Croatia is a destination, source, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Croatian women and girls, some of whom respond to false job offers online, fall victim to sex trafficking within the country and throughout Europe. Women and girls from Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other parts of Eastern Europe are subjected to sex trafficking in Croatia. Children are exploited in prostitution. Roma children from Croatia are at particular risk of forced begging in Croatia and throughout Europe. Women and men, including victims from Romania and Bosnia Herzegovina, are subjected to forced labour in agricultural sectors.
A March 2013 report from the European Commission highlighted Croatia’s low number of identified trafficking victims.
Croatia is rated as a Tier 2 Country by the US Department of State’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report indicating that the Government of Croatia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
CESI - Centre for Education, Counselling and Research
CESI is feminist organisation, devoted to improving the social position of women and the realisation of gender equality, and to full implementation of all laws and international mechanisms for human rights protection.
CESI has based its activities on work for general well-being and is focused on increasing participation of women in decision-making processes, prevention of gender-based violence, promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive rights and health, advancing women’s economic empowerment and position in the labour market. CESI uses different methods to achieve its goals: research and analysis; development of educational and prevention programmes, manuals and brochures, education and information; raising awareness, media campaigns; advocacy and lobbying. CESI was the first association in Croatia and in the region, which systematically dealt with raising awareness of young people on gender issues and prevention of intimate partner violence. In the last ten years over 50,000 persons - women, youth, teachers, representatives of governmental and public institutions, employers - directly participated in a variety of activities organised by CESI.
KEY CAMPAIGN ACHIEVEMENTS:
- More than 1650 young people have directly participated in TLG schools workshops in Croatia.
- 1500 copies of the educational pack, 1000 leaflets and 1000 stickers have been produced for dissemination during the campaign. A total of 1100 education packs, 1000 leaflets and 500 stickers have been disseminated in the first phase of the Croatian campaign.
- 60 teachers have been trained directly to conduct TLG workshops in schools across Croatia and TLG education packs have been disseminated to 50 schools with more than 2000 young people likely to have participated in workshops as a result.
- The Croatian TLG campaign was launched at a school in Zagreb with the British Ambassador speaking and extensive media coverage.
- The TLG film was played regularly on three different national TV stations over the course of five months in 2013. More than 1.5 million people will have seen the film through this coverage.
- The Ministry of the Interior included the TLG film and campaign materials in their anti-trafficking educational programme for schools. The TLG film was screened at an event at the border of Croatia and Serbia on the 2013 European Day Against Trafficking in Human Beings attended by both countries Chiefs of Police, government representatives, NGO workers and the media.
- The TLG film was screened at the INMusic Festival in Zagreb in June 2013 on screens at the main stage. 15,000 young people attended the event over three days and the film was screened throughout.
- 5000 leaflets and 300 badges were produced for dissemination throughout the second phase of the Croatian campaign.
- CESI and the Association of Students of Political Science Dijalozi organised a panel event entitled ‘Trafficking – Slavery of the 21st Century’ in June 2013 with representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at Zagreb University and the PETRA anti-trafficking network on the panel. 70 students aged 20-24 years old participated in the event and the event received media coverage from 3 radio stations, 1 TV station and 5 news websites.
- Awareness raising activities for girls in Sibenik were organised by CESI in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior. The activities used the TLG film and materials. 100 girls aged 16-18 participated. The event was covered by two TV stations, one radio station and two print media agencies. After these activities 20 of the girls organised their own awareness raising action, distributing TLG leaflets and stickers to people at the local shopping centre. Other workshops were held in partnership with the Ministry of the Interior, reaching a further 52 students.
- On 27th November 2013 the TLG project coordinator from CESI participated in a 30 minute educational programme for students on national TV in which she presented the TLG campaign and discussed different aspects of sex trafficking. The programme was screened twice on national TV.
- 54 peer educators from 18 schools took part in a three-day seminar in March 2014 to teach them about gender-based violence and human trafficking. Subsequently, the peer educators organised awareness-raising events using the TLG film in 14 schools with 1200 students aged 16-18 years old taking part.
- CESI held a panel discussion on sex trafficking on 10 March 2014 to mark International Women’s Day using the TLG film. The event was attended by prominent politicians and NGOs and received extensive media coverage from 2 local TV stations, two radio stations, 3 newspapers and 9 websites. The TLG film has been used to sensitise police and border control officers to the issue of human trafficking.