New smartphone app, hotline make reporting human trafficking possible for more Albanians

Albanians can now report human trafficking from any mobile phone or landline for free using a new national hotline number; they can also use a new Android smartphone application to quickly report suspected trafficking and locate services for trafficking victims.

By Elda Spaho, World Vision Albania
Published June 24, 2014 at 05:45am PDT

Albanians now have the power to quickly, easily, and anonymously report suspected cases of trafficking, the illegal trading of human beings for forced labor or commercial sex work.

App makes reporting suspected trafficking simple for Albanians

Starting today, Albanians can report human trafficking from any mobile phone or landline for free using a new national hotline number and can use a new Android smartphone application to quickly report suspected trafficking and locate services for trafficking victims.

“Today, this application marks a development that unites Albania with other developed countries through this unique hotline and mobile app, known internationally as a means to respond to cases of trafficking,” said Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama this morning. He spoke at the launch of the new national hotline number and app during a conference organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs/National Coordinator Office for Anti Trafficking, World Vision Albania, and the Vodafone Albania Foundation.

New trafficking hotline free of charge, mobile accessible

The government of Albania’s previous national anti-trafficking hotline could not be dialed with a mobile phone. While almost all Albanians have access to a mobile phone, less than 15 percent have landlines, resulting in the old hotline number largely going unused.

To change this, World Vision, Vodafone, and the government of Albania worked together to identify a new pan-European six-digit short code: 116 006. The new number is free of charge and can be used from any phone — mobile or landline.

Trafficking reports from the hotline and app's hotline direct dial (which has the new number built into it) go directly to the operative office in the General Police Department, who will immediately send officers to respond per Albania’s Standard Operating Procedures put in place to combat trafficking in 2011.

‘Report! Save!’

The new Android smartphone app, called “Raporto! Shpeto!” (Report! Save!), was developed through the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and NetHope. It can be downloaded for free from the Google Play store and includes the following features:

  • Hotline direct dial: Calls the free national anti-trafficking hotline directly for free.
  • Map to services: Displays a map showing services for victims (shelters, hospitals, etc.) nearest the user’s location.
  • Services database: Displays the same information as the map in a list form for users who don’t have GPS-enabled phones or are looking for a particular type of service.
  • Report trafficking: Allows the user to report suspected trafficking to the six government representatives from different government agencies directly via SMS/text and email.
  • Knowledge center: Provides up-to-date information about the problem of human trafficking in Albania and how to identify and prevent human trafficking.

Learn more

Learn more about our work to help protect children from abuse, exploitation, violence, and neglect around the world.

How you can help

Pray for children around the world who are vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation; pray especially that innovations like these would help keep them safe.

Give a one-time gift to help stop human trafficking. Your donation will support our work to create safe places for trafficked and vulnerable children; provide counseling and vocational training to help children recover from their experiences; reunite trafficked children with their families; and support the appropriate authorities to identify, investigate, and prosecute traffickers.

Highlights

  • Albania is ranked as a Tier 2 country by the U.S. State Department 2014 Trafficking in Persons report. The government of Albania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
  • Albanians can now report human trafficking from any mobile phone or landline for free using a new national hotline. Albania’s previous anti-trafficking hotline could not be dialed with a mobile phone.
  • A new smartphone app gives Albanians the power to quickly and anonymously report suspected trafficking and locate services for trafficking victims.
  • This project is a joint effort by World Vision, NetHope, USAID, Vodafone, and the government of Albania.

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