Albania Mission Against
Human Trafficking

Women's Project harvesting beans in Kallmet

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.

The women in rural and suburban areas of Fier live in difficult economic conditions. The brutal, patriarchal society does not offer support and dignity for women. Many of these women suffer abuse and domestic violence from their husbands. Several cases of domestic abuse have come to the MWL office in Fier. From a conversation with the  social worker in the town of Patos, which is about 10 km outside Fier, the small town has a huge number of women who are abused physically and psychologically. Two of these cases were referred to our office. They have received psychological support and one of them is taking the tailoring course at our office. The conversation with the Ombudsman’s representative, remains problematic. Implementation of the order of protection for women saying No to this violence and who become divorced does not get the cases resolved. They often have nowhere to shelter. The Social Service Office of Violence Against Women in the district of Fier solicited the assistance of MWL to find shelter for a young girl with two children who was fleeing domestic violence. The Advice Center in Tirana found temporary shelter in the city of Shkodra for this girl and her children.

Let’s take the case of Liza from Levan. Her husband is mentally and physically unable to work or take care of the family. As a result, she has been the single head of her household since very early in her life. She has 2 minor children and does agriculture work to help raise them. This hard work has weakened her health. Liza has been active with the MWL’s women group for several months participating in social activities and human development activities. She has felt very good and comfortable with other women, and for the first time she has been able to think of herself. Now she has some real estate problems with her father in law, who has not supported her at all. She and her children feel threatened by him. MWL has referred the case to the Office of Child Protection and Domestic Abuse in Fier. This office is following her case and she has an order of protection from her father in law. MWL is also following her case and providing emotional and psychological support.