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Updated: May 30, 2022

At the invitation of the organizers on May 25, the IPO Executive President Dr. Tomori Mareglen participated in the "Balkan Freedom Forum" on "Human trafficking current trends in the Balkans" which was organized under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Albania His Excellency Ilir Meta in Tirana which was attended by personalities from international politics, interreligious and inter-institutional, among them the US Ambassador in Tirana Her Excellency Youri Kim, the Ambassador-at-large John Cotton Richmond, the Head of the Albanian Interfaith Council Mr. Ylli Doci, etc.

At this conference were discussed and conveyed encouraging messages to all responsible institutions to multiply the efforts and concrete effective initiatives in combating this phenomenon, bringing to justice the responsible perpetrators, and taking the necessary measures to protect and support victims of trafficking.

The President of the Republic of Albania, HE. Ilir Meta stressed that it is very important that criminal structures be hit, accompanied by an awareness campaign in the most vulnerable communities. An investigation, prosecution, and punishment of traffickers is required, including any collaborating official, according to the provisions of the Criminal Code. There is a need to improve coordination and cooperation between different institutions, provide initial identification and immediate referral of victims or potential victims to the relevant services.

Protecting the right to life and human integrity is a mission that belongs to us all.

During the conference of the Balkan Freedom Forum, Dr. Tomori had the pleasure to meet the US Ambassador-at-large, John Cotton Richmond, who congratulated him for the work we are doing with the IPO at the regional and international level, where they talked about the programs and activities that IPO has in its goals, as the possibility of support from US institutions, the need for an effective strategy for the prevention of the phenomenon, protection of victims, as well as in the punishment of perpetrators involved in human trafficking where it should be a priority and greater attention paid to the economic situation, the fight against poverty and inequality, raising the standard of living, social care, creating opportunities for employment, education and youth development, for a secure future in their countries.

A better, more sustainable, more inclusive economy, well-paid employment, better living standards, the rule of law, would not only improve the lives of citizens but also significantly reduce trafficking of any kind and especially the exploitation of children, girls, and women mainly in the Balkan region.

Among the many speeches, one of the most important was that of the US Ambassador HE Yuri Kim who emphasized that: "The fight against human trafficking has been a top priority for the United States across administrations. The United States has been very clear about our support for those who take part in this fight, for those who are at the front lines. To the shelter workers, the civil servants, the police, and the prosecutors who protect the victims, prevent the crimes, and prosecute the criminals, we want you to know: we’re with you, we’ll always be with you in this fight".

"We urge you to seize the opportunity offered by today's forum, analyze the supply chain that enables human trafficking and identify best practices to break it."

IPO and our international team will be seriously engaged in this important topic for the future of our countries where a specialized department will be established soon that will deal with the Prevention of trafficking in human beings and the treatment and assistance of victims of this phenomenon.

IPO News Room

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