Albania Mission Against
Human Trafficking

MARY WARD LORETO is planting hope with a human rights approach to combating modern day slavery. This challenging mission is implemented through works of justice, education, grass roots action and systemic change. The aim is to eradicate poverty, the prime cause for human trafficking.

Mary Ward Loreto Latest Happenings

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Mary Ward Loreto Foundation was invited by ICITAP Albania, to attend the Sex Crimes Investigation Training Course at the New Lenox Police Department, Illinois.

The training course was held in New Lenox Police Department, Illinois  on  March 5th – 9th, 2018. The Mary Ward Loreto Women Social Worker of Advice Centre in Tirana, Arveda Baholli, attended the training course. Part of the Albanian delegates, were the representatives of Albanian State Police, a translator and a psychologist.

The aim of this training course was to strength the skills and knowledge of the first responders, criminal investigators (investigative specialists) and other authorized professionals, who work on sex crimes investigation.

Albanian State Police, the social worker from MWL and a psychologist will develop a curriculum for  the investigative process, procedures and policies regarding sex crimes, according to New Lenox Police.

  • – The methodology of this training course included: descriptions, languages and graphical discussions. Film footage, high impact teaching, photos, and case studies of real issues, specifically designed to illustrate and support topics that were presented.
  • – This training course had an inter-institutional approach, focused on the victim, management and investigation of the sex crimes. The information provided was comprehensive and focused on the specified investigation process, psychological, medical, social needs/services for the victim.

At the training participated 35 delegates including:

  • US Police Service;
  • Albanian Police Service;
  • An Albanian Translator;
  • Mary Ward Loreto;
  • An Albanian Psychologist.

The Topics of the Training presented:

– In the first session of the training course, the trainer gave a good introduction and orientation of the topic, mainly on Myths and Stereotyping of Sexual Assault Cases, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Sexual Assault Investigations, Rape Trauma Syndrome and Emotional First Aid.

–  In the second session of the training course, the trainer was focused on a very important point of the Sex Crime: the interview. This is focused on the victim and her support, interviewing the victims and witnesses to gather evidence, pattern Identification, Investigation and Response. All this gave a wider picture of the Interviewing process, which is a process that should be improved in Albania.

– In the third session of the training course, the trainer was focused on the role of the social media in the investigation of the sex crime, controlled communications and Stress Management for Sexual Assault Investigators. The methodology of using videos and photos made the topics more clear.

– In the last session of the training course (the last two days of the training), the trainer presented Criminal Profiling Techniques for Sex Crimes Investigators, The Reliability of Eyewitness Identifications, False Allegations of Rape and the Assessment of Verbal and Written Statements to Determine Deception. All of these were explained by real case studies, from which the topics were made more concrete.

Facilitators of the event:

  • Thimothy Hardiman, New York City Police Department (Retired) New York, NY
  • ROBERT J. MORTON Supervisory Special Agent (retired), Federal Bureau of Investigation Southern Police Institute, University of Louisville
  • SERGEANT HILARY DAVIS New Lenox Police Department, Illinois

Outcomes of the event:

  • Certificates of attendance have been distributed to the participants.
  • The training was very helpful and useful in developing practical approaches, examples and good structure. The experience of being in the training with the US law enforcement employee and exchange of the information was very good.
  • This training gave the Albanian Participants the knowledge and confidence to develop and deliver their own course back in Albania.







Introduction for Easter Newsletter

It seems appropriate that this introduction is being written on March 8th, the day when we remember human rights for women all over the world. This morning nearly all of the MWL staff were engaged in women’s rights events, even the men! The march was led by many women but also men took a leadership role, working for human rights for all.  Together we can make such a difference…. Please click here to read the MWL Newsletter No.9 in English.

Ju lutem klikoni këtu për të lexuar MWL Newsletter-in Nr.9 në Shqip.


On February 21st MWL foundation organized a training on Emotional Intelligence for the staff members of the MWL Foundation. This training was held at MWL office in Tirana and lead by the MWL staff trainer, Zana Guri. Working on Emotional Intelligence is part of an investment process for the MWL foundation in order to enable its employees to reach their full potential, increase their capacity and improve their leadership abilities.

An introduction related to the role of emotions in our daily life was one of the dimensions that initially opened up the dynamic of the group. This training was characterized by strong self-reflection and self-awareness moments. Feedback from the MWL staff, during the training session, was very energetic and they showed a curiosity to know more about this subject. They showed a desire to improve their emotional intelligence on a personal level and also as a leader to help in their professional development.

The MWL Foundation in a joint effort with Rogationist school in Lezhe is implementing the Service-Learning methodology which is planned to be a pilot study project.  The pilot study is ongoing in partnership with a local school and local community activists.

Service learning involves students in service projects which apply classroom learning in collaboration with local organizations that exist to effect positive change in the community. It is defined as “a philosophy, pedagogy, and model for community development that is used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.”

Service learning is learning through action. The students apply what they learn in class to community issues and at the same time learn from the experience as they achieve real objectives for the community.

The pedagogical staffs of Rogationist School are working closely with the MWL staff and the students planning all together the implementation of this new learning approach.  Through the service learning programme, the young people involvement will increase their communication skills and their interpersonal development, particularly the ability to work well with others.  In addition, they will develop personal leadership skills.

The training of the pedagogical staff and 37 students from the School government means that they have been introduced to the methodology and have prepared for the stages of the project implementation.

The students have been trained in the project cycle management to understand what are the stages of a Service Learning project in order to apply these stages into the concrete implementation of the SL projects which will be initiated by the students. Please click here to read the full report.

It is a fact that violence against women, in all forms, is on the increase and cases are becoming public in Albania. Even though women are granted equal rights by law, they still remain exposed and submissive to men’s authority. There are many social and economic factors that lead to women remaining vulnerable. The greatest factor is the lack of shelter for women and girls at risk. This has been one of the biggest challenges faced while working with women/clients at MWL Women ACT. Many women who come to the centre are at risk and need accommodation and protection. Shelters in Albania host only victims of trafficking and domestic violence when they already have the status of victim or have a protection order. This makes it difficult to refer cases who do not yet obtain such status or when the protection order is not valid. Apart from this factor, even when women do have a protection order, these shelters are very often full to capacity and cannot host new cases. Therefore most of the support given by the shelters is long after the violence has happened. It is long after the case has been proven through the courts with a witnessed denunciation confirmed by a police statement. Until then the case remains at a level of treatment and not for prevention of more harm.

Women and girls, who are vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation, need comprehensive support. The economic situation enforces them to remain dependent on the perpetrators. Many have already received help at MWL Women ACT centre. Women are made aware of the risk and are given advice on how to protect themselves. To help these women at ACT, we have offered them referrals to service providers in order to gain benefits from social and economic aid, employment, psychological support, and emergency food packages, in collaboration with the Food Bank Albania.

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