Tirana, 21 July 2022 – With 124 votes in favor, the Albanian Parliament approved late in the evening the Law on National Register of Sex Offenders. With this initiative, Albania takes the first serious step towards protecting children from online and offline sexual violence. The law is broadly based on the draft prepared by the best experts of CRCA/ECPAT Albania.
The approval of the law, submitted as a private member’s bill by MP Erisa Xhixho and drafted by CRCA/ECPAT Albania, brought together civil society, citizens, MPs and institutions with the common goal of establishing a national mechanism for monitoring persons who commit sexual crimes.
On the eve of the approval of the law by the Parliament, Altin Hazizaj – Director of CRCA/ECPAT Albania, said: “Today is a historic day for Albania! Now all those who dare to touch or sexually abuse a child should think twice! It is not only the prison that awaits them, but a whole life under constant monitoring from the police and the public!”.
The law defines the principles, rules and procedures based on which sex offenders are registered by the police. It also defines the authorities responsible for the establishment, administration, and maintenance of the Register at the central and local level and their respective duties to ensure the monitoring of those convicted of sexual crimes. The Law uses a broad definition of what are considered sexual crimes, including trafficking in persons, and stalking among them. Emphases was given to protection of children, girls, women, and other vulnerable groups.
The goal of the law is to protect every person from sexual crimes, especially children, with the focus being the prevention of sexual crimes. Almost 80 percent of sexual crimes in Albania are committed against children and teenagers.
The adoption of the law for CRCA/ECPAT Albania it means a successful completion of a nine-year campaign to make the sex offenders register a reality.
The legal initiative “On the National Register of Sex Offenders” was proposed by CRCA/ECPAT Albania initially in 2013, but at that time the Parliament agreed to pass changes only to the Criminal Code. In 2019, the initiative was brought back for approval by MP Fatjona Dhimitri, but due to the parliamentary elections, the Assembly did not have the necessary time to consider. In 2020, with the constitution of the new parliament, the draft law was brought back to the Assembly for approval.
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