Conference “The position of victims of trafficking in Serbia in the light of victims’ rights to reflection” was held on December 7th 2017 in Belgrade. It was organized by the Center for the Protection of Victims of Trafficking from Belgrade and the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). Experts from all relevant institutions in the region have been gathered to exchange experiences and good practices. The Child and Youth Protection Centre of Zagreb was represented by Director, Prof. Dr. Sc. Gordana Buljan Flander and psychologist Ella Selak Bagarić.

The Conference was opened by Nina Mitić, Assistant to the Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, Mitar Đurašković, National Coordinator for Combating Human Trafficking, Aleksandar Kirilenko from the Office of the Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Human Trafficking of OSCE and Joseph Mellott, Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia.

The legal framework for victims in criminal proceedings was presented at the Conference as well as the limitations of victim’s rights in practice in the sense of conflicting regulations. The participants also discussed the process of the investigation especially considering the possible risk of secondary victimization. The importance of providing psychological support and challenges of this process was highlighted, as well as the experiences and practices of other countries in exercising the right to reflection and the participation of victims in criminal proceedings. The importance of psychotherapeutic support for the victims was underlined during the Conference.

Prof. Dr. Sc. Gordana Buljan Flander held a lecture “What do children (trafficking victims) need before, during and after the trial?”. During the lecture professor presented findings of scientific research about childhood stress predictors during court proceedings, the most common fears and needs of children. Professor Buljan Flander explained international legal standards as a framework for action and the implementation process of child protection from theory to practice. The importance of child-friendly access was highlighted, as well as the work of our Center in the light of child support and cooperation with the courts. Let us remind the public that the Center allows courts in Zagreb to conduct interviews with a child in its facilities reserved for forensic activity, by an educated expert from the Center. Our psychologist Ella Selak Bagarić also participated in the Conference.

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