Albania remains one of Europe’s hardest-hit by modern slavery, report shows

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 26, 2018 12:53

Albania remains one of Europe’s hardest-hit by modern slavery, report shows

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  • The report published by Australia-based Walk Free Foundation ranks Albania the fifth most affected country among 50 Europe and Central Asia countries, with an estimated absolute number of 20,000 victims and a prevalence rate of 6.9 victims per 1,000 residents considering a population of 2.9 million

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TIRANA, July 26 – Albania is one of the top five Europe and Central Asia countries when it comes to people trapped in modern slavery affecting its population. The findings are unveiled in the 2018 Global Slavery Index measuring modern slavery, which it calls a hidden everyday problem, in 167 countries around the world. Modern slavery in the report covers forced labor, debt bondages, forced marriage, slavery and slavery-like practices and human trafficking.

The report published by Australia-based Walk Free Foundation ranks Albania the fifth most affected country among 50 Europe and Central Asia countries, with an estimated absolute number of 20,000 victims and a prevalence rate of 6.9 victims per 1,000 residents considering a population of 2.9 million.

The report ranks Albania sandwiched between Greece and Turkey in the Europe and Central Asia list that is topped by Turkmenistan, Belarus and Macedonia.

On a global level where hardline communist regimes such as North Korea and war-torn countries top modern slavery practices, Albania ranks 43rd on rather poor performance in dimensions such  governance, basic needs, equality, disenfranchised groups and effects of conflict.

Government response to modern slavery rates the country BB in support to survivors, criminal justice, coordination and addressing risk and supply chains with a total score of 60 out of 80.

“In Albania, the establishment of a National Referral Mechanism has been supplemented by standard operating procedures that are used by regulatory and non-regulatory bodies that may come into contact with victims, including those covering teachers, doctors and people working in the tourism sector,” says the report.

Data shows Albania has made little progress since the inaugural 2013 report when it ranked 51st out of 160 countries with an estimated 11,000 to 12,000 enslaved people out of a bigger estimated resident population of 3.11 million, making it Europe’s hardest-hit modern slavery country.

Industries such as the garment and footwear and call centers, two of the top employers in Albania and the Balkans, are often referred to as modern slavery due to poor compensation, long working hours and difficult conditions.

An estimated 40.3 million people are victims of modern slavery across the world, with the highest at risk including those who are physically or linguistically isolated, culturally disoriented, subjected to crushing debts and have little to no knowledge of their rights, says the Walk Free Foundation.

“Modern slavery refers to situations where one person has taken away another person’s freedom — their freedom to control their body, their freedom to choose to refuse certain work or to stop working — so that they can be exploited. Freedom is taken away by threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power and deception. The net result is that a person cannot refuse or leave the situation,” says the report.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 26, 2018 12:53