Arise is pleased to announce the establishment of a permanent presence in Albania, including the hiring of our first Albania Coordinator, Anxhela Bruci. Anxhela will oversee the strengthening and expansion of Arise’s frontline anti-slavery network in Albania.
Despite a promising growth rebound by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake and the COVID pandemic, over 20% of Albanians still live in poverty. This deprivation, which is concentrated in certain regions and amongst certain marginalised communities (including Roma and Egyptian Communities), aids traffickers. As a result, Albania is a source country for people trafficked to Western Europe, linked to Albanian gangs running ‘sophisticated’ human trafficking operations.
Albania’s recent development of the National Action Plan to combat trafficking has been welcomed by the sector, but there have been calls for greater resource dedication to ensure that sustained progress is made in prevention and reintegration efforts.
Fortunately, there are a number of brilliant organisations leading prevention work and direct support services in Albania. Arise has been privileged to partner with a number of leading frontline Albanian NGOs, facilitating the strengthening of anti-trafficking networks across the country. These organisations are focused on awareness raising, education, economic support, and support services.
There are a variety of needs and challenges, but Arise is hopeful, and looking forward to developing our Albania presence. The immediate focus will be on training (specifically in fundraising and communications), capacity building, the expansion of strategic investment, and the formation of a local secretariat to support and advocate for the network. Our overarching aim is to support the sustainable growth and effectiveness of our network, so that frontline groups can continue to build resilience to human trafficking in high-risk communities for years to come.