Students from Pazardzhik took part in the "Academy for Volunteers 2021"

By the initiative of the three Local Commissions for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in Veliko Tarnovo, in Pazardzhik and in Plovdiv, supported by the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, during  the period from 24.03.2021 to 26.03.2021, a meeting under the name of “Mini Academy for Volunteers” with the main focus on the subject being “Trafficking in Human Beings: Opportunities for Prevention” among students and adolescents by using the method “peers teach peers”. Because of the pandemic, the Academy was held for the first time in this regional format and in an online environment, in the ZOOM platform. Nearly 90 students from those regions expressed a desire to participate in it.

Within the first day, the secretaries of the three Local Commissions introduced the participants to the essence of the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings – definition, types, similarities and differences with migration/immigration and smuggling; methods of involvement and control mechanisms for victims of trafficking in human beings. The theme of the volunteering and the role of volunteers in the prevention activities of the Local Commissions for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings was also introduced.

On the second day, Prosecutor Stanislava Pencheva from the Republic of Plovdiv analyzed the crime of "trafficking in human beings" on a national and international scale, sharing the challenges that law enforcement authorities face in their work in a situation of COVID – pandemic. Subsequently, Inspector Ivan Pochleev from the Directory of Combat Against organized Crime in Plovdiv, Pazardzhik and Smolyan, the above mentioned introduced the students to the risks of online communication, the consequences of lack of parental control and the demand for popularity among peers through publications with provocative content. Students asked numerous questions to both speakers.

Today was the third and last day of the Academy. In it, the attention of the participants attention was focused on trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation, as well as with the way in which a preventive – information campaign is planned.

The academy aims to build on and develop the volunteer network of students at the Local Commissions for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, which will help work on preventing trafficking in human beings among young people and adolescents.