Interior ministers from Western Balkan countries discuss trafficking in human beingsOn 17 May 2012 the Ministry of the Interior held an interim ministerial conference "The Introduction of the Requirements for Establishing Joint Investigation Teams (JIT) to Fight Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) in Southeast Europe – JIT THB".
The opening speeches were delivered by representatives of the partner states in this project – the Minister of the Interior of Slovenia, Vinko Gorenak, and the Deputy of the Minister of the Interior of Bulgaria, Vesselin Vuchkov. Slovenia's state prosecution authorities, which are also involved in the project, were represented by Zvonko Fišer, the State Prosecutor General of the Republic of Slovenia.
The project's aim is to create a platform in furtherance of law enforcement efforts to address crimes related to human trafficking and to develop best practices in protection of trafficked victims. One segment of the added value of JITs is that good practice, techniques and strategies are shared. Of paramount importance for the project to be implemented successfully is a coordinated approach of EU institutions and member states in their contacts with third countries and participating organisations, in particular Europol and Eurojust. The project is all about workshops aimed at motivating experts to set up joint investigation teams thus giving their investigations the added value and contributing to the development of international cooperation in criminal matters.
In a discussion the participants confirmed the efficacy of setting up JITs in fighting human trafficking. In the end the minister summarized the views of the participants who have unanimously supported the continuation and development of the project. During the debate it also became evident that some countries of the region still need to amend their national legislations so that JITs can be used to their fullest potential. In addition to the legislative background the participants also recognised fact that, for JITs to be successful, there must also be motivation and qualifications to implement them as tools in resolving concrete cases.