Tirana, May 14, 2019 - CRCA / ECPAT Albania, makes public the proposals to the Albanian Parliament for amendments to the Criminal Code for the protection of children and youth from violence and exploitation. At an open hearing session in the Albanian Parliament, CRCA / ECPAT Albania sought improvements and additions to the Criminal Code on harassment, pedophilia, pornography or the exploitation of children and young people on the Internet. The proposals come fully in line with the Constitution of Albania and following the recommendations and requests of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe on combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and child pornography.
Director of CRCA / ECPAT Albania, Altin Hazizaj stressed that "The "Crime Without Punishment " Report that was shared in February this year once again showed that monstrous crimes are being committed against children and teenagers online and because of lack of legal arrangements in the Criminal Code these crimes are unpunished yet. Not far from a week ago, the State Police informed us of an online bullying that had provoked a suicide attempt to a minor. Three days ago, social networks were bombed with the profile of a sexual predator that dispersed a violent sexual relationship between an adult and a minor. No one ever thought that she was distributing pornography with minors or worse still so that the girl on the video could be the child of any of us here! The additions and the proposed changes that come before you today are extremely important for protecting our children while surfing the web. Their failure to approve means that we accept that crimes against children will continue to not be punished and that sexual predators will continue to produce casualties! "
Most of the risks that children are threatened with online are not provided for in the Criminal Code. CRCA / ECPAT Albania has proposed, in 2016, 12 additions to the Criminal Code for its amendment and improvement in this regard. These legal absences create to the pedophiles the legal space to abused and exploit children sexually on the Internet.
The HRH's proposals relate to substantial changes in the 7 specific articles of the Criminal Code relating to children and offenses against them, the criminal responsibility of the child and his punishment as the perpetrator of the offense. Article 100 of the Criminal Code on Sexual Relations with Minors proposes to add "Incitement of the child to groom and communicate with the child for sexting". Substantial changes have also been proposed for Article 124 / b, which initially require separation of two different criminal offenses in substance, that of "child maltreatment" and "child exploitation". Other improvements and changes were also required for 12 articles covering the field of protection against sexual crimes and computer crimes.
At this session, the report was also made public for the first time the National Report on “’Children for Children's Rights in Albania”, a participatory research led by children and adolescents in 5 cities of Albania, with the support of CRCA / ECPAT Albania and Save the Children.