YES Programs



Combatting Human Trafficking Through Youth Education

Group of students look a presenter standing at the front of the classroom.

By Edna Porca (YES 2018-2019, Bosnia and Herzegovina, placed with AYA in Unity, OR)

Every year, millions of people around the world are victims of human trafficking. These people are often lured by false promises into the system and exploited for years. YES Alumna Dzeneta Kitiz (YES 2019-2020, Bosnia and Herzegovina, placed with CIEE in Fairfax, MO) has recognized that human trafficking is a hidden evil that takes places in every corner of the globe, and decided to use the skills she acquired from her year in the U.S. on the YES Program to combat it within her community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Dzeneta partnered with the local Red Cross chapter in Živinice to organize a workshop on January 12 to provide fellow youth with strategies to protect themselves and their community from human trafficking. Professional educator and President of the Youth Red Cross in Živinice, Semir Muhic, reported to 20 local youth on how human trafficking affects Bosnia and Herzegovina, and what they can do to help combat it. These community members were very eager to learn as much as they could about the topic. In addition to presentations from Semir, participants watched the film “The Sisters,” a movie based on a true story about human trafficking in Serbia. 

As a result of the workshop, participants had a clear understanding of what human trafficking is, how to recognize the signs of it, what they can do to help others, and how to raise awareness about this issue in their community. Through teaching this group of young leaders and giving them a chance to learn more about the critical issue of human trafficking, Dzeneta demonstrated the value of education and the important role youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina can play in generating a positive impact across the country.