"Roma" in policy discourse on combatting trafficking in human beings in Serbia: perspectives of the national policy actors
CPS Junior Research Fellow Jelena Jovanovic will present her latest paper in the frame of the CPS Seminar Series.
This paper presents the results of a research on policy actors' narratives on 'vulnerability of Roma' to trafficking in human beings in Serbia. According to most of the policy actors interviewed for the study and a considerable amount of documents and research conducted on human trafficking in Serbia, 'Roma' are one of the "groups at risk" or "vulnerable groups" and they constitute at least half of the identified victims of human trafficking. However, they are not singled out as one of the "vulnerable groups" in strategic anti-trafficking policy documents in Serbia, neither in National Strategy to Prevent and Suppress Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children nor in its accompanying National Action Plan. I intended to find out why is this the case in order to, firstly, map the ideas upon which the concept of 'Roma' is reconstructed in the anti-trafficking policy discourse and compare these processes to the reconstructions of other 'vulnerable groups' and, secondly, critically assess power relations among the policy actors by looking at the policy creation as a decision making process. The research findings demonstrate the relevance of the narratives on 'Roma' as victims of trafficking to the anti-trafficking policy formation and implementation. In this paper, I reveal and reflect on the anti-trafficking discourse on 'Roma' and discuss its implications to the anti-trafficking policy.