This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
Albania ratified the CRC in 1992, and regularly ratified international instruments take precedence over national laws. Children can challenge violations of their rights before a variety of courts, however, they are considered as having limited legal capacity and generally need an adult legal representative to bring a case to court. There are some exceptions: children aged 14 or over may petition a court with the consent of their legal representative or bring a case on their own if it relates to their guardianship. Children are eligible for legal aid - although it is not automatically granted to children litigants. Group litigation is possible for civil matters. Individuals may bring civil claims relating to violations of their rights which occurred when they were children, as limitation periods start running from the day the individual acquires the right to file the civil claim. Special procedures are in place to protect children witnesses and children’s right to be heard. However, the CRC and the national legislation relating to children’s rights aren’t known by the public nor are they properly implemented.