Albanians, especially the youth, are one of the most trafficked populations in Europe. Despite only having a population of 2.8 million, Albanian victims of exploitation are found in almost every country in Europe; the UK alone confirmed 1274 victims in 2017-18. These are the lucky ones who made it through the complicated government system. Countless more in the UK and all over Europe will never be recorded.
Youth unemployment hovers around 23%, meaning around a quarter of people between 16 and 24 are neither in education or work. Traffickers offering high salary ‘jobs’ in Europe easily prey on those who are concerned about their job prospects. But it is not just those out of work who are vulnerable; university students are increasingly being trafficked through the ‘boyfriend’ or ‘partying’ models. In these models, personal relationships, formed when students are first living away from home, are used to manipulate people into exploitation.
Informed by values-laden thinking and ethical leadership, the ARISE Foundation offer possibilities for grant-aided training and support to organisations which work to combat human trafficking and effect change at grassroots level.
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.