Article Index

“TRAFFICE BY GOODS NOT BY PEOPLE”

supported by Star World Learning, project BATCOM – ZONTA International Foundation

The aim of this Project was to raise the awareness of young people, 13 – 18 age, about the trafficking issues in a preventative way. 18 interactive workshops were attended by 251 students from all three secondary schools and 492 students from all three primary schools in Trebinje. This makes total of 743 young people.

One thing that became obvious through implementation of this Project is that there is a very low level of awareness about this issue within this category, and this became clear through surveys. Their starting level of knowledge is worrying because it reflects the level of knowledge of other young people in the same age who were not involved in this Project, and even more because Trebinje is placed on the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro and with the accent on transition and poverty. Official information about trafficking in this region do not exist even though there are indications that have been mentioned in our surveys.

For example, one young person on the question “does the trafficking problem exist in the region?” answered: “Of course, I heard that many trafficking victims go through this region.” About 98% of people in the surveys think that there is a trafficking issue in our country. All these highlight the importance of preventative acting and the need to raise the awareness of this target category because they are in the most cases victims of trafficking. This Project became very interesting for the public and the youth that expressed their wish for a continuation, not only through workshops, seminars and public debates but also through wide emissions in the media about this issue. They even say that this could be one of the measures that should be undertaken with the aim to stop human beings trafficking.

We think that this Project was useful and helpful to everybody, from students, parents, institutions working with these issues (police at the first place, because this might be one of the ways for trafficking prevention) to our organization that developed its capacities in this way and learned a lot about this issue. One success is that the director of the 2nd primary school insisted that all children/young people go through these workshops because he recognized their importance and the problem itself. This Project was important for us because it made our existing cooperation with schools and the police much stronger. It also created a link between our organization and girls and boys from these schools who started to ask for different activities – help and advice, which is certainly a great success.The activities from this Project are shared, as examples of good practice, with other environments in Herzegovina (rural areas of municipalities Trebinje, Capljina and Ravno and schools in municipalities Nevesinje, Bileca and Ljubinje).

The new Project “Stop trafficking by people” is financed by the American Embassy because they recognized, through visiting our organization and seeing the activities and results of the Project “Traffic by goods and not by people”, that this method of work (education of target categories, young women/girls), is an important way of a preventative fight against trafficking. The materials that have been handed out to the workshop participants in BATCOM Project and the surveys will be used in this new Project and handed out to participants in the above mentioned municipalities in schools and rural areas.