Sex trafficking, a form of modern slavery, is poorly handled and is not given the spotlight it needs. Every day in Kosovo, women and girls are subjected to forced prostitution in private homes, apartments, nightclubs, and massage parlors.
While the seriousness of the issue is crystal clear, according to reports, judges in Kosovo continue to impose weak sentences on convicted traffickers. There is a minimum penalty of five years of imprisonment for trafficking according to Kosovar legislation, but many traffickers have received much lesser sentences. Last year, seven traffickers received suspended sentences, while seven more were only fined. The lowest fine issued was just 600 euros.
Meanwhile, the two NGO-run shelters for survivors of sex trafficking in the country have seen a decrease in funding in recent years. From a total of just over 100,000 euros in 2015, the amount received by the shelters from the government fell to around 72,000 euros last year. One NGO-run shelter temporarily closed for a month in 2017 due to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare delaying calls for funding applications.
Complementary to K2.0’s “Handle With Care” exhibition, in our next Small Talk, we’re talking sex trafficking in Kosovo. How has the landscape changed in terms of sex trafficking since Kosovo’s independence? What more can be done to support those that have been trafficked? Do Kosovar institutions do as much as they should to prevent this modern form of slavery?
Join us at 18:00 on Friday, November 23 at K2.0’s new space for an open, participative discussion, where we’ll tackle these questions and more. To help address these topics we have invited a few people to get the conversation started:
- Adile Basha Shaqiri — High Officer for anti-trafficking at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare
- A representative from the Directorate for Investigations Against Trafficking with Human Beings in the Kosovo Police.
- Lumnije Behrami — Legal Officer at Civil Rights Program
- A representative from the Kosovo Judicial Council
The discussion will be moderated by Adelina Berisha, an activist fighting gender based violence.K
*Translation in English will be provided.
This public talk is financially supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Prishtina.