UNICEF and its anti-trafficking coalition partners united to address human trafficking in Albania
Tirana, 18 May 2020 – Human trafficking is a modern-days slavery and affects every country either as a source, a transit point, or destination.
Despite the concerted efforts of the Albanian Government, international organizations and civil society to combat the phenomenon, human trafficking continues to be a reality for many Albanian citizens, children, young girls and young people in particular.
To address this, UNICEF Albania initiates a more pro-active and direct engagement with the most-at risk communities, duty bearers, professional groups and civil society partners. The intervention aims to increase the preventive measures for people at risk of trafficking and support those who survived the modern day slavery by protecting their rights and opening up access to a range of appropriate services, and assistance to socio-economic reintegration.
This initiative will be implemented in four municipalities: Shkodra, Tirana, Diber and Kukes and will target children, parents, young people, front line workers and key duty bearers.
Roberto de Bernardi, Representative of UNICEF Albania underlines the importance of combining resources and expertise to efficiently tackle human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is not only a crime and most unacceptable form of human rights violation. It leaves incredibly deep and damaging physical and emotional mark on everyone who is affected by it, directly or indirectly. Unfortunately, children and young women are the ones who suffer the most from this crime”, Dr. De Bernardi says.
“We need to act now and act together. We have a strong coalition of national and international partners already in place, we have very motivated State and non-state actors by our side and we have the UK Government’s generous support to make the difference, first and foremost for those people who survived the trafficking horror and those who are at risk of it”, he emphasizes.
As underlined by the British Ambassador to Albania, His Excellency Mr. Duncan Norman: “the UK is committed to the eradication of all forms of modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking, as unanimously adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. We are working closely with our international partners and multilateral organizations, including the Albanian Government and UNICEF Albania to tackle this global problem”.
“The Modern Slavery programme in Albania will help reintegrate victims back into society and provide support to individuals at risk of falling into the hands of criminals who seek to exploit the vulnerable. Through this programme we will provide training and support to 250 professionals from the law enforcement and justice sectors”, Ambassador says.
“Modern slavery is a repugnant and hidden crime that can happen anywhere, preying on the most vulnerable in society. By working with the Albanian government and UNICEF we will raise awareness and oppose all forms of criminal exploitations, safeguarding human rights and dignity.”
The initiative is led by UNICEF Albania and the anti-trafficking coalition, which consists of the OSCE Presence in Albania; Terre des Hommes, and three national non-governmental organizations - Vatra, Tjeter Vizion and Të Ndryshëm dhe të Barabartë.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/albania.