Archive of UNODC webstories 2012



UNODC and SELEC sign Memorandum of Understanding to counter illicit trafficking, crime and money laundering in Southeastern Europe

Bucharest, 4 December 2012 - On 4 December 2012, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at furthering joint cooperation in countering illicit trafficking, crime and money laundering. The MoU is the first cooperation agreement between the two entities and was signed by UNODC Director for Operations, Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz, and SELEC Director-General, Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir.

The MoU constitutes an important partnership-building step for UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe to strengthen cooperation within the Balkans and beyond. Speaking at the signing ceremony, the UNODC Director for Operations said the MoU will promote better coordination and joint initiatives between UNODC and SELEC in years to come, for the benefit of states within and outside Southeastern Europe. He also noted that both SELEC and UNODC understand that serious organized crime problems surfacing in one member state, if unchecked, will have direct negative consequences on states within and outside the region.

SELEC is a regional instrument for cooperation of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. It is located in Bucharest, Romania. SELEC is a successor of SECI (Southeast European Cooperative Initiative established in the late 1990's). It consists of 13 member states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey. The primary objective of SELEC is to provide a platform for law enforcement cooperation among member states to prevent and combat transnational crime. Its excellent facilities can deliver trainings, specialized task force meetings and conferences.


Successfully launched and implemented Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking in Serbia

Every year, only in Europe, criminal groups are involved in trafficking of several hundreds of thousands of people for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation or organ trafficking. Serbia is part of this trafficking chain.

MEXICO - first country In the world to launch the "Blue Heart" campaign against Human trafficking, a pilot project of UNODC.

SERBIA - first country in Europe to launch its own national-led United Nations "Blue Heart" campaign against human trafficking.

On October 17 th, 2010, The European Anti-Trafficking Day, in Belgrade started shooting and promotion of movie "Sisters". The start of shooting on 17 th October, 2010 was marked by a public event, and was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, Minister of Interior Ivica Dacic; EU Ambassador in Serbia Vincent Degert, and along with more than 20 media representatives.

"Sisters" campaign to prevent human trafficking promotes also the global campaign of the UNODC "Blue Heart". This action wasn't planned at the start of the project, but the project "grew" and accomplished all set objectives:

- Raising awareness of at-risk groups (especially youth);

- Raising awareness of potential clients and exploiters of trafficking victims;

- Raising awareness among parents, teachers and social workers;

- Engaging celebrities in the activities of raising broad public awareness about the issue of trafficking;

- Fulfillment and promotion of the social role of the media.



• At the premiere of the film in Belgrade it was explained to all the media what the Blue Heart represent, and that this is a UN campaign. All daily, weekly and monthly newspapers published that information. All TV stations in Serbia, too.

• Monte Royal Pictures produced the 4000 Blue Heart symbols which were pinned at the premiere of the film on 10 th April 2011 to the President of the Serbian Parliament, Serbian Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs and Heads of EU delegations and the IOM, by actress and producer who is at the same time the face of the campaign "Blue Heart".


The essence of the campaign is showing the film "Sisters" in Serbian towns and then organizing public discussions on human trafficking, and broadcasting the film on TV.

The campaign is conducted in accordance with the principle of "public-private partnership" so that the main partner of the Ministry of Interior is the production company "Monte Royal Pictures" and the main promoter of a campaign is a well-known actress Bojana Maljević, which is the film's producer as well.

At the end of March 2011, simultaneous campaigns for the announcement of the film "Sisters" started with putting up 3000 posters were stick all over Belgrade, with the logo of MRP, EU, IOM, MUP and the UNODC campaign "Blue Heart".

An English version of posters for the film was made, and also film subtitles in English.



Two large banners and the 6 roll-ups that follow the projections of "Sisters", panel discussions and in front of which press statements are being made - with the logo of EU, IOM, the Blue Heart and Serbian Government;

1000 information notebooks from the CD with the music from the film;

4000 notebooks of the film, the back side of the information notebook, containing information about the film "Sisters" and basic information on human trafficking problem;

3000 bookmarks with short information. Everyone who sees the film gets a blue heart pin, notebook or a boo k marker, with information, logo of the Blue Heart and contact telephone numbers where people can report cases of trafficking.

10,000 DVD copies of the film "SISTERS" was produced. On the front page of DVD there is a symbol of the Blue Heart, and on 3 movie trailers inside in DVD menu.

DVD copies that are made in order to continue prevention campaigns among young people and professionals, on the principle of "training-trainers" and peer's education, shall be distributed to all schools, local police, social welfare centers, prosecutors, courts, NGOs, the Red Cross and NGO, with the aim to implement prevention activities in local communities.

The main stakeholders who supported the realization of the project and promotion campaign of the film "Sisters" are Government of Republic of Serbia, EU Delegation in Serbia and IOM Country Office.