On 11th – 14th September 2017, the Mary Ward Loreto Women Social Worker of Advice Centre in Tirana attended a conference in Bled, Slovenia with Medaille Trust, for “Fighting Slavery-Research, Investigation and Prosecution”.
Modern slavery harms people all over the world. Modern Slavery is a big problem that can’t be ignored, but it has many important actors working to prevent and deal with M/S and H/T. At the conference 23 participated as delegates including:
- 6 UK police forces
- Albanian Police Service
- Albanian Embassy
- Polish Police Service
- Mary Ward Loreto
- Different & Equal
- Medaille Trust Stuff
The aim of the conference was to introduce perspectives on how to tackle and prevent modern slavery and human trafficking. This was by means of presenting the situations and sharing experiences which were discussed and analyzed.
In the first session of the conference, the participants shared their experiences working with law enforcement structures in investigating trafficking from different perspectives: investigation of potential trafficking cases, discussing witness protection issues, encouraging witnesses to give evidence, working in strategic partnerships and embedding tackling modern day slavery into neighbourhood policing approach. Also the following approaches were considered: the police operations in rescuing victims and tackle organized crime, developing anti-slavery partnership and working as combined forces in tackling MS/HT, speaking on their joint efforts to combat human trafficking, prosecution of the perpetrators, interviewing the victims and witnesses to gather evidence and dealing with the process in the court.
Human Trafficking cases are difficult to investigate because trafficked persons don’t reveal many details of their stories. According to reported statistics, cases of trafficking in human beings in UK have increased, compared to previous years.
In the second session of the conference, Medaille Trust Staff and 2 NGO-s from Albania shared their experiences on working with victims of MS/HT in the shelter and supporting victims, helping in combating Modern Day Slavery by prevention work at the grass roots, rehabilitation of the victims and services provided for the beneficiaries.
Mary Ward Loreto Women spoke of their efforts to help vulnerable women in Albania and preventative strategies for MS/HT at the NGO level, approaches to support, updates, new trends, current issues, and the problems faced. MWLW presented as well the MWL Women Advice Centre of Tirana (MWL Women ACT), aiming to provide advice to the women in need for the problems they face, to develop a referral system, and to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives in the region and city of Tirana.
This conference was a good experience and a good opportunity to develop anti-slavery partnerships and for working as combined forces on tackling MS/HT.
Facilitators of the event:
Mr Mike Emberson: Project Director of the Medaille Trust,
Mr Ben Shepherd: Partnership Manager at the Medaille Trust,
Ms Jess Gealer: Deputy Operations Manager at the Medaille Trust
Outcomes of the event:
The delegates committed themselves to strengthen the partnerships between police forces and NGO-s around the countries.
Certificates of attendance have been distributed for the participants
The contacts list of all the delegates have been shared.
PREPARED BY: ARVEDA BAHOLLI (Social Worker – MWL Advice Centre for Women in Tirana)