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Albanian Anti-Slavery Team links up with CPS

Senior members of the Albanian government are in Wales this week for a major event on modern slavery hosted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Welsh Government.

The visit is supported by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), within the framework of an EU funded project.

Experts from both countries are working together at the conference to better understand human trafficking and how to prosecute the criminals who profit.

The Albanian officials are meeting professionals from the criminal justice system and visiting a safe house where local victims of trafficking are protected. There are also visits to Gwent Police Headquarters and the University of South Wales.

More victims of modern slavery come from Albania to the UK than from any other country. In 2015, 600 Albanian adult slavery victims were identified in the UK, 17% of all cases. In 2015-16 prosecutions for human trafficking nationwide were their highest ever, with the number of convictions also increasing.

The CPS is a key member of the Anti-Slavery Leadership Group which works to improve the investigation and prosecution of modern slavery offences, whilst supporting those who are subjected to this crime. This visit builds on a successful trip to Albania by staff from CPS Cymru-Wales.

Among the members of the Albanian delegation visiting Wales this week are the Deputy Anti-trafficking Coordinator who is also the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Dr. Elona Gjebrea, as well as senior officials from the Albanian Police, prosecutor's office, serious crimes court and non-governmental organisations.

Kim Ann Williamson, CPS Cymru Wales Inclusion and Community Engagement Manager said:

"This high profile event reflects the importance with which we treat modern slavery offences. We are pleased to welcome our guests from Albania and will continue to work together to prosecute those responsible for this heinous crime and provide the best possible support for victims."

Dr Elona Gjebrea, Albania's Deputy Anti-trafficking Coordinator said:

"We are very pleased to be here in Cardiff working with the Welsh Anti-Slavery Co-ordinator, Crown Prosecution Service and other key UK partners combining efforts in the fight against human trafficking"