In the last 4 months of 2020, 34 children and young people have requested legal aid and primary and secondary services, in terms of their access to justice in Albania and those of public administration.
1. He is 15 years old and he is burdened with 280 criminal proceedings. Has started to show anti-social or illegal behavior since the age of 8, due to the loss of one of the parents and extreme poverty in the family.
2. She is 15 years old and has experienced sexual violence from her mother's husband for years. After deciding to denounce him, the FLA and its experts pursued all investigations to fully clarify the case. The accused is in custody and waiting for the trailawaiting trial.
3. Mother and daughter have lived for years under the trembling humor of their husband and father, while they are victims of sexual and physical violence. After receiving support from the FLA and securing a protection order from the perpetrator, both are receiving the free legal aid needed for civil and criminal litigation.
These are just 3 of the stories that children and teens experience that puts them, or even their families, and their lives at a crossroads. These children and adolescents are not just victims of sexual violence, or physical and psychological violence. These children are also victims of crimes, while some have become part of them.
Although in Albania the concept of free legal protection for children and young people has developed slowly, the Free Legal Aid office in Albania is now considered a necessary service to increase access to justice for them. The number of cases that she handles in time periods make her an irreplaceable service in our country. Her professional work has turned her into one of the most sought-after services in the country.
The Office for Free Legal Aid of Children and Youth in Albania was established by CRCA in the distant year 1999 and in all these years has handled more than 300 cases while over 2000 children and young people have benefited from its services in all over the country.
The Director of CRCA / ECPAT Albania, Altin Hazizaj, underlines that “The main focus of the work of FLA is the legal protection of children and young people, when their rights are violated by state institutions, families, etc. The office has achieved a very large number of case handling with a positive trend in resolving issues, which makes it a necessity the functioning and cooperation and assistance that all structures should provide to this service. "
Only a few months ago CRCA / ECPAT Albania was selected and authorized by the Ministry of Justice as one of the first 12 organizations in Albania to provide primary legal aid to all vulnerable children and young people, including their families. "This decision gives us not only responsibility, but also the burden of proving the success of legal aid that has already passed to civil society," said Altin Hazizaj.
Children and young people who are victims of violence or victims of criminal offenses, but also those who have committed criminal offenses, come to the Free Legal Aid Office (FLA), and find their professional information on their rights, legal system and laws in Albania, receive advice on court or mediation proceedings, assistance in drafting documents seeking secondary legal assistance and representation before judicial or administrative bodies.
One of the experts of this office, Jozef Shkambi highlights that “Out of 34 cases received for treatment, FLA has treated 17 children, juvenile victims of criminal offenses and children in conflict with the law, 10 children victims of sexual abuse and trafficking, 3 victims of domestic violence, etc. He also added that "It is worrying that the number of minors in conflict with the law is increasing year by year".
FLA has also carried out it’s professional legal intervention in monitoring the High Judicial Council, the High Prosecution Council and the General Prosecutor's Office regarding the implementation of juvenile justice legislation in Albania. The Office has also worked to present legal proposals on changing the electoral system in Albania, the Family Code, the Register of Sexual Crimes, etc.
For more information, contact:
Free Legal Aid Office in Albania