The main focus of this Twinning project was to improve the practical implementation of existing laws and programmes aimed at combating trafficking in human beings (THB) and protecting victims of THB and to contribute to a more efficient fight against organised crime in Croatia. A crucial target was to enhance the cooperation between the Croatian Police and the State Attorney’s Office in detecting cases of THB – in particular committed by organized criminal groups – as well as to strengthen the cooperation among law enforcement agencies, responsible institutions in the framework of social welfare, NGOs and international organisations with a view to protect and support victims of THB. The project also aimed at enhancing the implementation of anti-trafficking strategies and action plans according to European standards with the full involvement of civil society. Finally, the project addressed prevention, education and awareness-raising regarding THB, not only among police officers, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, social workers, but also among the general public.
The Croatian partner institutions were the Governmental Office for Human Rights (as coordinating body), the Ministry of the Interior, especially the Organized Crime Department, the State Attorney's Office and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ) functioned as junior partner.
The project was successfully finalised in mid-2008. Among other outputs, a TV-spot with the Croatian soccer champion Davor Suker was produced as part of nationwide awareness-raising campaign (see attachments below). Another achievement was the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Croatian Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Health and Social welfare on the one side and the Red Cross and an NGO in the region of Split, both running shelters for trafficked persons, on the other side, following a well-established Austrian model of cooperation.
Claudia Hüttner, email@example.com