Tirana, 14 February 2020 - The civil society organizations working to protect the rights of children protested this morning in front of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on the latest incidents of sexual abuse and exploitation of children from teachers in public schools to ask for an overhaul of the system of child protection and teachers employment practices.
Representatives of the CSOs demanded the resignation of the Minister of Education, Besa Shahini, which is seen as politically responsible for not doing enough to protect children from sexual violence in public schools.
During the protest, the Executive Director of CRCA/ECPAT Albania, Altin Hazizaj, addressed the Ministry and requested: “A comprehensive and urgent process of psychological evaluation of teachers, educators and any other person who has contact with children in the premises of public educational institutions in the country”.
The protesters demanded from the Ministry of Education the following:
- Prohibit teachers from practicing the profession when proven guilty of any form of violence against children;
- Suspension from the work of every teacher, educator and other employees who witness children becoming victims of violence and do not report it to the authorities. Not reporting violence is a CRIME!
- Establish reporting mechanisms on violence in schools and kindergartens, while inform teachers, educators and children on such mechanisms;
- The Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth shall urgently draft a Code of Conduct for Protection of Children, to be signed by every teacher and educator that is in direct contact with children.
Few days ago, the Albanian public opinion was shocked by the reports of sexual abuse and exploitation of children from their teachers in a public school, shown in a major investigation TV programme. So far, the Ministry of Education has failed to address the issue and has neither held a press conference nor informed the public on the situation of children in this school or other public schools across Albania.