Tirana, July 3, 2022 – CRCA/ECPAT Albania officially submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, the Alternative Report on the state of children’s rights in Albania from 2014 to the present. CRCA is the only organization in Albania that has submitted an Alternative Report every time the state has reported on the implementation of the CRC.
The report, which has been prepared in cooperation and in consultation with the young people of the Tirana Youth Parliament, aims to highlight the main concerns and failures of Albanian authorities to fulfil their obligations towards the full implementation of the CRC while aim to improve the state of children’s rights.
The report, among other issues, focuses on Albania’s state of implementation of the four fundamental principles of the CRC: non-discrimination, survival and development, the best interest of the child, and child participation.
Regarding the principle of non-discrimination, the report states that “children in Albania continue to suffer from the violations of their basic right to education. In particular, LGBTI children and young people, Roma and children with disability continue to face open discrimination by teaching staff, parents and students in the public education system, which is unable to either protect or guarantee full respect and enjoyment of their rights.”
The justice system in Albania is still far from meeting the international standards for the protection of children and juveniles in contact with the law, especially children’s victims of crimes. Child victims of sexual violence do not receive any compensation from the Government, even though they are responsible for the lack of security that allows crimes to occur against children. The law does not clearly define the state’s obligation to provide all necessary services to victims of sexual violence for free. Meanwhile, media has not yet managed to implement the highest standards of reporting to protect child-victims, often at the expense of the child’s privacy.
Extreme poverty and the lack of national anti-poverty and social support programs, especially during the period of the Covid-19, has greatly affected child right to survival and development. More than 14% of the population live in absolute poverty, while about 3 thousand children live in street situation, being the target of sexual violence and exploitation, including trafficking.
Another concern brought up by the Report is the situation of Albanian children living in war camps in Syria. Despite calls to the Government to protect and return all the children involved in this armed conflict, the number of returned children remains extremely low.
The Alternative Report and the issues raised by CRCA/ECPAT Albania will be considered in a special session by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in the coming months, before taking into consideration the country Report of Albania. At the end of the process, the Committee approves a list of recommendations for improving the situation of children’s rights that shall be implemented by the Albanian authorities during a five-year period.
Albania is a state party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child since February 1992 and has periodically reported to the UNCRC. CRCA/ECPAT Albania prepared and submitted the 1st Alternative Report to the UN in 2001. This paved the way for greater engagement of civil society in the human rights reporting system and was followed by other Alternative Reports on conventions such as CEDAW, CAT, CERD and UPR.
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