Tirana, 25 September 2018 – CRCA Albania, Albanian Coalition for Education (ACE) and the Albanian National Child Rights Network (ACT for Children) through this public statement would like to raise our grave concerns on the fact that across Albania children are being charged the same price of ticket as adults for using public transport.
The latest reports received by our organisations show that the old practice where children didn’t have to pay or paid only half of the price for a ticket than adults is being eliminated after the Municipal Councils failed so far to introduce decisions or bylaws that would establish a friendly price ticket system for children and young people.
Even though the Transport Law in Albania dates back in 1998, municipalities have failed so far to guarantee the right of the child to free movement, openly in contradiction with the spirit of the Constitution and the Law on the Protection and the Rights of the Child. Albania has the duty to defend without prejudice the rights of children guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other Albanian laws.
The violation of the right of free movement can results in serious violations of other rights of the child, such as the right to life, health, education, and their well-being. The failure to guarantee the right of the child to use public transport for free or at a reduced rate, in our opinion, punishes mostly children living in poverty, who are the ones who mostly need the support of the Albanian Government. We also believe that this measure represents a huge risk to children to be subjected to violence and sexual harassment by adults, while they walk to go to school.
Given this extraordinary situation, CRCA Albania, ACE and ACT for Children asks the following from the Albanian authorities:
- The Parliamentary Committee on Production, Trade and Environment, shall amend as soon as possible Article 14 of the Law "On the Transport";
- The Council of Ministers should adoption a new bylaw that instructs the Municipal Councils on setting up zero or reduced tariffs for children who use public transport;
- All Municipal Councils across Albania are equally responsible for the respect of the rights of the child. Therefore, we urge them to approve City Council Decisions for children to benefit free or reduced fees to use public transport;
- We call upon all the political parties and in particular parliamentary ones to see this issue with a high priority, because above all it will harm marginalized children and families across the country.