in Afghanistan were publicly executed and exposed to sexual exploitation, honor killings, and forced child marriages. Boys and young men were also exposed to sexual exploitation through the bacha bazi brutal practice. Victims of these and other violations are still present among Afghan refugees who reside in Serbia, and arrivals originating from Afghanistan remain the most numerous group in the country. The takeover of power in Afghanistan by the Taliban in August 2021 caused many people to leave their homes and flee to other countries. Predictions say that migration in the coming period will be constant and continuous.

Atina has been reporting about gender-based violence and human trafficking victims among migrant and refugee populations since 2011 and has created a system of support. Atina actively coped with its consequences and assisted thousands of refugees and migrants through its mobile teams, Reintegration center, and other support services within the case management method. In providing direct support, Atina insists on age and gender-appropriate and women and child-centered approaches.


The official data show that for months now, the Afghan population has been the most dominant and prevalent among the migrants in Serbia. Even though the statistics show the presence of men, there are still difficulties in attempts to clearly and precisely determine the number of male unaccompanied children among them. As a result, many of these children remain in accommodation capacities with adult men, which prevents them from accessing their rights and places them at various risks that could be avoided with separate accommodations. In addition, the official state representatives in Serbia do not perceive the situation in Afghanistan as disputable and do not feel that there should be a contingency plan in case more migrants from Afghanistan arrive and stay in the country. The availability of information on whom they can turn to in systemic or individual cases of violence is also questionable; The refugee crisis only worsened this vulnerable group's position, as it caused additional violence against them. At the same time, refugee women and children who survived violence and exploitation experience difficulties in reaching essential support services, such as safe accommodation, health care, legal assistance, and access to justice.

Considering this, it was of utmost importance to ensure the provision of the necessary information, protection, and support services to refugee and migrant women and children, particularly those from Afghanistan, and to identify potential GBV and HT survivors among them. This has been accomplished through the regular presence of mobile teams in the field, particularly in those reception and asylum centres where a significant presence of migrants from Afghanistan has been recorded throughout Serbia.  Atina’s team regularly visited asylum and reception centres in Belgrade, Šid, Bosilegrad, and other places when needed and provided on-call services in Atina’s Reintegration center and safe houses. Also, mobile teams were visiting places where Afghans gather outside official Centres. With an informal referral mechanism in place, other NGOs and government institutions were reaching out to Atina for team interventions concerning migrants from Afghanistan in this type of need. To eliminate the risks of violence and enable full and successful recovery of GBV and HT survivors among refugees, it was also necessary to allow their access to safe accommodation and long-term support. 

However, the situation concerning identifying HT victims among the migrant population has not improved in Serbia. There has been a noticeably low number of reports, but also a discrepancy between the number of presumed (reported) and identified victims of trafficking. For instance, in 2018, there were three identified victims among 37 presumed; in 2019, 3 identified among only six presumed; in 2020, 2 identified among nine presumed; in 2021, only one victim was identified among the 21 presumed, while in 2022, 5 victims were identified among 20 presumed.


One editor with a specific background in research and journalism should carry out this task to show the actual state of affairs regarding the Afghans who were found on the territory of Serbia. 

The report should cover the period from April 1, 2022, to April 1, 2023, and be based on regular reports from the field (15 of them in total), project reports (4 of them in total), and interviews with mobile team members (3 of them). Upon reviewing all the available documents, the editor should propose a report structure and format, ensure coverage of key project activities and results, draft text, coordinate and design graphics, and finalize the report.

The document should also encompass stories from the field, present the experiences of Afghans, the context within the country since the Taliban takeover, and their journey toward Europe.

The report should indicate the degree of exposure to trauma and experiences of gender-based violence and human trafficking that Afghan migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers, especially women and girls, face on their way to and in Serbia. In addition, the document should present a situational context in Serbia regarding the attitude towards migration and migrants. 

The document should also reflect on civil society and citizens' difficulties assisting Afghan migrants in Serbia.

The Implementation of planning and delivering the report should last from February 28 until March 27, 2023.




20/02/2023 – 20/03/2023

Creation of the draft report

23/03/2023 - 27/03/2022

Delivering comprehensive report 



NGO Atina will negotiate a number of days of engagement with the selected editor based on the financial offer (gross amount) that will classify the following:


Activity description


Rate per day


Activity 1





Activity 2





Activity 3





Activity 4





*Add columns as needed depending on the number of activities needed to perform the assignment

            Subtotal                                                USD__________

            Other costs (specify)                             USD__________

            TOTAL                                                 USD __________

The total cost should cover all preparatory work regarding the job description, and communication costs between the Project team, consultants and organizations (e-mail, telephone, fax, mail).



The interested consultant should develop and submit the bidding proposal in English to respond to the above-mentioned specific tasks no later than February 16, 2023. The bidding proposal should include

1. Description and contact details of the editor applying;

2. A detailed Budget Proposal (in the required form);

3. CV of the editor involved emphasizing only relevant experience;

4. Past performance in similar areas concerning previous contracting agencies.


The project team will decide on the selection of the most successful bidder, subject to the available budget, based on the following four criteria:

  • University degree in the relevant field;

  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience;

  • Experience of the candidate in performing similar projects or programs;

  • An example of previous work as a reference of previous experience is desirable.


All bids need to be submitted no later than February 16, 2023, at 5 PM in electronic version, to the email marija.pantelic@atina.org.rs

A selection will be made no later than February 17, 2023, and the selected consultant will be contracted no later than February 20, 2023. Only the selected candidate will be informed.





[1] https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/SERBIA%20UPDAT...