ASTRA is a local grass-root non-governmental organization dedicated to the eradication of all forms of trafficking in human beings, especially in women and children, as well as an efficient search for missing children and protection of children after they have been found, applying a comprehensive approach, with the aim of eliminating this specific form of violence by promoting a society free of all forms of exploitation, violence, discrimination and economic and social inequalities.
VALUES WE EMBRACE IN OUR WORK
– Respecting human rights in accordance with international standards
– Tolerance and appreciation of differences
– Highest standards of work
– Dedication and commitment
ASTRA was established in 2000 as the first actor to raise the issue of human trafficking in Serbia. ASTRA applies a holistic approach to the human trafficking problem, i.e. it deals with all forms of human trafficking and all categories of survivors – women, children and men, focusing its activities concurrently on direct victim assistance and reintegration, prevention, education, public awareness raising, research and networking, advocacy at a strategic and operational level and supporting the building of a functional and efficient counter-trafficking system which fully respects victims’ rights.
Serbia is the country of origin, transit and destination/exploitation of trafficking victims. At the beginning of our work, the whole of society – both citizens and state authorities – were ignorant of the problem and how important it was to fight it. For this reason, ASTRA pays special attention to work on public awareness raising and human trafficking prevention, as well as to the education of all actors – government and civil society – involved in the process of assisting survivors in their recovery and reintegration and criminal prosecution of perpetrators.
So far ASTRA conducted or participated in nine large-scale anti-trafficking media campaigns “Open Your Eyes” (2002), “There Is a Way Out” (2004), “Save the Children from Human Trafficking” (2005), “Child Trafficking – Our Reality” (2006), “Naked Facts” (2008), “Stop Trafficking in Children” (2011), “Labour Exploitation. Human Trafficking. Serious and Organized Crime” and “Stop Labour Exploitation” (2012), “Prevent, protect, compensate” (2014).
Within its Prevention and Education Program ASTRA has organized or participated as lecturer in basic and specialized trainings for police officers, judges and prosecutors, medical doctors, school teachers, social workers, NGO activists, human rights lawyers and media representatives. Special attention is paid to work with young people, who are, although broad and diverse, the category under high risk of trafficking. They are reached out through workshops, lectures, street actions, peer education, etc. and ASTRA’s activists seek to be present at all events frequented by young people.