OSCE Mission to BiH supports the combat against human trafficking

OSCE Mission to BiH supports the combat against human trafficking

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republica Srpska Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Centre (RS JPTC) recently co-organised a training course for judges and prosecutors, in Banja Luka. The training focused on differentiating between the crime of human trafficking and similar crimes, such as incitement of a child to prostitution.

“Although Bosnia and Herzegovina and its entities have taken many steps in the process of aligning domestic criminal codes with international standards, trafficking in human beings still presents a significant threat to the country’s fragile rule of law. One of the challenges that authorities face in investigating and prosecuting  human trafficking cases is the differentiation of this crime from other criminal offences bearing similar characteristics, such as those that involve sexual abuse and/or sexual exploitation,” said Dmitry Iordanidi, Head of Field Office Banja Luka of the OSCE Mission to BiH.

Head of the Sector for Continuous Training in RS JPTC, Slađana Marić, said that the co-operation between the OSCE Mission to BiH and the RS JPTC for the purpose of building capacity is highly appreciated by the training participants.

As the OSCE Mission to BiH announced, participants of the course emphasised the need for advanced co-ordination between the prosecutors’ offices and courts and other anti-trafficking structures, such as the national referral mechanism, to ensure that cases of trafficking, including cases of trafficking for sexual exploitation, are processed effectively and efficiently.

“Having in mind that the most frequent forms of exploitation of victims of trafficking are exploitation for prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation, it is necessary to establish criteria for differentiating this criminal offence from other criminal offences involving sexual abuse. That is required to avoid a situation in which we would by inadequate application of the law endanger victims’ rights,” Ivanka Marković, professor of Criminal Law of the Banja Luka Law Faculty, said.

Over the past years the OSCE Mission to BiH has consistently worked to support the capacity-building activities of the criminal justice sector in order to strengthen their ability to vigorously prosecute and adequately adjudicate on trafficking of human beings…/IBNA