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VATRA Legal Clinic

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" Together for an inclusive family and society, free of violence, exploitation and discrimination."

Founded in 1999, Vatra is a human rights organisation in the city of Vlöre (Albania) born to combat the phenomenon of human trafficking in Albania. Throughout its early years, it gained the support of the UK and US embassies as well as the OSCE, which recognised the contribution of Vatra in bringing awareness to the topic of human trafficking of young girls in Albania. Progressively, the presence and work of Vatra has pushed the Albanian government to take conscience of the issue and has helped to establish local and regional Anti-trafficking network. The awareness raised by Vatra has reached up to 35.000 people and has pushed the Albanian government to take action in its political agendas and to comply with human rights standards. 


Since 2018, Vatra is a legal clinic providing free legal and psychological counselling to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, these being primarily children, young girls and women. The subject of the cases handled by the Clinic’s lawyers are civil and criminal cases: some of the issues in which the Legal Clinic Vatra assists and represents the beneficiaries in the judiciary are: divorce, child custody, domestic violence, protection orders etc. The lawyers provide legal advice on the legal path to be followed, depending on the various issues the arise at the Clinic. The Legal Clinic Vatra also provides psychological services, such as counseling, assessment and assistance for children, girls and women, victims of domestic violence, and victims of trafficking. It also offers psychological counselling to abusive men and boys.


What You Will Do As An Intern

  • Shadow lawyers and support them in all the necessary legal proceedings.

  • Assist with legal advice on the legal path to be followed, depending on the various issues the arise at the Clinic (divorce, child custody, domestic violence, protection orders etc.)

  • Support Vatra lawyers to represents the beneficiary victims in all justice institutions such as Police, Prosecutor, Court and administrative institutions.


Are there any non-legal tasks the intern is expected to do? 

Vatra also provides psychological counselling and assistance to victims of domestic violence and trafficking. Hence, the Interns may be also involved with psychological services to support the victims that the assigned attorney is representing before courts and institutions.

Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Law student (Bachelor/Master) or attending law related courses, passionate about human rights. 

  • Interns must have a fluent working English. Knowledge of Italian/Albanian could be an advantaged. 

  • Interns must be flexible and team-oriented.​


The internship can take place at any time  except the month of August, due to the closure of the courts for summer vacations. Considering the object of this internship, its necessary the practice in the court and the learning procedures of the various cases (civil or criminal).  


4 weeks (minimum) up to 8 weeks (maximum).

Working Hours 

5 hours per day for 5 days per week (Monday through Friday). 

Location (in person/online)

In person at the legal offices of Vatra, in Vlöre (Albania). 
**Due to pandemic circumstances, and different health problems that may occur, they may conduct the internship online, but only if our staff or the intern is infected by covid-19.

Application procedure 

  1. Apply via the INTERNaction form (click "Apply") - applications open from the 20.03.2022 at 10am until the 10.04.2022, 12am

  2. INTERNaction holds interviews and pre-select up the best candidates

  3. Pre-selected candidates will have a zoom call with Vatra staff 

  4. Vatra confirms the best successful candidate and establishes a first contact via email​

Financial Matters & Accommodation

The internship is not remunerated as Vatra is a pro-bono legal clinic. The intern does not have to pay any fee to Vatra.


Vatra does not provide meals nor accommodations facilities, yet it is enthusiastic to give contacts to the interns to find an accommodation during the internship. Vatra staff is happy to give tips and show around Vlöre to ensure that interns get to know their city and have a good time.

Vlöre is a small city, hence transportations costs are limited to trips that the Interns may do for pleasure in their free time. 

Intern at VATRA

Covid-19 related Requirements and Regulations

  • Intern must abide by all health measures that are being implemented in Albania at the time of internship must be rigorously followed. 

  • Where interns are vaccinated, they need to provide Vatra staff with their passport.

  • Where interns are not vaccinated, Vatra requires a negative test result prior the beginning of the internship after the intern has arrived to Albania (5 days maximum). Vatra strongly encourages interns to stay updated about the covid-19 regulations published the Albanian government and to act accordingly.

  • Quarantine prior the beginning of the internship is not strictly required, if the test result is negative. Conversely, where the intern may show any symptom of covid-19, a quarantine is required. Again, the exact amount of days of quarantine and specific requirements depend on the Albanian regulations at the time of the internship. 


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How was VATRA founded?


In 1997, Albania experienced a peak in human trafficking of young girls, mostly from rural areas. Ms. Vera Lesko, later founder of VATRA, took action and with other women started preventing the phenomenon by directly meeting the victims on a local level. They started providing information on human trafficking, its forms and ways that traffickers used to recruit the victims. In 1999, VATRA was founded to raise awareness and push the political agendas of local governments in Albania to acknowledge the size of the phenomenon and tackle it. This led to many successes: in 2001, VATRA was able to found the first children shelter for young victims of violence and trafficking with Save the Children; VATRA established the first Anti-trafficking local network in 2004, which was then implemented officially by the Albanian government in 2006; since 2018, with the support of the EU Commission and Save the Children, VATRA was officially accredited as the first legal clinic in Southern Albania, providing legal assistance to more than 250 victims of trafficking and domestic violence every year. Since 2001, VATRA assists the Albanian government in policy and legislative drafting to increase protection against human trafficking and domestic violence.

The contribution of VATRA has been recognised by the OSCE, foreign embassies and led VATRA to join important international movements combating trafficking such as:  the National Coalition of Anti-Trafficking Shelters (NCATS), The Albanian Women Empowerment Network (AWEN), "Together on General Child Care" Coalition (BKTF), "Justice for All" Coalition (KDGJ), ARIADNE Network, Greece, Netzkraft Movement, "End Slavery Now" Movement

On-going projects 2021
Work of VATRA

Prevention of trafficking in human being and domestic violence

In the realm of prevention of human trafficking and domestic violence, VATRA provides educational and informative sessions as well as trainings, seminars, roundtables. The Legal Clinic offers legal assistance and counselling and monitors decisions of the Court, Prosecution and Police institutions. VATRA offers psychological counselling to abusive men and boys to prevent the development of violence against women later on. Awareness and capacity building are the core strategies of VATRA, which participates in radio and TV talks and contributes with studies, annual reports, leaflets, brochures, posters, etc.

VATRA activities

Rehabilitation and Reintegration of the victims of human trafficking and domestic violence

VATRA aims at contributing to the building of a family and a society which is inclusive, free of violence, exploitation and discrimination. Accordingly, for this to happen, it is a premise for VATRA to ensure an appropriate rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of human trafficking and domestic violence in society. They do so, by offering accommodation in a protected shelter up to 2 years where victims are assisted with: medical support, legal services, psychological counselling, socio-cultural activities and guidance to economic empowerment via the funding of small business.

Awards of VATRA

Some of the prizes that VATRA has been awarded

  • "Women of Courage" award by the American Ambassador, Mr. John Withers in 2009.

  • "Heroin of Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings" by the State Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2009 

Anti-Slavery Prize - 2003


OSCE certificate "In recognition of her outstanding contribution to fulfilling the broader humanitarian and security goals of OSCE mandate in Albania".


"Gratitude Award" from Catholic Mission in Blinisht Lezhe on 3 March 2006.


"Ambassador of Honor" awarded by the Albanian Government2010

Do you see yourself working in the VATRA team? Are you driven to promote and protect human rights in Albania ? 


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