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ASTRA rewarded for their work against trafficking

/Belgrade, ASTRA, February 24, 2021/ Child trafficking and sexual exploitation of children is on the rise in Europe. The outbreak of Covid-19 this past year, has only exacerbated the situation for these children and made many more vulnerable to abuse. Today Child10 is announcing the prominent 2021 Child10 Awarded Member organizations who are working across Europe and will now join forces to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation of girls in Europe. The organization ASTRA is one of these ten organizations selected from over 90 nominations from 27 countries across the globe.

The systematic and implicit abuse of girls is something happening on a daily basis in all societal contexts all over the world. Today, Child10 is announcing their ten 2021 Awarded Members and the Serbian organization ASTRA is one of the awardees praised for their efforts to eradicate all forms of exploitation and trafficking of girls in Serbia.

The Global Report on Trafficking from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that every third victim of human trafficking are children, foremost girls and 95% of the victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation are girls and women. For 2021, ASTRA will become a part of an action force of ten organizations from various parts of Europe, working under the Child10 chosen theme “Girls’ rights have no price” to enhance the protection system for girls trafficked in Europe.

ASTRA is a grassroots organization dedicated to eradicating all forms of exploitation and trafficking in human beings. They were the first actor to raise the issue of human trafficking in Serbia. ASTRA has a holistic approach to the problem of human trafficking, they deal with all forms of exploitation, and assist all categories of survivors including women, children, and men. For more than 20 years, ASTRA has worked with  providing direct support and assistance, education and raising awareness, advocacy, research, and networking.

-Astra has been a driving force in protecting victims of human trafficking in Serbia for two decades and  has remained true to its cause despite a very challenging context. They are today one of the strongest, loudest and most credible voices against human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Serbia and the region. Astra’s strong commitment to be at the forefront, supporting victims and applying a holistic rights-based approach to human trafficking is impressive, says Jacob Flärdh, Secretary General, Child10. 

Besides being part of the action force, ASTRA will receive 100’000 SEK from Child10’s Main Partner, Her Majesty the Queen Silvia of Sweden’s Foundation “Care About the Children” to implement in their work against exploitation and trafficking of human beings. They will also receive a support program with both organizational and individual support to strengthen, develop and create sustainability in the organization.

– This award comes at the right time, on our twenty anniversary of work and existence. We are very glad that our efforts and commitment to the fight against all types of exploitation, especially women and children, are visible and recognized beyond our country’s borders. Child10 award is another confirmation that we are on the right path and that every atom of strength invested in this exhausting fight is not in vain. Thanks, Child10, for the award, we will be happy to join forces with other organizations – winners of the prize, and give our contribution to provide a safer future to all gils across Europe, said on this occasion the CEO of ASTRA Marija Andjelkovic,

The announcement of ASTRA and the other 9 chosen organizations will be made during a digital launch with special appearances from Her Majesty the Queen Silvia of Sweden and Swedish Foreign Minister, Ann Linde. The launch is broadcasted on the Facebook-page of Child10 and on child10.org today, the 24th of February 12:00 – 1:15 pm CET.

These are the ten Awarded Members of 2021:

1.       ASTRA, Serbia

2.     eLiberare, Romania

3.     Ellencentret, Sweden.

4.     Footprint to Freedom, The Netherlands

5.     Iroko Onlus, Italy

6.     lightup International

7.       MARTA Centre, Latvia.

8.     Novahuset, Sweden

9.       Novi Put, Bosnia-Herzegovina

10.   Vatra, Albania

About Child10
Child10’s vision is a world free from child trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children. We believe that change is achieved by a holistic child rights-based approach. Together with grassroots organizations and other actors in the field we develop and advocate for powerful and durable solutions to ensure that the rights of every child are respected, protected, and fulfilled.

For more information about Child10, visit Child10.org

About H.M. Queen Silvia Foundation – Care about the children
HM Queen Silvia’s Foundation – Care About the Children, works for a world in which every child’s most fundamental needs are fulfilled. Our objectives depart from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and seek to provide every child with access to education and healthcare as well as ensure their safety and happiness. In short, to let children be children! The foundation cooperates with established organizations on well-defined projects and in doing so supports the most vulnerable children in Sweden and around the world.