The Albanian transition, long and difficult, faced very big challenges and an extraordinary decadence of a part of the society.
Lack of a legal state caused an increase of the tragic phenomena of women, children and rugs trafficking.
Often, these acts are accompanied by killings, taking away the life of many Albanians and depriving children and women from their joy and happiness by obliging them to do any kind of job to survive.
Unfortunately, Albania, although with a good and ancient tradition in maintaining rules within a community and protection of women and children, appeared as the coutry of the source of the violence and their trafficking.
Trafficking of human beings in itself is not only a crime, but in most of the cases, it is a crime with multiple activities involved in it, with multiple organizational structures, such as prostitution networks, distribution of drugs, selling of weapons and creation of terrorist groups. This organized criminal activity becomes more dangerous when it is connected to individuals within the political and state structures.
Western countries, USA State Department and United Nations are following with great attention this international phenomenon that is strengthening even more the position of mafia, which aims to take under control also the countries with a fragile democracy.
The Albanian government has responded positively to this concern by engaging for this purpose the state organs. Put the lack of engagement of all the factors of the society made that the strategy of fighting organized crime not to work properly and the state organs did not have the necessary efficiency.
Our concern is the lack of engagement and responsibility of judicial organs in the fight against this inhuman crime.
According to the Albanian Legislation, Human trafficking, trafficking of women for prostitution purposes, trafficking of children for purposes of material profits, or any other profits, is penalized with 5 to 20 years of imprisonment, or life sentence.
The Albanian public opinion does not feel yet such a position of the judicial organs although the police and attorneys offices have sent in front of this organ hundreds of cases for judgment. We think that it is also necessary to review the law, in order to classify these acts as severe penal acts, with extraordinary consequences to the life of the individuals and the society.
The arrival in Tirana of a 13 years old girl from Mirdita, to denounce the acts of traffickers and the representatives of judicial bodies is a testimony of hundreds of other similar cases never brought to light. The engagement of the Women Forum of the National Reconciliation Committee to protect this girl as well as other hundreds of innocent creatures, should be strongly supported by the whole Albanian society. Their initiative for denouncing and isolation by the society of women, children and drugs traffickers, will not be very easy. But this initiative should be evaluated seriously by the Albanian government and international organs.
We should concentrate raising the public and state awareness, and at the same time we should also identify and engage all eventual stakeholders of the society.
I think that the foundation of this continuous and un-compromised fight should be:
Measures for reforming the judicial organs. This should be done along with completing the legal framework, in accordance with international standards and the specific conditions of our country.
Full identification and severe punishment of the organizers and supporters of trafficking.
Specialized assistance for the trafficking victims and their rehabilitation, starting from the medical and psychological treatment up to creating conditions for their employment inside or outside the country.
Raising public awareness and education, in particular informing the minors and youngsters about this inhuman phenomena.
Decrease poverty level and political tensions which have damaging social consequences.
Engaging the media as a very important factor not only to talk about this phenomena as a sensational reality, but for protecting the values of our society and attacking this bad phenomena.
In the districts of Lushnje, Puke, and Mirdite the activists of the National Reconciliation Committee have undertaken very valuable initiatives, which should by supported by the public opinion and media. In November 2002, 112 women and girls of Fier Shegan Commune initiated the calling of a National conference against violence exercised by men in the Albanian society. This conference approved a very valuable resolution that was appraised and supported by the international opinion as well as the high organs of the Albanian state, but the political parties did not demonstrate the necessary engagement.
Public engagement and women participation in decision-making processes marks very low levels. Their representation in the local elections of this year is lower than in any other country, that is member of UN. The establishment, by this committee, of the working groups in each village, composed of one representative from the school, one from the local power and a mediator, has enabled the collection of accurate information and has demonstrated the first promising results in problematic areas, with regards to the prevention of trafficking as well as civic education for respecting the law in all its aspects.
The engagement of the citizens themselves in denouncing traffickers is the first factor that will help us make progressive steps in our aspiration to build a contemporary society. This is also the aim of the activists of this committee, based also in our positive tradition of community decision-making. They are organizing, under the collective responsibility of the community, the rehabilitation of the children and women traumatized by the violence and trafficking, releasing women and children who are obliged to say inside of their houses because of blood feuds, and abandoning humiliation methods towards women. Their dedicated work is an example of the qualities and spiritual values of Albanian women and girls. As an intellectual, I feel I have the continuous obligation to support their attempts in this initiative.