Civil society organizations gather for the establishment of a national register for the protection of children from sexual crimes

Civil society organizations gather for the establishment of a national register for the protection of children from sexual crimes

Tirana, 16 February 2015– The Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania in collaboration with the Albanian National Helpline for Children - ALO 116 and the support of the Canadian Government, organized the first consultative meeting to coveywith civil society organizations regarding the establishment of the National Register for the Protection of Children from Sexual Crimes in Albania. The meeting aimed to consider opinions and suggestions regarding the importance of an instrument that aims to protect all children from sexual crimes but also to discuss on building new policies for the prevention of crimes and any other form of sexual violence against children.

The current situation of sexual crimes against children was discussed during the meeting. Moreover, the structure and mechanism of the register were introduced as well as the draft-law that will have to be passed in the Albanian Parliament to establish it. Participants discussed the offenses and specific articles that the register will enclose, with emphasis on creating a system that protects every child from sexual crimes in Albania.

The meeting was attended by representatives of civil society organizations working for children, the director of the State Agency for Protection of Children’s Rights, representative from the Canadian Embassy, representative from the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination, ALO 116, ACTSEC, etc. Mr. Altin Hazizaj opened the meeting by explaining the importance of establishing the Register: "In response to the severe events of paedophilia in Albania, we asked the Parliament, the Ministry of Interior and of Justice to establish the National Register for the Protection of Children from Sexual Crimes. The register, based on the example of a series of EU member states,shall be an instrument of the Albanian government to fight paedophiliaand protect children from every form of sexual violence and harassment”.

The meeting continued with a presentation of key data and facts on sexual crimes in Albania 2009 – 2014, chapter of the criminal code on which this register will be established upon, data from reports on sexual violence, sexual crimes offenders, criminal cases and convictions reported by the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior, etc. After a detailed description of the structure of the register, the floor went to suggestions and discussions on various aspects of the Register.

Participants in the meeting welcomed the initiative and underlined some very important suggestions which were noted accurately. It was suggested to envisage the registration automatically once the offenders were released after detention, make residence reporting mandatory for all sexual perpetrators, make the provision of a certificate obligatory from the register for every public and private employer and employee, regardless of the position, consider the best interests of minors when they are offenders, etc.

At the end of the meeting it was agreed to work in cooperation with state institutions in order to pass the draft-law swiftly in the Albanian Parliament. This meeting marks another step forward in the advancement of building preventive systems for the protection of children from sexual offenses in the framework of the states obligation under the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, Lanzarote.

For more information, please contact:

Mersila Ballo

HRH, CRCA Albania

Tel: 0694060392

E-mail: mersila.ballo@crca.al

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