Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) and the Montenegrin Women's Lobby (MWL) have organized the press conference on the occasion of the successful completion of the project "Let’s build sustainable anti-trafficking efforts in Montenegro!” supported by the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade. The main aim of the project was to contribute to the strengthening the capacity of identifying human trafficking victims, as well as improving the coordination and cooperation between the key stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking.
During the conference, CEDEM's Project Manager, Ms. Marija Vuksanović, MWL's Executive Director, Aida Petrović, and the Representative of the Office for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Sonja Perišić Bigović, gave a speech.
The Representative of the Office for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Sonja Perišić Bigović, has stated that the crime of human trafficking has always been difficult to be proven and that, due to a lack of evidence, it often reclassifies into another, related criminal offense.
She pointed out that Montenegro has recognized the gravity of the trafficking offense and did its best to, through a series of activities, establish a stable system for its combating.
On the other hand, Ms. Marija Vuksanović, put the emphasis on a couple of shortcomings in the following areas: the identification of the human trafficking victims, too mild penal policy towards the perpetrators and the potential reintegration of the victim after the completion of criminal proceedings, who are often left to fend for themselves.
"It is necessary that the State Prosecutor's Office, in cooperation with all the other bodies, primarily the police, provide higher level of evidence quality which will later be used during judicial proceedings and will not depend only on the testimony of the victim and his/her availability to the criminal prosecution bodies," explained Vuksanović.
MWL's Executive Director, Aida Petrović, has said that human trafficking found some other channels for its further establishment and development, explaining that sexual exploitation does not take place anymore only in a well-known cafes, clubs, "but on social networks, too."
She called on the media to report on human trafficking in the way that would help to eliminate prejudice, as well as raise awareness of the importance and seriousness of the crime of human trafficking.