Serbia is a poor country 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's goal is to contribute to the eradication of human trafficking. Until now, ASTRA has assisted 507 victims of human trafficking during their recovery by providing legal, medical and psychological assistance as well as accompanying our clients through institutional procedures.
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. The use of new information technologies and social media has also facilitated the recruitment of victims and made the process less traceable.
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 economic empowerment to victims of trafficking. Services like alternative accommodation, support in starting education will support their quick recovery, reintegration, independence.
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 background and life circumstances but as a free, proactive person, then positive change is possible.