Joint Programme in the area of Anti-Human Trafficking in Serbia under UN.GIFT

UNODC-UNHCR-IOM Meeting with state secretaries (23 March 2009) and donor roundtable (25 March 2009)

Belgrade, Serbia

serbia joint programme The UNODC Regional Programme Office for South East Europe (RPOSEE), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Mission to Serbia and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mission to Serbia organized two roundtables in Belgrade on the joint programme in the area of Anti-Human Trafficking in Serbia which was developed under the UN.GIFT.

The first roundtable was held on 23 March 2009 to share the joint programme with national counterparts and collect their views and feedback on the document.

All relevant ministries (Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Commissariat for Refugees, Deputy Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) were invited to the event and the majority of them participated.

This was followed by a roundtable which took place on 25 March with the presence of representatives from various embassies and cooperation and development agencies in Serbia. The aim of this second event was to present the finalized joint programme document to the donor community in Serbia.

Both meetings were opened by Mr. Lennart Kotsalainen, UNHCR Representative in Serbia, Ms. Carla Ciavarella, UNODC Regional Programme Coordinator for South Eastern Europe, and Mr. Gregoire Goodstein, IOM Chief of Mission to Serbia.

The development of the joint programme in Serbia started at the beginning of December with a desk review, followed by a meeting with all relevant national stakeholders, one week field mission throughout Serbia, and finally individual meetings with line ministries, civil society and other relevant international organizations. The UN.GIFT funded a three month consultancy for the development of such programme.

The joint programme was developed in line with all international legal instruments signed and ratified by the Government of Serbia, particularly the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children. Furthermore, the programme is fully in accordance with the newly drafted national action plan which the joint programme aims at operationalizing, hence directly responding to the needs of the government of Serbia. At the same time, the joint programme represents the first integrated and comprehensive framework in the area of anti-human trafficking in Serbia, following the structure of the 3 P's (prevention, prosecution and protection) with the three agencies (UNODC-UNHCR-IOM) working together according to their own respective mandates.

Following an innovative structure, the presentation of the joint programme, during both events, was jointly conducted by the joint programme consultant hired under the UN.GIFT and the Anti Human Trafficking National Coordinator, who pointed out, outcomes by outcomes, the consistency of the joint programme with the Serbian national action plan.

The joint programme, through its holistic approach, can represent a turning point and a strong added value to the fight against human trafficking in Serbia, as it has also emerged from the meeting with line ministries. Further to the donor roundtable, the three agencies will continue in jointly fundraising for the programme, with the hope of starting the implementation as soon as possible.