Increased number of identified victims of trafficking, investigations and indictments in BiH

Increased number of identified victims of trafficking, investigations and indictments in BiH

SARAJEVO, July 30 (FENA) – State Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings at the BiH Ministry of Security Samir Rizvo pointed out that Bosnia and Herzegovina has come a long way in the fight against human trafficking, and significant efforts have been made over the past year to improve the fight against human trafficking at all levels of government.

“The number of identified victims increased by 30 percent compared to the previous year. The number of investigations and indictments has also increased, final verdicts have been passed with the maximum sentence for that crime, ten years for child traffickers,” he said.

As he pointed out, this progress was recognized in the US Government Report for 2021, as a result of the support that Bosnia and Herzegovina received from partners, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM BiH).

As Laura Lungarotti, Chief of the IOM Mission in BiH, emphasized, IOM will continue to provide important and necessary support to the BiH Government in improving the overall response in migration management.

“Combating trafficking in the most vulnerable categories remains a priority and focus of the IOM. For this reason, we will enhance the support we provide to the efforts of key actors, to ensure that potential victims of trafficking, in the context of mixed migration flows, are identified and provided with the protection and assistance they deserve, not only by international standards and basic human rights, but as an imperative of humanity,” she said.

As it was said today at the conference, IOM is putting children victims of trafficking at the center of its global campaign this year.

“Evidence show that unaccompanied migrant children are the most vulnerable category. Although progress has been made in BiH, the number of identified foreign victims of trafficking in BiH remains low. Last year, out of the 70 identified, only seven were foreigners. IOM BiH will continue to focus its operations and support in that specific area in the fight against human trafficking in BiH,” she said on the occasion of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

This year’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons global slogan is “Voices of Victims Pave the Way,” putting the victim of trafficking at the center of the campaign and emphasizing the importance of listening and learning from trafficking survivors.

The campaign portrays survivors as key actors in the fight against trafficking and focuses on the key role they play in establishing effective measures to prevent this crime, identify and rescue victims, and provide support on the path to rehabilitation.

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, known as the Palermo Protocol. Also, 26 years have passed since IOM globally began implementing anti-trafficking programs.

The BiH Ministry of Security and IOM organized a conference on the occasion of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in the Botanical Garden of the National Museum today.