On 18 October 2018, Kosovo institutions and EU officially launched a nationwide campaign to promote the fight against trafficking of human being in Kosovo. The campaign was launched with a high level conference attended by Head of the EU Office in Kosovo and the EU Special Representative, Nataliya Apostolova, Kosovo’s President President Thaçi and Prime Minister Haradinaj, joined by all the relevant Ministers of the Kosovo government. The conference highlighted key progresses made in the fight against trafficking in Kosovo, as well as the continuous challenges in addressing this national and transnational problem affecting the very fabric of Kosovo’s society.
EU remains a key institution in supporting, increasing the capacities of Kosovo institutions to coordinate national efforts in addressing trafficking in human beings. EU supports Kosovo to improve how human trafficking crimes are investigated and prosecuted, how victims and witnesses are protected, while cooperating with the civil society in the process.
Kosovo remains a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Most victims are internally trafficked for sexual exploitation. Most sex trafficking victims in Kosovo are girls. They are subjected to sex trafficking in private homes and apartments, nightclubs, and massage parlours. Also, children from Kosovo, Albania, and other neighbouring countries are forced to beg within the country. Traffickers subject Kosovo citizens to forced prostitution and forced labour throughout Europe. Marginalized Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities are especially vulnerable to forced begging and sex trafficking.
It should be noted that Kosovo institutions are addressing human trafficking with seriousness and commitment. Considerable progress is made in the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, which has entered into force in January 2013 and has toughened the penalty policy for traffickers, penalized the use of services of trafficking victims and has including the forced beggary as a trafficking offense. Further, Kosovo is among the few countries that has a particular law for preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting victims of human trafficking, which entered into force on September 2013.