Support victims of human trafficking in Serbia

by ASTRA - Anti trafficking action (ASTRA - Akcija protiv trgovine ljudima) Vetted since 2016 Site Visit Verified


ASTRA is an organization, established in 2000, with the goal to contribute to the eradication of human trafficking. Serbia is a poor country in transition, with dominant patriarchal values which contributes to the mistreatment of young women in society and the human trafficking is just one of the causes of this problem. ASTRA has assisted 470 victims of human trafficking during their recovery (40% were children). ASTRA helped them regain their self-esteem and let them take control of their life.

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Typically victims of trafficking face many disadvantages simultaneously, as they are the victims of multiple acts of violence even before they enter the trafficking chain. Young women are faced with multiple factors that make them at risk of exploitation such as: abuse, poverty, unemployment, poor access to education and discrimination. This problem is expected to become more apparent now that over 800 thousand refugees have entered Serbia and they become easy prey for traffickers.


The idea is not to find band-aid solutions, but to prevent further injuries and to stop the cycle of risk factors that continue generation after generation. This project will enable the re-establishment of health, social and economic integrity and the empowerment of autonomy to victims of trafficking. Victims will no longer be placed in closed shelters. Instead, services like alternative accommodation, support in starting education will support their quick recovery, reintegration, independence.

Long-Term Impact

Secondary victimization could have a dramatic impact on victims, whose capacities to struggle with trauma are seriously disrupted after their escape from the trafficking chain. By providing adequate psychological, medical and legal assistance secondary victimization is avoided. Once a young woman manages to see herself not as the weaker sex and a passive object, a slave of her own biography, but as a free, proactive person, then positive change is possible.


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Project Leader:
Marija Andjelkovic
Belgrade, Serbia

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