CATW February 25, 2013 Albania

CATW launched the Southern Mediterranean Anti-Sex Tourism Campagin and held the Conference at the Albanian Parliament.

CATW’s European Representative Malka Marcovich and our Albanian partner the Women’s Media Group launched the Southern Mediterranean Anti-Sex Tourism Campaign. The campaign "No to Sex Tourism, Yes to Cultural Tourism" focuses on the encroaching sex tourism in the country, promotes awareness of women's rights, and advocates against initiatives that favor decriminalization of the sex industry in Albania. As a direct result of this campaign, the Albanian police conducted an operation in hotels throughout the Albanian coastline and announced on July 28, 2010 that at least three hotel owners in Vlora and Durres were arrested for harboring pimps.

Conference at the Albanian Parliament. Malka Marcovich and Anne Marie Lizin, former President of the Belgium Senate were key speakers at the international conference titled “United against women’s Abuse! The Albanian Parliament for the Protection of their Rights” at the Albanian Parliament in January 2011. This conference was organized to follow-up on previous actions in Albania with the Association of Women Journalists of Albania and CATW from 2000 to 2009. The pro-prostitution lobby was pushing for the legalization of prostitution. It was important to be the first to organize an open conference on the issue of legalization at the Parliament in order to fight the prostitution industry.

In May 2005, Janice Raymond and Malka Marcovich visited Albania to begin the joint project, Promoting Preventative Measures to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation, coordinated by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and CAT. They met with members of the Women’s Media Group who will be coordinating the project in Albania and with journalists from Radio Plus in Pristina, who will be facilitating the project in Kosovo.

Both Janice and Malka spoke to students at the University of Tirana on the subjects of trafficking, prostitution, sex tourism and legal measures to address the demand for sexual exploitation that promotes trafficking. They also met with parliamentary candidates for the upcoming elections, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Health, the President of the Committee for Equal Opportunities, the head of the anti-trafficking center, and a police representative in Tirana.