Arise and local NGO SHKEJ were pleased to support ITV News UK Editor, Paul Brand, in his investigation of the high levels of migration and human trafficking of Albanians. We welcomed ITV's focus on root causes, largely unexplored by the UK media, and aided and accompanied their crew between Tirana and Kukës.
Read the full article here, published by ITV on 10 November 2022.
Anxhela Bruci, Arise Albania Coordinator, was quoted as follows:
'Anxhela Bruci works for the Arise Foundation which focuses on human trafficking and modern day slavery. She believes that a joined up approach from both the UK and Albania is the only way to stop the illegal crossings.
“If there was a legal visa process to allow Albanians to come to the UK to work that would stop the problem.”
Albanians who cross the channel often use people smugglers to get there, paying thousands of pounds or even going into debt with the smugglers, often leading to a life of slavery in the UK attempting to pay back a debt they never can.
A joined up approach between the UK and Albania, rather than the confrontational rhetoric we have heard recently is an approach the foundation would like to see adopted.'
The ITV team engaged in honest discussion with Albanian locals, in towns that are being slowly abandoned. It became clear that lack of opportunity is driving migration and vulnerability.
The woman below discussed poverty, and rejected the presentations of Albanians as criminals:
This village elder is convinced that more families, and young people, will emigrate to the UK:
This young mother expressed a lack of hope for the future of her children:
The piece made the lack of hope for Albanian people clear. It is in such circumstances that traffickers thrive.
Arise is committed to tackling root causes of human trafficking and exploitation, such as poverty and lack of education and opportunity. We will continue to work with the frontline in Albania, confronting root causes and helping to build a better future for young Albanians.