Tirana, 4 April 2019 - The Child Rights Centre - CRCA / ECPAT Albania, presented today in Geneva a periodic alternative report about children and youth rights in Albania, ahead of the UPR Working Group, in Geneva. This group part of the UN Human Rights Committee reviews every year the situation and human rights violations in each member state.
The Universal Periodic Report (UPR) was prepared by a broad coalition of national networks and organizations in Albania, consisting of: CRCA / ECPAT Albania, Albanian Coalition for Education - ACE, Albanian National Youth Network - ANYN, National Helpline for Children - ALO 116, National Children's Rights Network in Albania "Action for Children". The report focussed on the violations and key factors regarding the protection and advancement of the rights of children and young people in Albania over a period of four years.
The UPR report shares some overriding facts about the situation of children and youth rights in Albania:
- Almost 20% of children live in absolute poverty,
- 77% of children in Albania have experienced at least one form of violence, while 56% of children are victims of bullying.
- 12% of children claim to be victims of violence and sexual harassment by an adult! This happens in families, in schools, and in social care institutions.
- Over 2000 children are in street and slavery situations.
- Only 7.8% of children with disabilities have access to specialized services.
- 50,000 children in Albania are used for work!
- Over 60% of children report unsure internet!
Director of CRCA / ECPAT Albania, Altin Hazizaj in the presentation of the Report stressed that: "Today CRCA Albania has publicly shared our concerns about the situation of children's rights and youth in the country! Despite the improvements that have taken place in the laws, we still see with great concern that the Albanian Government is far from respecting and guaranteeing the rights of children, according to UN standards! "
The situation of children's education in Albania took another space in the presentation of the Report:
- The share of GDP for 2018 reaches 2.9% of GDP.
- More than 100,000 children in Albania who, due to difficult economic conditions, have no equal opportunity to regularly attend their public education as their colleagues.
- Almost 28% of children live in difficult economic conditions and are under the care of money support and more than
- 50,000children who must attend compulsory education are forced to work.
- About 15,000 Albanian children are out of school;
- About 22% of Roma children belonging to the age group 10-18 years old have never been to school.
- About 43% of children with disabilities in Albania do not attend pre-university education.
National Coordinator for Albanian Coalition for Education, Linda Pino, underlined that "The state budget does not contain almost any voice to support friendly services for children and young people, so that they do not end up victims of sexual violence, slavery or illegal immigration! In this regard, we publicly ask the Government to increase the budget for education and social services for children and young people in Albania! "Coalition for Education in Albania - ACE has for years asked the Albanian Government to increase the education budget by at least 5% of GDP, to achieve the standards of other European countries.
The UPR report for the first time during the 12 years that Albania reports, was focused about youth and young people's rights. Albania ranks as one of the countries with the highest rate of long-term unemployment among young people. The National Youth Budget represents only 0.01% of the total state budget. 79% of young people seek to leave the country, while 26% of them are unemployed. Youth crime in the country has increased and consequently almost half of the convicts are young under the age of 29 due to poverty, lack of programs, services and youth centres.
Regarding the Young People Situation in Albania, ANYN President Ervjola Osmanaj, stressed that "The Albanian Government budget for youth at 0.01% is insufficient to meet the needs of young people in the country. Likewise, lack of youth perspective, support, services and employment makes 79 % of young people seek to eventually leave Albania. "
Albania reports in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process for the third time in a row. The purpose of the reporting process is to closely monitor the human rights situation in each UN member country and make recommendations for its improvement.