Developing Minimum Standards for Professionals in the Balkans Responding to the Trafficking of Women and Girls for the Purposes of Sexual Exploitation

January 1, 2003


The objective of this capacity-building project was to contribute to international efforts to combat trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation within and from the Balkans, through the expansion, and awareness, of good practice in governmental, non-governmental and voluntary local agencies. The mechanism was to pilot training for trainers (TfT) courses for multi-agency groups in Albania, Bosnia & Herzogovina, Kosovo, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM), and Montenegro. Croatia was added at a later point upon the request of a government representative. The training package provided participants with a human rights framework, and a minimum standard of expertise in counter-trafficking and related issues. In addition, it was intended that it would contribute to a more effective and sensitive approaches to trafficked women and girls by relevant officials and agencies. The course was also validated by London Metropolitan University.

Overall aims and objectives:

  • develop training materials and resources drawing on agency experiences and knowledge of trafficking as forced migration and victim vulnerability in each Balkan country;
  • conduct training based on the developed materials for those involved in preventing and curtailing trafficking, assisting women and girls, and those with a remit for responding to human rights violations;
  • conduct Training for Trainers within specific organisations to encourage a sustainable multiplier effect (cascade training model);
  • promote the most effective interventions and best practices and resources in the field through dissemination of the results of the project.

Main Outcomes:

  1. The TfT was implemented as intended in each target country, and the innovative delivery mechanism meant that almost 4000 citizens in the Balkans – both professionals and members of civil society – received training on trafficking through the cascade mechanism. In addition there were other welcome outcomes, such as the emergence of inter-agency networks.
  2. A sizable pre-reading document was developed including an up-to-date country audit for all six countries. Course materials, including overheads for presentations, exercises and additional handouts were produced. All materials were prepared in the local language, and in English. A library of additional materials was compiled and left as a reference tool for participants on the course, and housed in the local IOM office post-course.
  3. Each training course and follow-up day was successfully delivered, to a multi-agency group of relevant individuals and organisations. All of the organisations specified in the original proposal were represented on the training courses.
  4. A total of 167 attended the course as full participants, 117 qualified, and 3835 additional persons received training through the delivery mechanism.
  5. Examples of good practice which emerged during the earlier courses were then used as examples in subsequent courses, and, where possible, direct links provided for individuals/organisations. CWASU have also promoted the good practice emerging through this project to IOM and more widely.
  6. The STOP funded Stopping Traffic Project (see below) is a direct outcome of this Project, with one of its aims being to promote more respectful and informed exchange between Western European countries and the Balkans.
  7. The Project website was also established in order to: build on best practices and maintain contact; enable future partnerships; provide access to relevant links, and provide access to all training and library materials in the course languages of Albanian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian and English. In order to enable linking of origin, transit and destination countries, the materials from the STOP Project are also available in English, Romanian, Italian and Danish. Participants from those courses are being encouraged to link with those from this Project’s courses.
  8. A website: (expired November 2005).

Grant Holder: The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) London as the project managers, with CWASU as the implementing partners

Sponsor: The Department for International Development (DfID), UK.