IOM and UN Special Rapporteur Concerned over Trafficking in Albania

03 April 2006

In their "Second Annual Report on Victims of Trafficking in South Eastern Europe 2005", published in November 2005, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) voiced concerns over minority victims of trafficking in Albania. In particular, the report stated that Roma and Egyptian communities, among the poorest and most socially marginalised in Albania, are highly represented among victims of trafficking. The report further reasoned that this "highlights the acute vulnerability of ethnic minorities and the need for prevention and protection efforts aimed at the specific needs of this profile of victim".

The report also discussed patterns of trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. In all the countries examined, minorities were found to be among the most vulnerable to trafficking and Roma, in particular, were often victimised. The full text of the report is available HERE.

According to an 8 November 2005 article on the UN News Centre website, in order to address the issue of trafficking of children, the Government of Albania must develop a national child protection system aimed at combating the poverty that leads to exploitation. The recommendation came in a statement by Juan Miguel Petit, the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, during his visit to Albania from 31 October 2005 to 7 November 2005.

Mr. Petit attributed the problem to a lack of opportunities and social services for stigmatised minorities, as well as discrimination against women, and an inadequate educational system. He emphasized the need for "a strong child protection system…with a firm investment in education and social services, together with strengthened child protection component of police, health and justice". Noting that child trafficking is a global problem, the independent expert also singled out Greece and Italy as destination countries in their obligations to protect the rights of victims of trafficking.

(IOM, UN News Centre, ERRC)

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