90 young people took part in the Anti-Trafficking Academy for Volunteers

During the 24th, until the 26th of March, a meeting was held online under the name of "Academy for Volunteers - 2021". The event was organized by the Local Commissions in the cities of Plovdiv, Pazardzhik and Veliko Tarnovo, with the support of the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.

About 90 young people from the three cities took part in the Academy, among them students from Plovdiv schools (Professional High School of Clothing "Anna Mai", Professional High School of Food Technology and Technology, Academic High School "Acad. Kiril Popov"; Ivan Vazov Language School, Plovdiv Language School, National Commercial High School; Lives in Varna, Dimitar Matevsky, "Petar Beron" Asen Zlatarov, St. Constantine and Helena St. Kiril and Methodius, Peyo Kr. Yavorov"; Professional School of Mechanical Engineering, St. Constantine and Helena University Paisii Hilendarski, "Tsar Simeon the Great", "Lyuben Karavelov" High School, Vasil Levski Sports School and Professional High School of Electricity and Electronics) and Bulgarian Red Cross - Plovdiv.

On the first day of the academy, the participants received basic concepts about the crime of trafficking in human beings, the methods of involvement and the ways of protection.

In the framework of the virtual meeting guest speakers were Prosecutor Svetoslava Pencheva from the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Plovdiv and Inspector Ivan Pochleev from the General Directorate Combating Organised Crime at the Ministry of Interior - Plovdiv, Pazardzhik and Smolyan.

Prosecutor Pencheva in his exhibition carried out a legal analysis of the crime and focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the identification of victims of trafficking in human beings, including increasing the vulnerability of at-risk groups to falling into a similar situation. Inspector Pocklev explained the types of cybercrimes, presented cases from his practice and last but not least gave valuable advice on improving the internet culture of young people.

The Volunteer Academy ended with a presentation on the problem of trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation and the particularly important role of adolescents in the process of work of the Local Commissions.

The aim of the event was to introduce young people to the crime, the risks in the global network, and the fact that it is increasingly being used by traffickers as a tool to involve potential victims.

Distance learning, social isolation and the inability of children and young people to communicate fully increases the possibility of becoming the subject of various crimes, including trafficking in human beings.