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Information about the country: Albania (Albanian: Shqipëri/Shqipëria) is a country in Southeastern Europe on the Balkan peninsula. 

Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International

HIV/AIDS rates: There are 820 cumulative HIV cases registered through HIV/AIDS surveillance system from 1993 (the year of the first detected HIV case in Albania) until 2015. 

HIV prevalence among sex workers: Almost 0%: 2-3 sex workers have HIV according to the latest data of Public Health Institute

Legal situation around sex work: Sex work is illegal and criminalized: The Penalty Code punishes provision of sexual services for money with a fine or up to 3 years of imprisonment.

Buying sex is criminalized in some cases, but there are no sanctions against sex workers' clients.

The Penalty Code also punishes the following crimes:

  • coercion into prostitution and exploiting individuals with the aim of sex work by third parties – up to 5 years of imprisonment, and up to 15 years of imprisonment in case there are aggravating circumstances for sex work;
  • maintaining or giving for rent bars, clubs or other environments – up to 10 years of imprisonment;
  • any kind of pornography – a fine or up to 2 years of imprisonment. If an underaged is involved – 1 to 5 years of imprisonment;
  • renting an apartment or hotel for sex work related activities is punished with up to 5 years of imprisonment.

Services for sex workers: There exist social and psychological support, dissemination of condoms and other supply, training, legal support, Methadone Maintenance Therapy Treatment for those who are using drugs. These services are sponsored by the Global Fund, SWAN and UNFPA.

The Global Fund is present in the country with transitional funds until the new application.

Sex workers’ movement: There is “Pink Embassy” and “Useful to Albanian Women” that among other vulnerable groups support LGBT.

Latest news

By ekaterina on Dec 22nd, 2017

A Memorandum to create an EECA Regional Communities Consortium has been signed on December 20, 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The goal of the Consortium is to unite the efforts of key populations networks of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) in developing a long-term multi-country program on increasing efficiency and sustainability of national HIV strategies in the region.

By ekaterina on Dec 17th, 2017

17 December 2017 marks the 14th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. For fourteen years, sex workers around the world have used this day to highlight the need for action to end violence against sex workers. The issues faced by sex workers often vary from region to region, due to different laws, social and cultural contexts, but one common issue faced by all sex workers is their vulnerability to and experience of violence.

By ekaterina on Nov 30th, 2017

To mark World AIDS Day 2017, SWAN and ICRSE, two regional networks for sex workers’ rights in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia join individuals, organisations and other networks in uniting in the fight against HIV globally, and remembering those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Together, SWAN and ICRSE are publishing this joint statement to continue to highlight the key issues sex workers face in relation to health and HIV. We invite sex workers and allies in our region to join us in marking #WorldAIDSDay by including these HASHTAGS on social media and help us raise awareness of the importance of sex workers’ rights in the fight to end HIV and ensuring nobody is left behind!

By ekaterina on Jun 2nd, 2017

Today, on 2nd of June 2017, we mark The International Sex Workers’ Day. On this day in 1975 French sex workers occupied the Saint-Nizier church in Lyon for 8 days in a desperate attempt to call attention to their worsened working conditions. On 10th June at 5 o'clock the Church was brutally raided and cleared by police forces.

By ekaterina on Dec 15th, 2015

The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) have organized a 3 days long Community Mobilization and Media training for sex workers that took place on December 5-8, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. There were 10 sex workers at the training, who came from the countries of SWAN region, majority of which do not have formal or informal groups of sex workers yet.

By admin on Dec 18th, 2013

Action plus, Albania
Media announcement
17th of December International day to end violence against sex workers

17th of December is international day to end violence against sex workers. On that day sex workers their alias and the activists for human rights all around the world are getting together to call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe.

By admin on Mar 15th, 2011

On the occasion of the 17th of December Aksion Plus (A+) was invited to participate in a National Human Rights Debate. Two A+ staff and one transgender sex worker spoke about the issues that sex workers currently face, services that are offered and advocacy efforts to advance sex workers’ rights. In his power point, Genci Mucollari, the director of A+ presented, also discussed, the existing mechanisms that can be used enforce respect for the rights of the LGBT community in Albania. The following people also delivered speeches: the State Commissioner for Protection against Discrimination, representatives from LGBT community and Pink Embassy and journalists.

By Aliya on Jul 11th, 2010

On Saturday, May 29, 2010 the third and final generation of SWAN groups participated in a training on media sensitizations in Tirana, Albania. Genci and Enkelejda of Aksion Plus were gracious hosts in their beautiful city. Representative from sex work projects from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro and Latvia participated in the one-day event which also brought together sex workers from Hungary, Albania and Bulgaria.

By Aliya on Jul 11th, 2010

June 3, 2010
By Anna-Louise Crago
Over all the ethical breaches and problems surrounding media representation of sex workers echoed those of previous SWAN groups who did the media sensitization trainings. The fact that Hungary has a legalized system with tolerance zones contributed new dynamics and issues to think about.

By Aliya on Apr 12th, 2010

Sex workers’ organizations across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia used the opportunity of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers to advocate SW’s rights. Below is a summary of the activities carried out be the organizations.

By olga on Apr 7th, 2010

Albanian SWAN-member Aksion Plus have prepared the first national map on the sex work-scene in Albania. The findings are alarming.

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

The meeting brought together 32 participants from 16 countries with the aim to exchange experience, share problems and find solutions, renew and strengthen the partnership ties and get to know new network members better.

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2009

Dear all:

To mark December 17, the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, the Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia is releasing its new report, Arrest the Violence: Human Rights Violations Against Sex Workers in 11 Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The report is based on interviews with more than 200 male, female and transgender sex workers between 2007 and 2009 and chillingly documents widespread violence and discrimination against them, particularly by state actors.

According to Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch’s Health and Human Rights Division:

Arrest the Violence is the first piece of research done under the leadership of sex workers to document human rights violations they face across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Sex workers throughout the region report that they face verbal and physical abuse, including beatings, kidnapping, and sexual violence, by police and private citizens. Sex workers also report that police confiscated condoms as “evidence” of sex work, and subjected them to mandatory HIV testing.
These are not isolated incidents. The physical, sexual, and verbal violations of sex workers’ rights are part of a pattern of abuse by police and in the community that is documented throughout the region.
It is my sincere hope that this report will serve as a catalyst to awaken the broader human rights community to the importance of documenting and denouncing human rights abuses against sex workers, and working with sex workers to end these abuses.

To access the report, please follow the links below.
Questions or comments may be directed to SWAN@TASZ.HU.

Aliya Rakhmetova
Coordinator Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN)


By Guest on Sep 28th, 2009

July 2009, Tirana --- Aksion Plus, an Albanian NGO and SWAN member since 2006, worked in cooperation with one of the main media outlets in Tirana to publicize interviews and focus group discussions with sex workers.

By Aliya on Feb 5th, 2009

Report on the mapping project research data and general conditions for sex workers in Albania. Genci Mucollari, Director of Aksion Plus, was a guest in the live morning program Wake Up! on the Top Channel on December 19.

By Aliya on Feb 5th, 2009

Report on the mapping project research data and general conditions for sex workers in Albania. Genci Mucollari, Director of Aksion Plus, was a guest in the live morning program Wake Up! on the Top Channel on December 19.

By Aliya on Feb 5th, 2009

Albanian NGO Aksion Plus about sex work issues and violation of human rights.

ORA News, 2008

By Aliya on Jan 27th, 2009

Read article in Albanian

By Aliya on Jan 27th, 2009

Sex workers in Albania are exposed to violence, are not protected by the law and do not have access to public health – this was the theme of this year’s December 17 campaign organized by Aksion Plus, SWAN member from Albania.  The campaign had three target audiences: general population, sex workers, and decision makers.

By Aliya on Jan 26th, 2009

December 17 campaign sparked media interest in the situation sex workers experience in other countries in the region. Several Serbian media noted the red umbrella march and exhibition in Skopje and commented on forced STI testing action in November.  Macedonian media on their side reported about issues sex workers face in Albania.


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