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Children on the Move, Trafficking and Child Protection Mechanisms

2014-10-31

October 20 and 23, 2014, Gjirokastra and Kukes, Albania: A local forum with authorities at the municipality and county level was held in two border cities of Albania to advocate for the protection of children on the move, in the framework of the National Anti-trafficking week and the Mario project />
At the initiative of the Office of the National Anti-trafficking Coordinator and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the “National Anti-trafficking Week” was held during 18-24 October, 2014. With the motto “Report Trafficking in persons is a crime” several Non-Governmental Organisations prepared different events and activities all over Albania. Terre des hommes and Save the Children participated actively during the Anti-trafficking week by organising 2 Local Forums with authorities at the municipality and county level as part of the advocacy events planned under the Mario project.
The objectives of the local forums were: 1) to raise the awareness of local public authorities on the vulnerabilities of children on the move to trafficking and other forms of abuse; 2) to analyse the local situation in both Gjirokastra (in the south, bordering with Greece) and Kukes (in the north, bordering Kosovo); and 3) to identify possible actions at the local level to protect children on the move.
Members of the Border Police, the County Council, the Regional Directorates of Social Services, the Regional Anti-trafficking Committee, and the Child Protection Units and social services at the municipality level participated in the Local Forums.
The different authorities that participated agreed that efforts in child protection are still very fragmented, that coordination between different local structures is incomplete and that there are still issues with the convergence between the different established mechanisms such as the Child Protection System and the National Referral Mechanism of Victims of Trafficking. The local forums were an opportunity for them to hold open and informed discussions on how to better protect children on the move and promoted the start of further future collaborations.
The actions identified by the participants in the local forums will be developed and integrated to the National Anti-trafficking Coordinator in the framework of the National Referral Mechanism for Victims of Trafficking.