EU anti-trafficking day The role of civil society organizations in the fight against human trafficking and realization of the rights of the victims

Human trafficking is a reality in North Macedonia.

There are many challenges in dealing with human trafficking and ensuring the support and rights of victims of human trafficking.

Timely identification of cases of human trafficking, including labor exploitation, is necessary, which is a condition for the victim to access services, support and access to legal remedies. There is a lack of capacity, education and recognition of already existing indicators for identifying victims, especially the recognition of labor exploitation in the informal sector. On the other hand, a large part of the victims do not recognize themselves, especially men, or they are afraid to report and fear of contact with the police and authorities.

Human trafficking in our country as well as globally is not sufficiently identified. In North Macedonia, the discovery of traditional forms of human trafficking is still leading, the most dominant form is sexual exploitation, which is usually carried out in catering facilities and night clubs in the western part of the country. Labor exploitation is carried out through forced work in catering facilities combined with sexual exploitation, and labor exploitation for the needs of agriculture, livestock and through forced begging. There are also practices of forced marriage as a form of human trafficking.

For these reasons, on the occasion of the EU day against human trafficking, Open Gate on 16-17 October 2022 conducted the training of civil society organizations on their role in the fight against human trafficking and realizing the rights of victims with a special emphasis on labor exploitation.

– What are the new trends, modus operandi and differences

– Forms of trade, representation, causes and consequences

– Mechanisms for identification referral and protection

– Comparison of the situation between countries in the region

– The challenges in realizing the rights of the victims

The training was intended for the members of the NGO platform for combating human trafficking and was conducted in cooperation with our long-standing partners ASTRA, with the aim of exchanging experiences and good examples of advocacy initiatives of civil society organizations and networking.

Open Gate has been actively working to prevent human trafficking for 22 years through the effective implementation of programs for prevention, representation and support of victims and is a member of La Strada, the European network of non-governmental organizations. We manage the only Center for Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence as well as operating the SOS line 24/7 for anonymous and free reporting of a case of human trafficking and/or for referral, advice and information –0800 11111.

The project is financially supported by the EU