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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                               

The Republic of Albania

Albania, a formerly closed, centrally planned state, is a developing country with a modern open-market economy. Albania managed to weather the first waves of the global financial crisis but, the negative effects of the crisis caused a significant economic slowdown. Since 2014, Albania’s economy has steadily improved and economic growth reached 3.8% in 2017. However, close trade, remittance, and banking sector ties with Greece and Italy make Albania vulnerable to spillover effects of possible debt crises and weak growth in the euro zone.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2021]

Description: Description: Albania

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Albania.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Albanian street children’s plight recognized by study

World Vision Meero, February 22, 2008

[accessed 16 January 2017]

Of the street children interviewed, 94% were boys between 10 to 14 years old, and as many as half of them started to work before the age of 10. Some children belonged to ethnic minority groups such as Roma and Egyptian, while others were non-minority Albanian. In many cases the reasons the children are on the street were the same, regardless of whether or not they were a from minority group.  Family poverty is one of the main conditions that result in children begging or working on the street. Many of them labor an average of seven hours a day and others as much as 18 hours, with most of their earnings given to their families. More than 80% of street children work mostly during the day, hence school drop out is high among them. However, most of the children interviewed during the quantitative study reported that if they could they would be happy to attend school.


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 18 January 2011]

[113] The Roma or “Egyptian” minority groups are significantly marginalized in Albanian society. The study also estimated that the majority of street children in various cities in Greece are Albanian.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 4 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Homeless, displaced or street children remained a problem, particularly Romani children, who lived in extreme poverty throughout the country. Street children begged or did petty work; many migrated to neighboring countries, particularly during the summer.

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] According to the CRCA, the majority of child laborers worked as street or shop vendors, beggars, farmers or shepherds, drug runners, vehicle washers, textile factory workers, and shoeshine boys, some as many as 16 hours a day. In Tirana and other cities, children—mostly Roma—worked as beggars or sold cigarettes and other items on the street; the police generally ignored this practice. The CRCA also noted that there were approximately one thousand street children in Tirana.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 28 January 2005

[accessed 18 January 2011]

[72] The Committee is very concerned that street children represent the most unprotected category of children in Albania and regrets the lack of information in the State party's report in this respect.

Children of the Stoplights

Discarded Lies, Winds of Change.NET, January 14, 2005

[accessed 18 January 2011]

They're skinny, their clothes are cheap and ill-fitting, their hair is uncombed, they're Roma, they're Albanian, they're all from some other place. They look weary and scared but they smile easily, like children do. They spend their days and nights at traffic lights, or wandering around the areas their boss has marked for them, restaurants and cafés, but careful not to hang around too long, not to attract too much attention.

For Albanians, It's Come to This:  A Son for a TV

Nicholas Wood, The New York Times, Durres Albania, 13 November 2003

[accessed 28 March 2011]

[accessed 27 September 2021]

Judy Mitstifer, 43, a missionary from Liberty, Pa., has set up a school for street children in Pogradec. Many of them, she said, are on the cusp of becoming child prostitutes and run a high risk of being trafficked.  "The kids here, we try to keep track of them," said Ms. Mitstifer, after approaching two girls, Bukuria, 11, and Bala, 12. "We know who buys and who sells. Our hope is that the school is attractive enough so they stay."

State Report / Alternative NGO Report / CRC Concluding Observations [DOC]

[access date unavailable]

OVERVIEW OF STREET CHILDREN ISSUES - STATE REPORT - Unsourced information alleges that there are some 800 children on the streets of Tirana as beggars, vendors and shoeshine boys.  Many of the street children are believed to be Roma who are involved generally in begging and in some cases end up in prostitution.  There is recognition of a rise in the numbers of drug addicts among children although no figures are available.

Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe [PDF]

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, 12/5/2003

[accessed 28 March 2011]


[page 51] TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN FOR BEGGING AND OTHER FORMS OF FORCED LABOR - The number of younger children under 13 trafficked for begging to Greece also fell in 2002. These estimates are based, in the first instance on the number of foreign street children visible on the streets of Greece. In the 1990s there were thousands of street children reported in Italy and Greece, but now the number is much lower and, according to the Greek police, 90 percent of the 300 children arrested for begging each year at the streets of Athens are Albanian.

Child Trafficking in EU countries [PDF]

[access date unavailable]

The majority of street children in Greece are Albanians. Child trafficking has concentrated on Athens and Thessaloniki.  terre des hommes estimated the number of street children in the big Greek cities in December 1999 at approx. 1000. According to the figures given by the Athens police, about 300 children were picked up for begging, 90 percent of them being Albanians. – htsc

UNICEF Calls For Eradication Of Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Children

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, Geneva / New York, 12 December 2001

[accessed 28 March 2011]

In Albania, UNICEF works with a local non-governmental organization that runs reintegration classes for street children, 80 per cent of whom have been exploited in Greece or Italy.

Human Development


[accessed 10 October 2012]

The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on sex, race, ethnicity, or language; however, discrimination against women and Roma minority groups persisted. Societal discrimination against Roma, the Egyptian Homeless, displaced or street children remained a problem, especially among Roma children. They begged in the street or did other petty work, and many immigrated to neighboring countries, especially during the summer. The Roma and the Egyptian communities were among the most politically, economically and socially neglected groups in the country.

UNDP-Albania Launches the National Human Development Report for Albania 2005

[access information unavailable]

* Young people in Albania constitute the most vulnerable.

* There are approximately 6700 employed and street children in Albania.

* Only 3 out of 10 children attend secondary schools in rural areas.

* 64% of Roma and 24% of Egyptian children aged 7-20 years old are illiterate.

Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

Government of Albania, May 3, 2000

[accessed 28 March 2011]


9. The social stratification since the 1996 LSMS may have changed as a result of the economic downfall caused by the pyramid scheme crisis, and large-scale internal and external migration. There are indications that significant pockets of urban poverty have appeared. Slum-like communities have formed around Tirana and other major cities, lacking urban infrastructure and services. Children from these communities often have to walk for about an hour to reach school. It is estimated that in Tirana there are about 800 street children. Parents working abroad often leave their children with grandparents or relatives who in some cases are not able to take adequate care of them.

Everychild ::: Helping Children Worldwide - Country Overview

[access information unavailable]

New social groups, such as street children and children who leave the education system early in order to work, have been created; UNICEF states that there are approximately 2,500 street children in Albania, and the Ministry of Education has reported that 16,000 children do not attend compulsory education.

Project representation/childhouse Tirana

National Help Program Albania

[accessed 28 March 2011]

The child house Tirana is open leisure facilities for street children, children from ruined parental homes, children of former refugees and children from social weakly supplied families between 6 and 16 years independent of ethical and cultural origin, their religion, membership  and their sex.. The Kinderhaus Tirana is open leisure facilities for street children. The integration of more partly handicapped children is natural in the context of the possibilities.

National Help Program Albania is an Albanian non-governmental organization  that was founded on the bases of voluntarily union of its initiators in February 2000. This strong initiative was inspired by many social-economic problems that exist in the society of Albanian. The main target groups are children and youth of Albania.

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