To mark the EU Anti-Trafficking Day, October 18, 2017, Mary Ward Loreto Foundation in collaboration with other NGO`S, the Office of the National Coordinator for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons, Institutions, URAT Network and Ministry of Interior, have organized an awareness-raising activities against human trafficking. The activities took place in Tropoja, Puka, Shkodra, Lezha, Tirana, Lushnja and Këlcyra.
The main purpose is to raise awareness of human trafficking and increase the exchange of information, knowledge and best practices among the different actors working in this field. Each year, MWL organizes events to mark this day. MWL invites all actors working against human trafficking to join us in these activities.
In the framework of anti –trafficking awareness month Mary Ward Loreto Women’s Project, operating in Lezhe and jointly with Regional Directory of Social Services, organized an awareness meeting with Roma youth studying at the “Saint Mary” Youth Centre in Lezhe. During the meeting human trafficking was explained, types of human trafficking and who are the target groups at high risk of being trafficked. The discussion focussed a lot on “Saying No” to the marriages at a very young age since this is quite an evident phenomenon for this category of population. Emphasis was put on the need to continue their education, in order to be able to overcome the obstacles and risks, faced during a life-time.
A group of 20 youngsters’, boys and girls, were engaged in writing messages against human trafficking. There is quite a high need in working with the parents of these children to avoid the marriages which they arrange for their children at a very young age. The meeting finished with a video on human trafficking and the exploitation of a Roma child begging on the streets. The aim will be to follow up these awareness meetings with Roma parents.
In the framework of anti –trafficking awareness month Mary Ward Loreto Women’s Project, operating in Tropoja organized an awareness meeting with 35 pupils in school “Ali Podrimja”, B.curr.
The participants were informed about trafficking, risks, types of trafficking, identification and addressing potential risks to would-be victims. The youngsters developed paintings and essays which followed the message saying: ‘Stop Trafficking in Human Beings’.
URAT Network in collaboration with Ministry of the Interior, the Municipality of Shengjin and Mary Ward Loreto, 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.
Sasha Jesperson and Anne-Marie Barry, two young ladies working against Modern Slavery and anti-trafficking, are collecting data from different countries,identified as hot spots connected with trafficking, in order to do a research in collaboration with the UK government. They came to Albania to have meetings with governmental institutions and other partners who work against human trafficking. They chose to have a meeting with the staff of MWL to discuss the problems and issues related to human trafficking. MWL was represented by Aferdita Gjoni, Gazmir Memaj and Alfred Matoshi. They gave an overall presentation of the mission of MWL within all the projects, and how the Foundation leads awareness raising campaigns against human trafficking and leads prevention programmes. This, it is hoped, leads to practical solutions for vulnerable peoples in poverty and in crisis situations.
The team of MWL expressed the reality and the background of the Albanian victims, the source of trafficking, profiles of traffickers and a lot of more detailed information which was appreciated and valued as useful, by Sasha and Anne-Marie, for their research. They visited the MWL Women’s Advice Centre in Tirana where they met MWL staff psychologist and social worker, Irena Kraja and Arveda Baholli, who work at the centre. There was an opportunity to share with the visitors the way in which MWL works in this advice centre. The work is with crisis cases and emergency needs in collaboration with our partners and Governmental institutions. After this visit to the advice centre they were invited to join the team for a meal. This gave us an opportunity to share more experiences in an informal and friendly environment.