From: Alice Taylor
Albania is Source Country for Victims of Modern Slavery in UK

The British government identified 10,627 suspected victims of modern slavery in 2018. Many of these came from Albania, along with Nigeria and Vietnam.

Priti Patel, the British Home Secretary said they will be looking closely at the findings of the report.

While the UK has laws in place to combat modern slavery, Patel said there is a lot more to be done to tackle the issue in the country. It is estimated that crime costs Britain around GBP 4.3 billion every year, based on the presence of between 10,000 and 13,000 slaves in the country.

The government has estimated that there are some 100,000 slaves living in the UK at the moment.

In 2017, Albania topped a UK list as the number 1 source for victims of modern slavery. Then in 2019, Reuters discovered that the UK was sending home dozens of slaves to trafficking hotspots such as Albania, putting them at risk of re-trafficking.  

In June of this year, the British Home Office published a report on the trafficking of Albanian women for sexual exploitation. It found that while official figures of those trafficked may have decreased, this does not mean that this is the reality. They noted it referred only to identified cases and that cases were not always recorded adequately. 

The recent US State Department on human trafficking noted that while there had been improvements, more work was needed to effectively combat the issue.

The Department advised the Albanian government to “investigate, prosecute and punish traffickers – including officials who cooperate with them.”

“The government sentenced five traffickers in 2018 and 2019, the lowest number of convictions since 2014.” – emphasizes the report

According to the Department, the Albanian government does not fully meet the required minimum standards for eliminating trafficking but is making efforts to do so. It is currently ranked as a “tier 2” country.