Final statement on Child and Youth Rights Coalition in Albania

Final statement on behalf of the: Child Rights Centre Albania, Albanian Coalition for Education, Albanian National Youth Network, Albanian National Child Rights Network, Albanian National Child Helpline, and ECPAT Albania

Albania strives to advance human rights for children and youth. Yet, despite many advancements, widespread corruption, political infighting, weak public institutions, and lack of public investment, these factors seriously hinder efforts to protect the rights for children and youth. Whilst there exists public policies for children and young people, many institutions lack capacities and budget to implement them at national and local level.

On April 4, 2019 – The Albanian Coalition for Education and the ChildrenRights Centre – CRCA / ECPAT Albania, presented to the UPR UN Working Group in Geneva, the periodic alternative report on the situation of children and youth rights in Albania. This group is part of the UN Human Rights Committee which reviews the situation and human rights violations in each member state every year.

The Universal Periodic Review Report (UPR) was prepared by a broad coalition of national networks and organisations in Albania and focused on the violations and key factors regarding the protection and advancement of the rights of children and young people in Albania for a period of four years.

With reference to education situation of children and youth in Albania UPR alternative report shares
some worrying facts:

  • More than 20% of children in Albania live in absolute poverty. This means that at least 100,000 children, due to poverty cannot attend regularly public education.
  • Albania, in comparison to other countries in Europe, spends far less on public education.
  • The largest study on violence against children in Albania (BECAN) found that 69% were victims of psychological abuse, 59% of physical violence, and 11% of sexual abuse. There is a significant lack of data on child slavery, trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Reports estimate that over 5000 children are victims of trafficking and smuggling.
  • The child protection system is fragmented and lacks well-trained staff, funding and support from the local and national government. Social care services are almost non-existent and lack Government support both in case management and service provision.
  • The population of young people in Albania is pursuing an ever-decreasing trajectory. The overall number of girls, because of selective abortions, continues to have a marked difference with the overall number of boys. In 2018 the difference among both groups aged 15-29 is 13,108 persons in favour of boys.
  • Due to the lack of legislation and policies Albanian Youth often feel neglected by their Government. Nearly 14 per cent of the population continues to live in absolute poverty.

The ACE National Coordinator, Linda Pino, stressed that “the state budget does not contain almost any voice to support friendly services for children and young people so they are not victims of sexual violence, slavery, or illegal immigration! In this regard, we recommended that the Albanian Government must increase the budget for education in order to ensure that quality, equitable, and free inclusive education is provided to all children and young people across the country.”

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