PARLAMENTARY GROUP FRIENDS OF CHILDREN
The Albanian parliament, in cooperation with UNICEF and CRCA Albania, and with EU support, during 2013, worked together with a group of MPs to establish what in many parliaments throughout the world is referred to as Caucus (Parliamentary Caucus) for children’s rights. In Albania, this group was decided to be named The Parliamentary Group Friends of Children (PGFC).
PGFC establishment refers to one of the best practices of the world parliaments, that of Children’s Committee of the German Bundestag – the first parliamentary body in the world committed to representing the interests of young people; it is also one of the most successful bodies, where MPs are committed to protection of the rights of children and teenagers, by undertaking a series of initiatives which empower the children’s voice in the highest legislative body, Parliament. In many other countries, the Parliaments have driven major changes to the children’s lives, thus becoming a powerful voice in advocating children and human rights.
At the end of a several-month work and the hearing session organised on November 13, 2013 with the two permanent parliamentary commissions - the Commission of Laws and that of Social Issues and particularly after the adoption of the Parliamentary resolution “On Protection and Respecting Children’s Rights in Albania”, the Parliamentary Group Friends of Children was established, which will operate as an ad-hoc group in the Albanian Parliament.
PGFC is composed of nearly 23 MPs, men and women, who for years were dedicated to the promotion of human rights, women and children. The primary aim of PGFC is to involve MPs, who are dedicated and committed about children’s rights, in advocating child rights in order to create a climate of support regarding child issues in the Albanian Parliament; its aim is also to take legislative initiatives, draft efficient policies to prevent the violence against children and guarantee that the state institutions working in child protection, will be supported by the Parliament and will report to the Albanian Parliament on their challenges and achievements.
Its role covers the following aspects:
- Undertaking joint legal initiatives with the civil society; or individual initiatives of MPs for the child protection;
- Organizing hearing sessions with representatives of the Government and NGOs to collect information on the children situation;
- Bringing to the attention of the Albanian Parliament and MPs the reports and the data on the impact and consequence of the violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse of children;
- Allocation of financial resources necessary to promote and support child services, at a central and local level.
To hold hearing sessions on issues related to child wellbeing; organise hearing sessions with the stakeholders and representatives of institutions responsible for children and report on issues related to child rights protection.