Anti-trafficking practices and challenges in the region: Functional mobile teams have a key role to play in identifying potential victims of trafficking

A regional exchange on experiences, good practices and challenges of the Mobile Identification Teams for identifying potential victims of human trafficking in the region took place on 28th and 29th October. Representatives of relevant government bodies, the non-governmental sector and international organizations involved in the fight against trafficking in human beings from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia participated at the two-day workshop titled “The role of Mobile Identification Teams (MIT) in combating trafficking in human beings in the Western Balkans”.

"Timely and efficient identification of victims is a crucial aspect in the overall fight against trafficking, and the process of prosecuting traffickers depends on such identification, as well as the process of providing protection and assistance to victims of trafficking," said Samir Rizvo from the State Anti-Trafficking Coordinator's Office within the Ministry of Security of BiH. 

The identification of potential victims is one of the most demanding aspects of the fight against trafficking in human beings, which is further complicated by the deteriorating economic situation due to the pandemic, comprehensive digitalisation and unpredictable migration flows.

Mobile identification of potential victims of human trafficking is one of the proactive ways to address this insufficiently visible problem in BiH, but also in the region. Mobile teams operate and work at the local community level, know the local environment, and through their work gain the trust of the most vulnerable population and represent one of the key links in the anti-trafficking system.

Mobile teams in BiH are currently under the auspices of the NGO sector.

"Systematic investment and coordinated action at the national level are necessary in order to standardize the services provided by the mobile teams so that they find a recognized place within the referral mechanism," said Sahiba Srba Grabčanović, from the Association Zemjla Djece in BiH.

The event was organised under the realm of the GIZ regional project „Preventing and Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings in the Western Balkans “, in cooperation with World Vision International in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Respecting all epidemiological measures, the participants from BiH gathered in Sarajevo, while the participants from the region followed the exchange via the Internet.