Tirana, March 8, 2021 – The International Women's Day finds the O.L, a 12-year-old girl awaiting justice by the Gjirokastra District Court, while 3 years and 43 hearings have passed since the beginning of the trial. She is one of at least 150 girls and women in Albania, who every year survive sex crimes and seek justice, from a system that manages to punish only 42% of sexual crimes!
CRCA / ECPAT Albania, this March 8 – the International Women's Day, had chosen to protest in front of the Gjirokastra Court, under the slogan "Justice for every girl!", but the Regional Police Authority refused to give permission to us to seek justice for all victims of sexual crimes in Albania, under the justification of Covid!
O.L was only 8 years old when she was sexually abused for 3 years in a row by her 63-year-old teacher, around 6 years ago. While the teacher continues to be free, O.L had to change school and place of residence, in order not to face her abuser every day. After many efforts, the Municipality of Tepelena has finally agreed to provide a modest financial assistance to enable her education and care. BARNAHUS Albania has supported O.L throughout this long ordeal of waiting for justice.
CRCA/ECPAT Albaniaand BARNAHUS Albania for the last 2 years now have expressed and continue to express their serious concern, regarding the delay, not only of this trial, but almost all trials that take place, where the victim of sexual crime is a child or adolescent, over 80% of them young girls.
Given this recurring situation, which puts children, mostly girls, awaiting justice for the crimes committed against them, CRCA/ECPAT Albania and BARNAHUS Albania, publicly ask today the High Council of Justice and the High Inspector of Justice, to start monitoring every trial of children and adolescents, victims of sexual violence in Albania.\
Meanwhile, we demand serious and immediate investigation of every prosecutor and judge, who has exceeded all legal deadlines of investigation or trial on sexual crimes against children, exposing the victims to continuous psychological violence and lack of care, that harms them every day even more! It is totally unacceptable for the justice system to treat children and adolescents, victims of sexual violence, like this! Such practices must be stopped immediately!
TODAY WE ARE LOOKING FOR "JUSTICE FOR EVERY GIRL!"