Trafficking in Albania (TIP2018)

The Government of Albania does not fully meet the minimum
standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making
significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated
increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period;
therefore Albania remained on Tier 2. The government increased
funding for victim protection, and identified and assisted
more victims. The government, in cooperation with NGOs,
reactivated mobile identification units in three regions and
strengthened child protection within the criminal justice
system. The government also admitted one victim into the
witness protection program. However, the government did not
meet minimum standards in several key areas. The government
continued to penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as
a direct result of being subjected to human trafficking. The
government reported fewer prosecutions and convictions,
and authorities continued to investigate and prosecute some
traffickers for the lesser crime of exploitation of prostitution.
The government delayed funding to NGO-run shelters and
did not consistently apply victim-centered investigations and
prosecutions. Police did not consistently identify trafficking
victims among individuals in prostitution, and the labor
inspectorate lacked the training to identify victims of forced
labor. Identification efforts for forced begging remained
inadequate, particularly among unaccompanied children, street
children, and children moving across the borders for begging.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALBANIA
Implement the law that exempts victims from penalties for
unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected
to trafficking, particularly sex trafficking victims exploited in
prostitution; vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict
traffickers—including complicit officials—under article 110(a)
and 128(b); train investigators, prosecutors, and judges on
victim-centered approaches to trafficking cases and increase
victim protection from threats and intimidation during court
proceedings; continue to train law enforcement, prosecutors,
and judicial officials, particularly district prosecutors, on
investigating, prosecuting, and trying trafficking cases, including
guidance on overlapping elements of exploitation of prostitution
and trafficking; allocate adequate funding and resources on a
consistent and regular basis to the government-run and NGOrun
shelters for trafficking victims; improve the sustainability
of mobile identification units; train police, labor inspectors,
and other front-line officials on proactive identification of
victims and increase efforts to screen children for signs of
trafficking; and adopt a national action plan and allocate
sufficient resources to the plan.

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