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Trafficking in human beings in Kosovo and Metohija

Source: Vecernje novosti
KOSOVO is the point of origin, transit and destination for trafficking in women and children who are trafficked internally or outside Kosovo for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
With this statement, the US Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking points out in this year’s report for the territory of Kosovo that foreign victims are mainly from Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania, Russia, Montenegro, Slovakia and Nigeria.
It is said that some victims are in transit across Kosovo on their way to Macedonia, Italy and Albania. A significant rise has been registered in the number of Kosovo inhabitants who were trafficked within Kosovo’s borders during last year, while victims also come from other parts of Serbia. Human traffickers have moved prostitution into private apartments and escort agencies, to avoid being discovered.
– KPS reported that in 2006, 99 operations were carried out towards combating trafficking in human beings, 24 of which were secret – this is said in the report by the Office to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking. KPS arrested 28 persons for human trafficking, slight decrease compared with 33 arrests one year earlier. Fifty victims were identified. Since KPS took over full responsibility for combating human trafficking from UNMIK police, the number of inspection of bars has grew drastically.
During last year, KPS closed down 14 establishments suspected of having been used for the exploitation of trafficking victims. The judiciary worked on 42 cases of human trafficking, of which 27 from the previous years were solved. In the course of 2006, 14 cases were completed and 18 convictions were made. As the Office to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking reports, fifteen persons were sentenced to prison sentences in the duration from four months to nine years, while three persons were convicted to a suspended sentence. Although it could be heard that some officials were involved in human trafficking, no case of a criminal complaint or a rulings against public officials as compliances in trafficking in human beings has been reported.
It is well-known that, when people smuggling is concerned, the Albanians fully control transfer across the Balkans towards Greece, using the routes used for smuggling drugs to that country. According to our sources, the Albanian mafia has established strong relationships with the Turkish, African and Italian criminals for business with illegal migrants, who are occasionally used as couriers for transporting drugs. Besides the citizens of Albania and Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija, smuggled migrants also come from Turkey, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China and other countries.
Some Albanians control this trade from abroad, whereby Belgium is a headquarters of several major players. In the opinion of the Council of Europe representatives, rise in the size of prostitution in Kosovo and Metohija results from, among other things, large presence of foreign troops and civilians in that area, while, according to IOM’s reports, thousands girls and women from Eastern Europe are forcedly coming to Kosovo and Metohija, were they are sexually exploited and coerced intro prostitution. […]

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