CRCA/ECPAT Albania: Without respecting and guaranteeing the rights of children, Albania won’t be able to move forward with the EU integration agenda! These findings are a wake-up call for the Albanian government and all its institutions.
Tirana, 30 September 2023 – The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, has made public its remarks and recommendations for improving the situation of the rights of the child in Albania. In addition, the Committee has raised some serious concerns about the situation of children’s rights and their protection from sexual violence, open discrimination of Roma or LGBTI+ children, protection of children from state violence and lack of accountability of institutions, the situation of public education, low national budget for children, as well as serious weaknesses observed within the child protection system – which is not able to provide social care services to all children in need of protection and care in Albania.
“The findings and recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child are a wake-up call for the Albanian Government and all its institutions. They speak of an Albania that is unable to protect children from violence, discrimination, poverty, inequality, or injustice. The message to the Albanian Government, municipalities and all state institutions is very clear: without respecting and guaranteeing the rights of children, Albania cannot make any step forward in its integration into the European Union” – said Altin Hazizaj, Director of CRCA /ECPAT Albania.
The Committee has included all its observations, concerns and recommendations in the “Concluding Observations”, which includes all the findings that the Committee made during the review of the 5th and 6th report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child from the state party to the Convention (Albania), as well as recommendations made to the Albanian Government and its institutions to improve the situation.
In the opening of the Concluding Observations for Albania, the Committee would like to draw the attention of the State Party to the recommendations regarding the following areas…., in respect of which urgent measures should be taken: non-discrimination, violence against children, sexual violence and exploitation, social security, standard of living and education.
The Committee in its 16-page document continues to raise concerns that Albania, despite having a series of laws and policies in terms of child protection and the rights of the child, yet faces serious problems with their implementation: “While noting the information provided by the State Party on the adoption and implementation of various policies and strategies, As the National Agenda for Child Rights and Protection 2021-2026 and the Social Protection Strategy 2015-2023, the Committee recommends that the State Party improve their implementation at central and local level, provide adequate human, technical and financial resources, and improve accountability, monitoring and regular evaluation of the specific outcomes of these policies regarding children.”
For the first time in its observations, since Albania first reported to the Committee on the Rights of the Child back in 2004, the Committee raises its concerns on the national budget and investments that Albania makes for children, as well as corruption: “Concerned about the lack of public data on specific allocation in the state budget to advance children’s rights, The Committee recommends to the State Party:
- To carry out a full assessment of the budgetary needs of children and to allocate appropriate budgetary resources, in accordance with Article 4 of the Convention, to the implementation of children’s rights and, in particular, to increase the State budget for education, health, especially primary health care and social protection;
- Ensure transparent and participatory budgeting through public dialogue, especially with children and for proper funding and accountability of local authorities;
- To take immediate action to combat corruption that affects children’s rights and to strengthen institutional capacities to effectively detect, investigate and prosecute any corruption case.”
The Committee on the Rights of the Child has made in total 50 recommendations to the Albanian Government. It remains to be seen what measures and actions the Albanian Government and its institutions will take in the coming days and months to address the concerns and recommendations of the Committee on the State of Child Rights.
To read the Concluding Observations in Albanian and English, please visit: https://www.crca.al/sq/publikime/komiteti-per-te-drejtat-e-femijes-vezhgimet-permbyllese-mbi-raportet-e-kombinuara-raporti-i-peste-dhe-i-gjashte-i-shqiperise/
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