In its annual report on human trafficking, the US State Department (DOS) says the Albanian government does not meet the minimum standards for eliminating this phenomenon, but is making efforts.
“The Albanian government does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall growing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Albania remained at Level 2. These efforts included the sentencing of traffickers convicted under important prison conditions, the identification of more victims and the provision of a strong training for relevant officials.
The government, in co-operation with civil society, also set up a Trafficking Victims Advisory Board, consisting of three victims of trafficking, and increased victim assistance in criminal proceedings by setting up the Juvenile Justice Development Center and hiring additional co-ordinators for helping the victims,” DOS writes in the report.
However, the report notes, the government did not meet the minimum standards in some key areas: “The government has sentenced five traffickers in both 2018 and 2019, the smallest number of convictions since 2014. The government has made no effort to control vulnerable populations – especially migrants, asylum seekers, individuals who can be exploited for sex, and children – and authorities did not regularly participate in victim identification units. The government continued to delay funding for NGO-run shelters, and social services did not have the resources for long-term care and reintegration efforts, especially when victims are children.”