Surviving Human Trafficking: Activism as a Way Through the Struggle

Seminars and Colloquia

We usually know about human trafficking only when a specific case is in the public eye, with an inevitable sensationalistic approach. Only rarely do we have a chance to hear an expert explanation on, for example, how one becomes a victim of trafficking, who are the traffickers, which institutions and organizations offer help to the victims and how do they fare after their rescue. We never hear about what the related laws are in, for example, Serbia, Poland or Austria, and in what ways this problem is transnational in nature.

In her talk, Milica Kravić Aksamit presented her recent analyses and work on the television and radio piece “Osnažena” (Empowered), which narrates the stories of female survivors and activists who live in Belgrade but came from various African countries. Besides illustrating their life trajectories, the story reinforces the fact that human trafficking and gender-based violence are important social phenomena. The idea of Kravić Aksamit’s work is to show an uncommon perspective with focus on the bright and inspiring side of survivors’ lives, rather than on problems only. It includes statements and views from experts in different fields, from governmental and non-governmental agencies alike in Belgrade and Vienna. The advocacy group for migrant women “Women on the Way”, led by Belgrade-based Citizens’ Association “Atina”, features centrally in her analysis.

Milica Kravić Aksamit is a journalist, freelance editor, coauthor of the feminist Radio show “Žena u kutiji”, and Milena Jesenska Fellow at the IWM.

Ivan Vejvoda, IWM Permanent Fellow, provided commentary and moderated the discussion.

With a welcome address by IWM Rector Misha Glenny.


Fellows Colloquia are internal events for the IWM Visiting Fellows and Guests.