Tuesday, 20 November 2018 | News today: 22

UK provides £2m to stem human trafficking in Albania

A £2m boost to deliver work in Albanian human trafficking hotspots was announced few days ago by British Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins.

The programme will help tackle the flow of modern slavery to the UK by supporting victims to rebuild their lives and by deterring vulnerable people from falling into the hands of traffickers in Albania. The UK will also support criminal justice officials to ensure perpetrators of this awful crime are brought to justice.

The package was agreed as part of a recent meeting held in London, between Victoria Atkins and Albanian Deputy Minister of Interior Rovena Voda. In 2017, over 770 potential modern slavery victims were referred to UK authorities and identified as Albanian nationals – the highest figure for a country outside Britain.

Modern slavery is an abhorrent crime that entraps the most vulnerable people globally and denies them their liberty, Minister Atkins said.

Modern slavery is an abhorrent crime that entraps the most vulnerable people globally and denies them their liberty. The UK is regarded as a world leader in tackling this crime, not only due to our tough laws and support for victims at home, but also our work abroad to support victims, ensure offenders are caught and stop vulnerable people falling into the hands of traffickers.

By working with our Albanian partners, we can make a crucial difference to the lives of those who have had some of their most basic rights stolen from them, she said.

Government research has highlighted that the capital Tirana and the 3 northern districts of Diber, Shkoder and Kukes, in Albania, are where the majority of victims originate. It is in these districts where the UK will focus its support.

The funding runs until March 2021 to assist Albanian victims with their reintegration into society once they are identified, as well as educating vulnerable communities about the dangers of trafficking, Tirana-based Top Channel TV reports.

The package, from the Home Office’s Modern Slavery Fund, also includes training for Albanian criminal justice officials so that they are better prepared to deal with human trafficking cases, meaning those responsible are more likely to face justice.