Prevention of ‘modern slavery’ in Serbia – from real life stories to TV docudrama

Project Duration: 
May 2010 - July 2011
Project Partners: 
Ministry of Interior of Serbia, Monte Royal Pictures International
IOM Development Fund, European Union, Government of Serbia

With financial support provided by the IOM Development Fund and in close partnership with the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, the project Prevention of “Modern Slavery” in Serbia – From Real Life Stories to Television Docudrama aimed to contribute to Serbia’s human trafficking prevention efforts, outlined in the Government’s National Counter-trafficking Action Plan. The centrepiece of this project involved the production of a television film entitled Sisters, which portrays a young trafficked woman named Marija who, along with her sister, ends up in a shelter for victims of trafficking. Even though Marija initially lacks trust in them, she eventually decides to share her story with a psychologist and a police officer. Her story introduces the public to all the actors involved in victim identification, referral and assistance, and ends with her returning to her family with the challenge of having to adjust after her traumatic experience.

The filming of Sisters was carried out at several locations in Belgrade and its vicinity with a crew of 62 members, 32 actors and 70 extras, and the project was implemented from May 2010 to July 2011. The film had its TV and theatre premiere in April 2011 and it was presented thus far in more than 15 towns in Serbia, followed with debates involving anti-trafficking professionals and film crew. It was presented at three film festivals in Serbia (ViVIZECT, Mikser, Nis), but it had its screening at the UN in Vienna and at IOM in Geneva. Thus far some 7 million people saw the movie, with a TV share showing that every third women of the age range between 16–24, saw the movie. This way a movie evolved into a true anti-trafficking campaign with a strong impact promoting at the same time IOM as a leading organization in the fight against human trafficking

With the movie Sisters and through its promotion, Serbia adopted the United Nations Blue Heart Campaign, as the first country in Europe.

The production of Sisters was financially supported by the IOM Development Fund (USD 100,000), the European Union (EUR 100,000), and the Government of Serbia (EUR 46,000). Principal partners in this project were the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, as the coordinating ministry for countering trafficking and a production company Monte Royal Pictures International.

Project Status: 
Premiere of the Sestre movie