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.

URAT Network – The United Response Against Trafficking

This year the theme for Bakhita Day: ‘’Say YES to Freedom and No to slavery: Migration without Trafficking’’, attracted many people to come and be present at the cathedral of St Paul in the heart of Tirana, Albania.  This theme concerns all of us in every corner of the world.  Here in Albania we have refugee camps and the country struggles to bring real justice to the many people coming through our borders. Thousands of Albanians are now refugees all over Europe and some caught up in the nightmare of human trafficking. This day helped us to focus on the details and the suffering, asking for pardon as we own our participation in such a global crime. The evening event was led by the Albanian network against human trafficking called URAT.



Both the Archbishop of Tirana, George Frendo OP and the Government Minster against Human Trafficking, Rovena Voda, spoke movingly and with passion during this service, highlighting the many issues related to Human Trafficking and reflecting the stories which lead to such trauma. All members of the network participated in the evening event and bought with them many members of their organisations who are part of this ongoing effort to eliminate the world of human trafficking. The evening worship consisted of a shortened form of that compiled by Talitha Kum in Rome. It included the wearing of wrist bands distributed during the evening declaring our involvement ‘’Yes to Freedom and No to slavery’’, a film made locally on Safe Migration by MWL and two Power Points. One of these PP’s expressed the horror of the plight of refugees all over the world and the other, which was addressed by students from the Company of Mary School called ‘’Ylber’’,  illustrated the many pieces of art work produced by the students as an anti-trafficking awareness raising campaign in the school. All the prayers and readings illustrated the plight of the trafficked and the need for all people to take action against such a crime and we were called to be in union with Pope Francis who is leading us in this action.


The service in Albania involved a call to action in support of the refugees in the local camp in Tirana.  All those present were invited to contribute to the care and the demanding upkeep of the many people from countries, mainly in the Middle East, who are resident in this centre.  URAT, the Albanian network against trafficking, which meets monthly at Mary Ward Loreto, will implement this action within the next month. This will be in collaboration with the director of the refugee camp.

The pictures of the evening, focusing on this issue, reflect very much the mood of the evening.

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The URAT (United Response Against Trafficking) Network in Albania has prepared a Prayer and Liturgy Service which will be held at St. Paul’s cathedral, Tirana on the 8th of February. Confirmed attendance include the Deputy Minister of Interns/ National Co-ordinator against Trafficking in Persons, who will present a speech. Archbishop George Frendo will present the homely.

Please find attached  the materials related to the event:

Prayer Card;

The Liturgy;

The poster;

The invitation.

This year, the network has chosen to concentrate on the theme Migration without Trafficking, and will be supporting the National Asylum and Migration Centre in Babrru, Tirana by means of food, materials and goods for the refugees currently living there. This action will take place post St. Bakhita Day.

Watch this space for news and photographs!

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.



URAT Network in collaboration with Ministry of the Interior, the Municipality of Shengjin and Mary Ward Loreto, have organized an Awareness Raising Campaign against Human Trafficking.

“Art for Freedom” is the name of the campaign which was developed in Shengjin on July 30, 2017.

People were designing a world without trafficking and exploitation through art. Their Messages, their Paintings and their Playing of Music was proclaiming to everyone: ‘Put an end to Modern Slavery”. Children were with us playing, drawing and painting. There were also many visitors who wrote inspiring messages on the Wallpaper.

1,973 people visited the UN Gift Box in Shengjin, Lezhe. They were informed by our volunteers of the issues around Human Trafficking and also received flyers which included the helpline number and useful information on detecting and fighting trafficking in persons.




UN.GIFT Box in Tirana – An Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign took place again this year from 30th of May to 1st of June. (09.00 a.m. – 12.00 a.m.). This Campaign is in cooperation with URAT Network and Minister of Interior.

The purpose of this activity is to raise awareness to the Albanian population about the dangers of Human Trafficking and to help vulnerable communities to protect themselves from the traffickers and to understand better the ways in which survivors of trafficking are helped to re-integrate into society.

UN.GIFT Box awareness campaign in Tirana finished Yesterday, on 1st of June, having received the youngest audience in its history, while in Albania. Focusing on the  Children’s Day celebrations was also a Flash Mob Dance organized by “Different & Equal”, part of the URAT Network. The atmosphere around the Box was filled with notes against trafficking and boys and girls wearing T-shirts holding the referral phone number.

In these three days, the Box was visited by 100+ youngsters, mostly high-school and middle school children. This was in honor of all disappeared and trafficked children. Mary Ward Loreto and URAT was represented in the morning, on National Television, by Sara Çapaliku, MWL Youth Trainer. She introduced the work and the public awareness initiatives against Trafficking in Human Persons.



Albania cannot be indifferent to human trafficking and we have to fight together to stop this global issue. On 8 February 2017 the Church in Albania marked this International day of Prayer, reflection and action Against Human Trafficking. URAT network and the Catholic Church, in collaboration with Archbishop George Frendo OP, organized a special prayer service at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Tirana.

We prayed together for the victims of trafficking, we made calls to stop this action and lit the candles for the victims. We showed two short locally made films led by members of URAT:

Photos of the event:

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