Bosnia and Herzegovina is affected by crimes related to human trafficking, specifically forced child labor and begging, sexual exploitation, child pornography, and child marriage. Traffickers prey upon domestic and foreign victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and sometimes take victims from Bosnia and Herzegovina to other countries as well.
As Larisa Klepac, the Director of World Vision BiH, confirms, “61 potential victims of human trafficking were registered in BiH in 2019, with 36 being children. We are deeply concerned about these children, especially since these numbers may not reflect the true scope of the problem given under-reporting and the relative invisibility of cases like forced child labor, child marriage and begging.”
Acting through two complementary projects, with the support of the United States Department of State and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)–acting in on behalf of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)–World Vision BiH partnered with the Association Zemlja Djece and the Roma Information Center – Kali Sara to create a multi-sectoral approach that contributes to solving this insufficiently visible problem.
World Vision BiH and our partners are taking critical steps to address trafficking. The development of a protocol for dealing with cases of begging, vagrancy, labor exploitation, and other forms of child abuse at the municipal and regional level in BiH, as well as improving access to mobile teams for the identification of (potential) victims of trafficking in the Western Balkans, are among these.
“We need a decisive, coordinated effort and greater investment by the actors involved, but also increased education and the involvement by the local community and the general public to better address this devastating the problem,” explains Dragana Bulic, a Project Manager for World Vision BiH.