Human Trafficking Victims in Bosnia ‘Need Better Protection’: Report

The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, GRETA, an independent monitoring group, said in a report for the Council of Europe published on Tuesday that Bosnia and Herzegovina's has improved legislation to combat human trafficking but it needs to be implemented more effectively to ensure protection and justice for victims.

The report said that 306 potential victims of human trafficking were identified in the period from 2017 to 2021. A total of

191 of them were children, many of whom were exploited by being forced to beg, primarily by family members.

Due to their difficult socio-economic situation, members of the Roma community are particularly vulnerable to this form of exploitation, the report said.

"GRETA urges the authorities to strengthen the prevention of child trafficking, including by providing adequate financial support to day-care centres for children in street situations," the report said.

GRETA is an independent body which monitors the way countries implement the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. Its report was based on a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in September last year and information provided by the authorities and civil society organisations.

"As regards other forms of exploitation, GRETA was informed that sexual exploitation mostly took place in private accommodation, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic," the report said.

It noted that some improvements have been made to the criminal code of the Republika Srpska entity, which was amended to include the terms "servitude", "forced begging" and "other forms of sexual exploitation".

It also noted that the state-level Justice Ministry plans to propose amendments to the...

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