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Albania

Albania
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Country info

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

Albania
By adam on Oct 1st, 2006

Sex Work is illegal in Albania. The Penal Code anticipates a punishment varying from a simple fine up to three years of detention for persons practicing commercial sex.
Excerpt from a study made by the Albanian Institute for Public Health and Aksion Plus, SWAN Member from Albania, on sex work situation in this South-East European country. Edited by SWAN News
Sex work is a relatively new phenomenon in Albania, dating from the early nineties. According to some reports from Albanian police and juridical system, almost 70% of female sex workers in and from this country have been dragged into the business forcibly and/or by fraud, through marriages “for a better life” abroad. Trafficked are usually girls from rural areas, from families with very difficult financial situation. Trafficking is managed by organized crime syndicates whose interests are spread across Europe. Although the fight of the state against human trafficking has been more effective in the recent years, partly due to the better international cooperation with the specialized bodies in the receiving countries, human trafficking for sex work is still considered the most “lucrative” crime, and Albania became one of the traffic routes from ex Soviet Union countries towards Western Europe.
Not all sex workers are trafficked. Sex work is a free choice of those sex workers who engage in the business as a result of the very difficult economical situation in the country. More

Albania
By adam on Sep 30th, 2006

This article is taken from the website of the Media Diversity Institute.
The easiest way to get rid of the human suffering inherent in sex trafficking is to recognize the world's oldest profession and legalize it, according to some Albanian legal authorities.
In one American state, Nevada, the home of Las Vegas, prostitution is legal in state inspected brothels. Amsterdam has long been known for its Red Light district featuring the famous girls in the picture windows displaying their bodies for sale.
Could legalization work in Albania…again? More

Albania
By olga on Aug 1st, 2006

Aksion Plus, the SWAN member from Albania, has recently engaged one of its clients, a Methadone-using sex worker, in an outreach program towards sex workers in marginalized groups. At the moment it is a needs assessment, prior to launching harm reduction services (including Methadone treatment), peer and health education, distribution of condoms, and referral to other services for sex workers.
Albania is a recipient of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) support, and Aksion Plus plans to start implementing GFATM by the end of this year.
Street sex workers, especially in Roma and transgender communities, are often harassed by the police, practice unsafe sex in parks, under bridges and in other unhygienic venues. This small outreach project has more ambitious plans in the future. In the presence of the law that prosecutes sex workers, Aksion Plus is striving to at least support them by providing basic life-saving services. So far NGOs have been focused on trafficking, shelters for deported sex workers and similar. No services were available to active sex workers in Albania. Aksion Plus started similar activities with drug users in 2000 when the law was against harm reduction, but with a special agreement with the Ministry of Interior managed to launch a very successful program.

Contact person: Genci Mucollari, Aksion Plus, Albania
E-mail: gencaxionp@albmail.com
Website: www.aksionplus.net

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