OSCE Presence in Albania launches project against child trafficking and exploitation

OSCE Presence in Albania launches project against child trafficking and exploitation

Tirana, July 8, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

The OSCE Presence in Albania presented on 7 July 2014 a project against child trafficking and exploitation. The project is designed to empower state institutions and civil society organizations in addressing the challenging issue of child trafficking, with an emphasis on the prevention of exploitation of child labour. It is funded by the Italian Government, and implemented together with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship.

“Preventing and fighting human trafficking and exploitation, which are gross violations of freedom and human rights, should be a top priority among the many challenges that Albania faces,” Deputy Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania Robert Wilton said at the launching event. Deputy Ministers of the three ministries and the Italian Ambassador to Albania also spoke at the presentation of the project (photo).

As part of the project, Guidelines for the protection of children in street situation have been developed, covering issues of protection and assistance of children in street situation, who are at risk of exploitation of various forms, such as forced begging, labour and sexual services. The Guidelines serve as a practical guide for professionals working in the identification, referral and management of street children cases. In addition, training workshops on the correct application of the Guidelines will be provided to state and civil society social workers, police and other stakeholders who are in daily contact with children. In addition, a code of conduct banning child labour exploitation will be drafted and enforced in co-operation with the business community.

Recent studies show that there are over 2,500 children in street situation in Albania, with one third of them being at risk of trafficking. According to the annual Report of the Office of the National Anti-trafficking Coordinator, out of the 95 potential victims of trafficking identified in Albania in 2013, 43 were minors. /ibna/