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Raising awareness about human trafficking in the Western Balkans…

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Raising awareness about human trafficking in the Western Balkans through social media

IOM launched a two-week social media campaign in the Western Balkans to coincide with the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30.

Under the motto “Be aware. Be careful. Get Help”, the campaign aims to cover the broad spectrum of prevention by raising awareness of the dangers and different forms of human trafficking and by reminding people of the few actions that everyone can take to be safe, get help and help (potential) victims.

Recognizing that anyone can become a victim of trafficking, the campaign focuses on the most prevalent forms of human trafficking identified in the Western Balkans: sexual exploitation, forced labor, forced begging and forced marriage .

While some forms of human trafficking are well known to the general public, others, particularly those prevalent in the region, are more difficult to spot.

By disseminating messages in local languages ​​across the region, IOM aims to tailor its approach to local contexts, raise awareness of these specific issues and remind everyone of the role they can play in ending human trafficking. Human being.

“In the Western Balkans, human trafficking is recognized as one of the most pressing challenges linked to irregular migration, human rights violations and organized cross-border crime,” said Nerimana Rifatbegović, IOM Sub-Regional Project Manager..

“Intensified and more complex mixed migration movements have increased vulnerability to trafficking in the region. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers crossing or stuck in the region are all at risk of being trafficked, especially women and unaccompanied children,” she said. added

Over the past year, identified victims of trafficking were both national and foreign nationals, exploited in the region or abroad, making the Western Balkans a region of origin, transit and destination for Victims of Trafficking (VoT) – children, women and members of minorities being the most vulnerable groups.

The campaign, developed within the sub-regional project “Western Balkans Joint Action Against Human Trafficking” funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supports IOM’s long-term commitment and activities to end human trafficking globally and in the region.

While IOM Kosovo* was developing a national awareness campaign in June 2022, in July IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina officially launched a new mobile application to improve assessment, more proactive identification of trafficking victims and better assistance and support to (potential) victims. The application uses indicators developed specifically adapted to the four most widespread forms of trafficking in the country.

Going forward, IOM will continue to build the capacity of frontline actors detect, identify, guide and assist people in vulnerable situations in the Western Balkans, by applying Protection-sensitive approaches to helping victims of trafficking.

For more information please contact François Lhoumeau at +387 61 686 453. Email frlhoumeau@iom.int

* References to Kosovo must be understood in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).

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