Altin Hazizaj is among the people who established the Children's Human Rights Centre of Albania (CRCA Albania) in 1997. Since 2002 he is the General Director of the organisation, giving a significant contribution for protection and advancement of children and youth rights in Albania. CRCA Albania is one of the major child and youth organisations in Albania, that works for policy and legislative improvement related to children and youth rights, capacity building for the Albanian government, research and advocacy on children and youth rights and provisions of services for the children most in need. CRCA Albania is funded by UNICEF, UNWomen, European Union, Olof Palme International Center / SIDA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands, Global Campaign for Education etc. More info on CRCA can be read on www.crca.al
In 2013, CRCA led the process for the establishment of the Human Rights House of Albania, a major network working for the advancement of children, youth, women, minorities and LGBT rights. He is a PhD candidate of Law School of Tirana University, while he has LLM and MA degrees in Law and European Studies.
Altin Hazizaj is one of the people that led the efforts for the improvement of LGBT rights in Albania, by supporting the establishment of an LGBT group at CRCA that later would become PINK Embassy / LGBT PRO Albania, now the leading organisation that promotes equality, respect and dignity for every LGBT person in the country. He is one of the legal experts that wrote and defended the approval of the Law against Discrimination in Albania, which was approved by the Albanian Parliament on February 2010 and that for the very first time in the history of the country it gave protection from discrimination the LGBT community. More info on PINK Embassy can be read at www.pinkembassy.al
Altin Hazizaj is the author and co-author of many studies and reports relevant to children and youth rights in Albania, such as: "Vicious Circle", "Forgotten Children", "Awaiting Trial", "Youth Employment Opportunities in Albania", "Albania: The Alternative Report on the Rights of the Child", CEDAW Alternative Report-Albania and "Nobody to Care" etc.
Altin Hazizaj, graduated in 1995 from the Law School of University of Tirana with excellent results, and is dedicated to protecting human rights since 1993, contributing as a staff and consultant in many well-known organizations in Albania and abroad such as: Albanian Helsinki Committee, Center for Population and Development, the Albanian Human Rights Group, Albanian Civil Society Foundation, Save the Children Kosovo, ILO Turin, World Vision Kosovo, UNICEF Kosovo etc. In 2005 he facilitated the establishment of the Albanian Coalition for Promotion of Women and Youth in Politics together with women MP’s, women NGO’s, political forums of youth and women etc.
From 1993 to 1999, Altin Hazizaj worked as a journalist for political and social departments of major newspapers in Albania: "Koha Jone", "Gazeta Shqiptare", "Dita Informacion", "PO"; Magazine "KLAN", including being a news anchor at the National Television "KLAN" during the Kosovo war. His writings and reports have been included in a variety of national and international publications on issues such as: child abuse, administration of juvenile justice, children in conflict with the law, street children, working children, children's rights in Albania, etc.
He has been an expert in several policy documents and member of working groups of the Albanian Government for the preparation of the National Strategy for Children in Albania, National Strategy for Youth in Albania, the National Human Rights Reports etc.
Programme Manager “Support for Women and Youth in Politics and decision-making”
Blerina Metaj is born on 4 October 1978 in Skrapar, Albania. She graduated in 2001 in Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences of University of Tirana. She holds a Master on Executive Government. She has many national and international specializations and trainings on various topics related to human rights. Blerina Metaj has 12 years of working experience in project coordination and management at local and international civil society organizations such as ICS, Peace Games, UISP Torino, CISP, Pink Embassy and CRCA. She is part of CRCA team since 9 years and has been coordinating and managing projects related to working children, child education, children in risk of trafficking, juvenile justice, sexual minorities, women and youth in politics and decision-making etc.
Programme Coordinator “Protection of children from violence in Albania”
Mersila Ballo is born in Tirana, on the 10th of August 1985. She completed her studies at the University of Turin with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science (2003-2006) and later she received her Master Degree in International Relations and Human Rights (2007-2009). Since 1 year she joined CRCA’s staff, first as an Assistant Manager at the programme “Tirana: My city-My voice” and later as Programme Manager for the project “Protection of children from violence in Albania”. She also assists ALO 116-The Albanian National Child Helpline in their fundraising. Her areas of interest are international relations, human rights, children’s rights, politics and advocacy.
Chief Finance Officer
Fabjola Carapuli was born in Gramsh on the 17th of April 1979. She completed her studies at the University of Tirana with a Degree on Financial Management (1997-2001). A year after she received a certificate from the same University as Finance- Banking Specialist.
At the present she is following a Master Degree studies on “The Administration of Social Services” at the Social Sciences Faculty of University of Tirana. She joined CRCA’s i, first as part- time staff being responsible for financial management of three projects and one year after she started to work foll time for CRCA as the Chief Finance Officer.
Her areas of interest are: the economy, project budget planning and human resources management.
General Office Administrator & Assistant Directors
Gjergji Elvis was born in Tirana on August 3 1981. He studied at the General High School "Sami Frashëri" in Tirana, in the time period (1996-2000). In 2002 he joined the staff of the CRCA full time, first as assistant and secretary of the office, then the position of assistant directors and general manager of the CRCA office. He is also a part time staff at the Information and Research Center for Protection of Children's Rights in Albania (IRCCRA) and simultaneously responsible for this center Library. He speaks very well two foreign languages, English and Italian.
His areas of interest are: children's rights, human rights, sports, cars, electronics, etc..
CRCA Coordinator of the Youth Network “Tirana Youth Leadership”
Albanian Coalition for Promotion of Women and Youth in Politics
Klaudio Pulaha was born in Korça on 1 February 1990. He completed his studies at the University of Tirana with a Bachelor degree in Social Work (2008-2011) and then got his Master Degree in “Social Policies” (2011-2013). He was awarded with the title “Student of Excellence” at the end of his academic study years. He has actively participated in different training and work experiences, such as Master Trainer in the project: “Family Planning and Modern Contraceptive Methods” (2009-2011), organized by C-Change/ USAID; Researcher in the SALIN Project “The growth and use of Friendly Services for young people” (2011), organized by Youth Centre ‘PO’; Peer-mentoring in the project: “The promotion of healthy relationships amongst young people” (2011), organized by National Association ‘Stop Aids’ etc. He has attended a number of trainings organized by civil society organizations, focusing on social issues such as HIV/AIDS, alcohol and drugs.
In November 2013, he started to work for CRCA Albania the position of Assistant Team Leader for the programme “Every Roma Child in the Kindergarten”. Since March 2014, Klaudio holds the position of Coordinator of the Youth Network “Tirana Youth Leadership”,part of the Albanian Coalition for Promotion of Women and Youth in Politics.
Albanian Coalition for Child Education (ACCE)
Linda Pino, graduated in 2001 at the Faculty of Education, University “Fan. S. Noli”, Korça. Later she followed her studies at “Alma Mater Studiorum”, University of Bologna (Italy) with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and International Relations. She holds a Master Degree in Politics of the European Union (2010).
She has participated in national and regional trainings on various topics related to human rights. During her studies in Italy, Linda volunteered in several civil society organizations, advocating for the rights of immigrant children for social inclusion and integration. She has 5 years of working experience in civil society organizations and project coordination. She was a volunteer and later on the Local Coordinator of CRCA Albania in Korça for the programme “Stop Child Labour in Albania”.
Since October 2013, she works as the National Coordinator of the Albanian Coalition for Child Education, a major network of civil society organisations in Albania working for the improvement of policies and legislation for children education in Albania.