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Montenegrin delegation takes part in OSCE 24th Conference of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons in Vienna

On 15 and 16 April, the OSCE Mission to Montenegro supported participation of Montenegrin delegation in 24th high-level Conference of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons, attended by more than 800 participants from the OSCE region and beyond in Vienna.

The Montenegrin delegation included Tijana Šuković, Head of the Department for Combating Human Trafficking in the Ministry of Interior, Danka Ivanović-Đerić, Prosecutor in the High State Prosecutor’s Office and Bojana Bandović, independent advisor in the Supreme Court.

In her address to the participants of the conference, Šuković stated that Montenegro has intensified activities on implementation of reforms in fight against human trafficking and a more robust response to this problem, both from the criminal law aspect and in terms of proactive and preventive approach to it at all levels. “Montenegro remains dedicated to acting on a bilateral and multilateral level in the domain of combating trafficking in human beings, as an active and reliable partner in order to attain the best possible quality of joint future,” said Šuković.

She added that in three years, ten training courses educating 149 police officers, social workers and NGO representatives have been organized with the support of the OSCE Mission, based on the Mission’s Guidelines for conducting interviews with persons suspected of being THB victim, with a set of questions.

OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid said: “If we are to ever defeat trafficking, and this undoubtedly must be our shared ambition, effective approaches to prevention must be the bedrock upon which our anti-trafficking efforts are built. Preventing trafficking in human beings from taking place is the best way to truly protect vulnerable groups and deprive traffickers of the illicit proceeds the crime generates.”

Dr. Kari Johnstone, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Human Trafficking said that traffickers prey on the marginalized and most vulnerable. “But we are witnessing an emerging trend where the demographic profile of trafficking victims is also expanding, at pace with the digital developments in which we are living. We are witnessing an evolution of trafficking where it intersects or even merges with other crimes such as drugs, or fraud and scams where perpetrators are disguised behind victims,” said Johnstone.

At the 24th Conference of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons, OSCE leaders and anti-trafficking experts called on the 57 OSCE participating States to move beyond awareness-raising campaigns, underscoring the urgent need to re-evaluate prevention efforts in the face of evolving trafficking tactics. During panels and break-out sessions, participants discussed concrete ways to reshape trafficking prevention.

The OSCE Mission to Montenegro will continue to support national authorities in combatting human trafficking, adjusting its co-operation and activities to the conclusions of the conference.