ALBANIA: Children's Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review

Summary: A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National report', the 'Compilation of UN information' and the 'Summary of stakeholder information'. Once the ‘recommendations’ have been accepted or rejected by the State, these will subsequently be published here.


Albania - 19th Session - 2014
28th April, 2.30 pm - 6 pm


National report

Compilation of UN information

Stakeholder information

Accepted and rejected recommendations


National report

Development of normative and institutional framework for the promotion and protection of human rights since the first cycle of the UPR

Constitutional and legal framework for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms

6. Law: “On the Protection of the Rights of the Child” defines the rights and protection of children including the responsible mechanisms for ensuring the effective protection of these rights. The legal framework in implementing this law reflects the specific measures for the child’s protection.

8. Furthermore, a series of strategies and action plans have been adopted, reviewed and implemented, namely: “National Strategy on Gender Equality, Reduction of Gender based Violence and Domestic Violence” 2011-2015 and its Action Plan; Action Plan on Children (2012–2015); Cross-Cutting Strategy on Social Protection 2008-2013; National Strategy on People with Disabilities 2005-2015; National Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2010-2015; National Action Plan on the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings (adopted in 2011).

9. Since the first cycle of the UPR, Albania has signed or/and ratified the following Conventions and protocols:


• Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communication

Procedures (ratified in 2013).


• Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (ratified in 2009, entered into force 1.07.2010).


• Council of Europe Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights (ratified in 2011).


Institutional framework for the protection of human rights


14. National Council for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, as an advisory body to the Council of Ministers drafts and coordinates policies for child protection.


15. Since 2011, State Agency for the Protection of the Rights of the Child has been functioning based on the law “On the protection of children”, as an executive institution coordinating the work for the protection of the rights of children, responsible for monitoring the application of the legal framework and policies related to children, coordinating with the responsible state bodies as well as imposing sanctions for infringing the law.


23. Public and non-public Institutions as well as daily centers of Social Care under the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth provide services for children, third age people, public and non-public residential for women and girls in need.

Promotion and protection of human rights since the first cycle of the UPR

29. As regarding the child protection, the Ombudsman has identified problems and made recommendations for the implementation of the legal framework and policies for children in need, orphans, those at social care residential institutions and for the rights of exploited children for labor or children at risk, etc.


37. In 2010, European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) made its monitoring visit and in 2012 its Report together with the answers from the Albanian authorities was published. In 2011, CPT made an ad hoc visit regarding the demonstrations on 21 January. The answers of the Albanian authorities have not been published since the judicial process has not been concluded yet. Following to these events the former CoE Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg drafted a special report. In 2013, CoE Commissioner for Human Rights visited Albania and drafted a report published in January 2014, together with an Appendix of comments from the Albanian authorities. The next CPT visit is foreseen to take place in February 2014.


41. Under the reform of social services 2013-2016, the Ministry of Social Welfare is cooperating with UNICEF to draft a system of integrated social services at a decentralized level for addressing issues of children, women and vulnerable groups. Albanian institutions are supported by ILO IPEC in the process of drafting a national roadmap for the elimination of the worst forms of children’s labor.


Harmonization of national legislation with international human rights instruments (Recommendations 8, 9, 10, 14)


46. Law “On the protection of the rights of the child” is in compliance with the UN Convention On the Rights of the Child.


Registration of children, including marginalized groups (Recommendations 12, 71, 72, 73)


71. The law “On Civil Status” (2009) provides administrative solutions to cases of born and unregistered children and avoids new cases of non-registration. A financial contribution, is granted to parents, to encourage the children registration.


72. In 2011, a cooperation memorandum was signed with NGO-s to facilitate registration procedures of births taking place abroad, through the consular services. The Ministry of Health has approved the new template of birth certificate in maternities.


73. In 2012, have been adopted procedures for registering abandoned and unregistered children by in by representatives of state police and municipalities/municipality units/communes, structures.


74. During 2010-2011, there have been registered 550 cases, 270 children were registered in 2012, 40% of whom belongs to Roma community and 70 cases are in process.


75. Regarding the cases of declared births in Roma community, the relevant structures have cooperated with NGOs, which cover the financial costs to provide documents or to attend a judicial process.


Combating trafficking in human beings, including trafficking of girls and women (Recommendations 31, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65)


76. According to the law “On Social Assistance and Services” victims of trafficking are provided with social services during their accommodation in reception and reintegration centers. They also benefit economic assistance once they come out of the residential centers until the moment of their employment. The funding of non-public residential Centers of victims of trafficking is done by transferring central budget funds to local government bodies and from them to these Centers.


77. With the recent amendments to the Penal Code, the issue of internal trafficking was solved and clarified and some provisions were added concerning non-discrimination of victims of trafficking, sentencing persons benefiting from services of victims of trafficking and exploitation of prostitution.


78. “The National Action Plan on the Combat against Trafficking in Human Beings” and “The Action Plan on the Combat against Trafficking of Children and Protection of Children, Victims of Trafficking” adopted in 2011, constitute an important development in the context of strategic planning to address issues of combat against trafficking in human beings.


Protection of the rights of the child (Recommendations 12, 16, 17, 24, 29, 30, 31, 55, 58, 66, 69)

Legal and normative framework


84. Law “On the Protection of the Rights of the Child” aims at improving the system of child protection and provides for measures guaranteeing the life, upbringing and development of the child through the coordination of all actors. This law defines the monitoring mechanisms for the implementation of law, responsibilities of central and local government, the setting up of responsible institutions and administrative sanctions for cases of violation of child rights. Further, it provides for the protection of children from trafficking and from any form of exploitation and sexual ill treatment.


85. The Criminal Code provision on the offence of pornography is amended by adding new elements and making the punishment more severe. Regarding the offence of “trafficking in human beings” two provisions are added “Profiting or using services provided by trafficked persons” “Actions that facilitate trafficking” where more severe punishments are envisaged if these offences are committed against children.

86. Law “On Pre-University Education System” provides for the protection of child rights; the right to the qualitative education and equal opportunities; provides protection from discrimination, violence, maltreatment; special treatment is provided to students of families in need and students with disabilities. The principle of all-inclusiveness is applied in educational institutions.


87. Law “On Social Assistance and Services” provides for economic assistance and social care even for children without parental care, services of social care; their functioning and funding; categories of beneficiaries; services to be provided to children in residential institutions. The novelty brought through this law is the possibility of creating the service of custody.


88. During 2012, by-law acts were adopted for: the establishment and functioning of the coordinating mechanism for the referral of cases of children at risk, structures part of the mechanism, tangible tasks, intervention procedures assisting children at risk; coordination of mechanisms at the central and local level; rules related to cooperation between institutional mechanisms and NGOs to apply local policies for the protection of child rights; review procedures and procedures for imposing sanctions by the State Agency for the Protection of Child Rights (SAPCHR). Statistical data are gathered by SAPCHR and by Child Rights Units in regions (qark).


89. The Social Protection Cross Cutting Strategy laid down the objectives of decentralizing and deinstitutionalizing social care services for children. Reforming social services in social care facilities during the process of deinstitutionalization includes three alternatives: returning institutionalized children to their biological families (or to guardians, relatives); domestic and international adoption; placing children under temporary custody. Policies on protection of child rights occupied an important place in the National Strategy of Development and Integration 2007-20135.


90. The Action Plan on Children 2012-2015 aims at strengthening the functioning of institutional mechanisms in application of the law and promoting the local government to draft comprehensive policies for children. The Plan defines concrete measures and activities related to application of policies and objectives for the welfare of the child; policies for the prevention and protection from violence and exploitation; policies to ensure a comprehensive educational system; health care; policies in the field of juvenile justice. In some regions of the country the inter-institutional cooperation at central and local level is translated into strategy and action plans to guarantee the promotion and protection of child rights.


Institutions and mechanisms


91. Institutional mechanisms for the protection of child rights are: at central level: National Council for the Protection of Child Rights; State Agency for the Protection of Child Rights. At the local level: Child Rights Unit at regional level; Child Protection Unit at municipality/commune level.


92. Social State Service aims at providing assistance and care, along with other categories, even to orphan and abandoned children as well as to children victims of trafficking. The network of social care institutions for children includes children’s homes (according to age groups) and the reception center for victims of trafficking where children are treated.


93. The law “On the Protection of the Rights of the Child” provides for alternative care for children at risk of losing parental care: 1. children temporarily or permanently deprived of their family environment or in whose own best interests cannot remain in that environment; 2. alternative care may include placing children in foster families; placing them in an alternative family or in a care institution for children. The alternative solution is made in compliance to: a) the process of continuous education; b) the level of physical and mental abilities of the child; c) character and personality traits of the child related to his/her ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic origin.


94. Promoting custodial service as a new alternative of family services is based on the process of decentralization and deinstitutionalization and of setting up new community services, where the child is supported and assisted in a family environment. The state provides financial support for a child placed in a custodial family to cover expenses of food, clothing, education and other indirect expenses and a greater support is provided when a child is with disabilities.


95. In relation to child labor, the law “On the Protection of the Rights of the Child” provides for protection from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development, such as forced labor and employment of children under 16 is prohibited. Children 14-18 years old may perform easy tasks, which do not harm their health and development. Administrative sanctions are foreseen in case of law infringement.


96. Legal framework “On Occupational Health and Safety” guarantees the protection of vulnerable groups from risk, including minors. It also provides that the employer takes specific measures to adapt the working place for this category of minor employees in order to prevent risks related to work conditions.


97. The State Labor and Social Services Inspectorate have constantly exercised inspections and controls at working places even concerning child labor. Inspections are carried out both in the public and private sector and in the sectors most likely to illegally employment of children, particularly in suburbs. Measures have been taken for the formalization of children employment for inevitable cases when they have to work. Activities have been organized to promote cooperation and raise the awareness to denounce cases of illegal work or cases of child rights violation, especially when they work informally.


98. The initiative “No child in the street” aims to undertake short-term and long-terms cross-cutting coordinated actions to protect the best interest of the child, particularly for children in the streets (these children are often subject to abuses, exploitation, begging, violence, forced labor etc.).


99. In relation to juvenile justice, the Code of Criminal Procedure clearly provides for procedural guarantees for all children subject of criminal proceedings. Penal Code defines the basic criteria when criminal responsibility starts in children, the special measures and punishments rendered to children, making a clear division from those rendered to adults. The law “On Legal Aid” provides for the provision of legal aid even for minors.


100. In all cases of escort or detention/arrest in police stations, children stay in separate environments, separately from adults. Registration of escorted/detained children is duly done and there are not any identified cases of violation or shortcoming. The juvenile is always interviewed in the presence of a psychologist, parent or his guardian, specifically including the solicitor according to the legal provisions of protection.


101. Juveniles in pre-trial detention centers and in detention centers are treated by specialized staff of social care services. Assistance is provided for procedural issues of reception and accommodation in accordance to their age, mental and physiological health, as well as psychological-social counseling, educational assistance and family contacts are guaranteed.


102. During this period, a special institution for the treatment of minors serving prison sentences is set up and functioning with the financial support of EU CARDS Program.


103. Institution of Probation supervises the execution of alternative sentences by sentenced minors and works closely with the civil society to guarantee the rights of minors.


Protection from torture and ill treatment (Recommendations 45, 46, 47, 48)


107. Criminal Code provides for numerous provisions on the unlawful deprivation of liberty, kidnapping, holding a person hostage, torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Legal and normative framework on the rights and treatments of persons serving prison sentences or in pre-trial detention guarantees the rights of persons sentenced and in pre-trial detention for human treatment without discrimination. They serve the sentences in officially designated and recognized places. The structures of penitentiary system supervise the respect of the rights of persons serving a sentence. Likewise, detainees are guaranteed to receive information, to be registered in penitentiary institutions and to be fairly treated including the protection of their personal data. The access of competent authorities to penitentiary facilities is guaranteed in order to supervise that their rights are respected along with the access of other institutions such as the Prosecution Office or National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture by the Ombudsman.


Awareness raising campaigns for the implementation of the legal framework on human rights (Recommendations 21, 22)


117. Activities organized to prevent trafficking aim to raise the awareness of the public and groups most at risk, such as children, youth, marginalized groups etc. Manuals, leaflets and brochures are published and distributed to prevent trafficking. TV spots, documentaries, TV and radio programmes are broadcasted. Seminars with the electronic media are organized and written regarding issues of trafficking in human beings. Topics related to trafficking in human being, issues about child protection, child rights, gender equality, domestic violence and sexual education are part of the curricula to raise the awareness of children and youth.


National Strategy and measures to improve the living conditions and education of Roma (Recommendations 80, 81, 84)


123. The Albanian Government is committed to implementing the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion in order to improve the living standards of Roma community. An effective mechanism is set up to monitor and evaluate the progress at the national level of the National Strategy on Roma and the National Action Plan “Decade of Roma Inclusion” as well as the cooperation among institutions at the central and local level.


Freedom of expression and press (Recommendation 75)


151. Albanian Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the prior censorship of the media is prohibited. The need to amend the legislation in the field of broadcasting came as a result of the development of electronic media services. The Law "For audio-visual media" (adopted in 2013) regulate broadcasting activity, in compliance with the recommendations of the CoE, as well as the acquis communitaire and provides improvements in the field of electronic media broadcast.


Compilation of UN information


Constitutional and legislative framework


3. The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) urged Albania to clarify the definition of a child and review legislation to ensure that all children up to 18 years of age received the protection they needed as provided for in CRC.


Implementation of international human rights obligations

Equality and non-discrimination


8. The HR Committee was concerned that, despite the adoption of the National Strategy for Roma and the Decade of Roma Inclusion (2010–2015), the Roma minority continued to face discrimination in accessing housing, employment, education, social services and participating in political life.


Right to life, liberty and security of the person


11. The HR Committee remained concerned about blood feud-related crimes and that families, including children, confined themselves to their homes for fear of retribution. The Committee against Torture (CAT) stated that that practice remained entrenched in certain parts of the society, particularly owing to deeply rooted stereotypes of defending and restoring family honour. CRC expressed its deep concern that, in 2012, a 14-year-old girl had been killed in a “blood feud”. The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions explained that current blood feud killings sometimes no longer followed the traditional pattern established by the Kanun rules (orally transmitted customary rules), which reportedly authorized the killing of male members of a family and strictly forbade the killing of women and children.


18. CRC expressed concern about early and forced marriages, especially in the Roma community. CEDAW remained concerned about the limited measures taken to challenge harmful marriage traditions, including child marriages, the practice of the family choosing the husband and the payment of a bride price or dowry, which remained prevalent in rural and remote areas and among minority communities. CRC recommended that Albania enforce the minimum legal age of marriage and curb early and forced marriage.


19. CESCR expressed concern at a survey pointing to the prevalence of psychological violence against children, sexual abuse and physical violence in the family. It was concerned at the lack of access to child protection units, in particular in rural areas, to refer abuses and seek support, and the lack of a budget allowing existing units to operate efficiently. CRC urged Albania to establish an efficient multi-sectoral child protection system to ensure the prevention of violence against children. It urged Albania to revise its legislation to ensure that children up to the age of 18 were protected against sexual abuse and exploitation.


20. CRC was concerned that corporal punishment was widely practised at home, in schools and in institutions. It urged Albania to implement laws prohibiting corporal punishment effectively. The HR Committee recommended that Albania encourage non- violent forms of discipline as alternatives to corporal punishment.


21. CRC was concerned about the large number of children subjected to economic exploitation, particularly those involved in hazardous occupations. CRC reiterated its concern about the high number of children living and working on the streets, and that insufficient measures had been taken to address the situation of those children. It was concerned that children in street situations might be treated as offenders.


22. CESCR urged Albania to: strengthen monitoring mechanisms for child labour; enhance prevention and reintegration programmes that focus on family empowerment and the elimination of the economic exploitation of children; and ensure that legislation protecting children against economic and other exploitation was enforced and the violations sanctioned.


25. CRC was concerned that Albania was a source country for children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour, and that Roma and Egyptian minority children were over-represented among such children. UNCT noted that Albania had not recognized forced child labour exploitation as a form of human trafficking. CRC urged Albania to end the trafficking of children and to ensure that the National Action Plan for the Fight against Trafficking of Children and for the Protection of Child Victims of Trafficking (2011–2013) addressed prevention measures targeting, in particular, children from Roma and Egyptian minorities.


Administration of justice, including impunity and the rule of law


30. CAT recommended that Albania ensure that all allegations of torture and ill- treatment by the police be investigated promptly and thoroughly by independent bodies and those responsible prosecuted. CRC recommended that child victims of ill-treatment be provided with care and rehabilitation programmes.


31. UNCT noted an increase in juvenile delinquency and stated that comprehensive national policies to offer young people better opportunities, including proper education and job opportunities that would prevent them from slipping into conflict with the law, were still to be developed. CRC reiterated its concern about the lack of an effective juvenile justice system. The HR Committee was concerned at the lack of (a) chambers designed for juveniles with specialized judges; (b) long-term rehabilitation programmes for such children; and (c) educational facilities for convicted children. UNCT recommended that the length of pretrial detention for juveniles be reduced, and the use of alternative measures to detention increased.


Right to privacy, marriage and family life


34. CERD was concerned that many Roma experienced difficulties in obtaining personal documents, including birth certificates and identification cards. CRC added that poor children and children born abroad, outside maternity homes and of early marriages were the most affected by the lack of birth registration.


35. CRC noted with concern that, in northern areas, mothers were not allowed to maintain contact with their children when they lived on their own or went back to their original families following divorce or the death of their spouse, owing to the application of the “Kanun”. It urged Albania to set up a system to facilitate relations between the child and both parents after divorce.


Right to social security and to an adequate standard of living


48. CRC noted that poverty levels continued to be high. CESCR was concerned about the lack of strategies to address extreme poverty faced particularly by marginalized groups and about the prevalence of regional disparities affecting the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights.


49. CRC was concerned that social protection was limited to small cash transfers and had failed to lift families, in particular Roma families and families with children with disabilities, out of poverty. It was concerned that two thirds of poor families were left without any economic aid.


Right to health


51. CRC was concerned at the high infant mortality rate, largely resulting from malnutrition, affecting particularly children living in remote areas.


Right to education


56. CRC was concerned that, although compulsory education lasted until grade 9, only primary school was free and costs compromised the ability of parents to send their children, especially girls, to school. It was concerned about the dilapidated state of school buildings; the poor education services and learning conditions in rural areas; and that the education system continued to be affected by corruption.


57. CESCR remained concerned about the lack of measures to effectively address the higher dropout rates of girls from primary education as compared to boys, disproportionately affecting Roma children.


Persons with disabilities


60. CRC was concerned about the situation of children with disabilities, most of whom were totally excluded from mainstream society, and the absence of effective measures and strategies to allow children with disabilities to enjoy de facto their rights. UNCT and CESCR made similar observations.


Human rights and counter-terrorism


80. CAT noted with concern that no meaningful investigation had been undertaken into allegations of secret detention carried out in Albania in the context of its cooperation in countering terrorism.



Stakeholder information

Right to life, liberty and security of the person


18. JS6 (Joint Submission 6 submitted by the Child Led Groups ‘Voice 16+’ and Peer Educator’s Group (Albania ) with the support of Save of the Children and World Vision) stated that children of the Roma community were often forced to beg for money. BKTF/JS1 (Joint submission 1 submitted by the United for Child Care and Protection Coalition, Albania) referred to documented cases of children begging in the streets in Tirana and stated that children were also used for begging in neighbouring countries. Most of the children involved in begging came from extremely poor and socially marginalized families, who often migrate – internally or externally - for economic reasons. The United For Child Care and Protection Coalition, Youth Advocacy Group (BKTF-Youth/JS3) made a similar observation. BKTF/JS1 stated that no protection or reintegration measures were provided, especially in the cases of exploitation of children by their own parents or siblings. As Council of Europe (CoE) noted, the European Committee of Social Rights (CoE-ECSR) found that measures taken to assist and protect street children were not sufficient.


19. JS5 (Joint Submission 5 submitted by the Albanian Coalition against Child Trafficking and the Sexual Exploitation of Children (Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania, Information and Research Centre on Children’s Rights in Albania and Albanian National Child Helpline ) in collaboration with ECPAT) stated that despite some efforts to bring legislation in line with international treaties, children continued to be victims of prostitution, pornography and sexual exploitation. It stated that the National Action Plan did not address the different manifestations of commercial sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. JS5 stated that even though referral mechanisms existed to support child victims of sexual exploitation, no specific institutions and social services were available to accommodate and provide adequate care, protection and assistance to child victims of prostitution, pornography or sexual exploitation online.


20. BKTF/JS1 recommended that Albania establish a national referral mechanism for child victims of exploitation and provide family strengthening programmes to empower families and reduce child exploitation.


21. JS5 stated that children involved in prostitution were not exempt from criminal responsibility and therefore, in principle, they could be prosecuted for being victims of child prostitution. It recommended that the Penal Code be amended to contain a specific provision which would expressly state that child victims of prostitution should not be prosecuted. JS5 also recommended that the Penal Code expressly criminalize the following offences: offering, obtaining, procuring or providing a child for child prostitution.


22. As CoE noted, CoE-ECSR considered that the prohibition of employment for those under the age of 18 in dangerous or unhealthy activities, as well as the effective protection of children subject to compulsory schooling from work which would deprive them of the full benefit of their education was not guaranteed in practice.


23. European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (CoE-ECRI) was concerned about the phenomenon of trafficking in children, of whom a disproportionate number of victims were Roma and Egyptian children. As CoE noted, CoE-ECSR found that measures taken to combat trafficking in children were not sufficient. JS5 made similar observations. The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CoE-GRETA) stated that one of the major challenges to preventing trafficking in children was to combat the elevated school drop-out rate, particularly among children in Roma and Egyptian communities.


24. JS5 recommended that Albania allocate sufficient resources for the implementation of the Plan of Action on the Fight against Child Trafficking and the Protection of Child Victims of Trafficking. It recommended that Albania ensure that child victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation receive free legal assistance from the State during criminal proceedings. During the criminal case, the child should be able to testify through a video recording system in order to avoid any confrontation with the perpetrator which could be a source of re-victimization for the child.


Administration of justice, including impunity and the rule of law


35. BKTF/JS1 stated that Albania demonstrated progress in bringing the juvenile justice system into greater compliance with international standards and principles, including the through creation of specialized sections for minors in district courts; specialized prosecutors and a specialized police unit; renovation of existing facilities, elimination of overcrowding, and greater access for juvenile detainees to education. Nonetheless, there was no comprehensive juvenile justice law and strategy in place. There were gaps in legislation specifically addressing children under 14 years old, with a minimum age of criminal responsibility, which render proper treatment of juveniles challenging. There were no comprehensive national re-integration programs as educational, recreational and psycho- social services remained fragmented. BKTF/JS1stated that the juvenile justice strategy was drafted by the Ministry of Justice in 2011 in cooperation with a civil society organization but it had not been finalized.


Persons with disabilities


53. JS4 (Joint Submission 4 submitted by the Albanian National Council of Disabled People with the support from the European Disability Forum and the International Disability Alliance) stated that many persons with disabilities lived in isolation and social exclusion, and lacked services to enjoy the right to live independently and be included in the community. JS4 stated that women with disabilities were in a particularly disadvantaged situation and were subject to multiple discriminations. Women with disabilities in remote and rural areas, and older women with disabilities were, in particular, socially isolated and often faced violence and abuse within the family.


55. BKTF/JS1stated that most of children with disabilities were excluded from education, appropriate health and rehabilitation services and that these problems were especially acute in rural areas where there was a dearth of services, or little acknowledgement of the issues facing children with disabilities. It also noted a lack of awareness and competency amongst professionals charged with the development, health, education and care of children with disabilities, and a lack of direct investment and budget allocation for the implementation of inclusive education for children with disabilities.




59. Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention For the Protection Of National Minorities (CoE-ACFC) stated that there was no progress in the adoption of a law on national minorities. Problems should be addressed in a number of areas, including the legal criteria required for recognition as a national minority and the use of minority languages in relations with the administrative authorities. CoE-ACFC recommended that Albania consider adopting comprehensive legislation on national minorities to fill identified legal gaps.


63. CoE-ACFC encouraged Albania to increase its efforts to tackle the difficulties facing Roma pupils in the education system. It called on Albania to take urgent measures to tackle the problem of adult illiteracy among the Roma.

Accepted and rejected recommendations

The following recommendations were accepted:

104.26 Pay particular attention to the conditions of street children in the context of its national policy on providing adequate protection for children (Egypt);
104.43 Continue to enhance programmes to protect children from all forms of violence or abuse (Philippines);
104.44 Continue efforts towards combating violence against women and children (Algeria);
104.53 Organize awareness-raising campaigns at the national level, and especially in rural areas, aimed at preventing violence against children at home and in all institutions in which children are present (Croatia);
104.60 Ensure effective implementation of the measures or strategies established to counter and prevent trafficking in persons, including by intensifying efforts to prosecute perpetrators and providing adequate protection to trafficking victims, especially women and children (Philippines); 
104.64. Consider improving assistance, including medical and social services, and shelter for trafficking victims, particularly women and children (Thailand);
104.65 Take further measures to address the issue of violence against children, including trafficking and sexual abuse (Portugal);
104.66 Take the necessary measures to effectively eliminate the worst forms of child labour (United States of America);
104.67 Take measures to strengthen the monitoring mechanisms to combat child labour and the economic exploitation of minors (Mexico);
104.68 Strengthen efforts aimed at protecting the rights of children in need, children who are victims of labour exploitation and children vulnerable to exploitation and violence (Qatar);
104.69 Strengthen its measures on the elimination of the economic exploitation of children, especially those coming from poor and socially marginalized families (Malaysia);
104.78 Ensure that any reform of the juvenile justice system explicitly takes into account the differentiated needs of girls and boys (Austria);
104.79 Continue its efforts to ensure the implementation of the principle of the best interest of the child in the juvenile justice system, including by considering incorporating the restorative justice principle (Indonesia);
104.86 Raise awareness of children’s right to participation in the family and community (Slovenia);
104.89 Continue implementing programmes to realize the right to education for all, including by increasing budget allocation for education and training programmes for all children in the country (Indonesia); 
104.91 Take measures aimed at achieving inclusive education for persons with disabilities, mainly children with disabilities (Argentina); 
104.96 Expand possibilities for the education of minorities, including learning minority languages, promoting identities and supporting minority cultures (Serbia);
104.101 Step up efforts to implement effectively the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion with a view to improving the living conditions of the Roma community and, if necessary, to adopt measures to improve the education of Roma children (Slovakia);
104.102 Further strengthen the education measures and policies for the inclusion of Roma students in the education system, and intensify the literacy campaigns for its population (Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)); 
104.105 Take steps to improve the situation of asylum seekers and refugees through, inter alia, discontinuing the practice of detention of unaccompanied children, providing identification documents for refugees and ensuring their access to social assistance, implementing integration and housing programmes, as well as refraining from detaining asylum seekers, except as a last resort (Sierra Leone).
105. The following recommendations enjoy the support of Albania, which considers that they are in the process of implementation:
105.3 Take further measures for the improvement of the legal framework in the field of human rights, particularly in the areas of children, women and persons with disabilities (Afghanistan);
105.4 Further improve national institutions and human rights infrastructure, including the harmonization of domestic legislation and the legal system with the international and European Union instruments on persons with disabilities, the rights of the child, the prevention of domestic violence and trafficking in persons (Viet Nam);
105.5 Continue to take steps aimed at strengthening the protection of children’s rights, such as further improving the access of children affected by social exclusion, including Roma children, to education and health-care services (Czech Republic);
105.6 Promote and strengthen child protection mechanisms, especially in rural areas, and ensure equal access to education for all children, with a particular focus on children from marginalized groups and minorities (Germany);
105.12 Strengthen the fight against discrimination affecting the Roma minority in access to housing, employment, education, social services and participation in public life (Spain);
105.23 Strengthen the legislation and the national action plan to fight trafficking in persons, in order to end the sexual exploitation of children (France);
105.24 Take further measures to effectively combat trafficking in human beings, especially with regard to vulnerable groups such as women and children (Slovenia);
105.34 Take effective measures to reduce the high dropout rate in primary schools, in particular with regard to Roma children (Slovenia);
105.35 Take measures to effectively address the high dropout rates from school, especially of girls in primary education (Portugal);
105.37 Continue to raise awareness of the needs of the Roma population, in particular children, and establish an adequate system that provides for their social and educational inclusion (Austria).
106. The following recommendations will be examined by Albania, which will provide responses in due time, but no later than the twenty-seventh session of the Human Rights Council, in September 2014:
106.1 Review national legislation to ensure that all persons under 18 have the protections accorded by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including clarifying the definition of the child (Costa Rica);
106.2 Strengthen monitoring mechanisms which address incidents of forced child labour and further combat the trafficking of children (Sierra Leone);
106.3 Take the necessary measures and adopt the laws that are needed to allow better protection of children’s rights (Switzerland); 
106.5 Develop programmes and policies that foster norms and attitudes of zero tolerance for harmful and discriminatory attitudes towards gender, including the preference for sons, which can result in harmful and unethical practices such as prenatal sex selection (Netherlands);
106.8 Devote primary attention to the protection of the children involved in episodes of blood feud, so as to ensure the full protection and enjoyment of their rights (Italy);
106.13 Strengthen the legislation to fight trafficking in persons, especially women and children, ensuring the due punishment of the perpetrators of such crimes and the provision of legal and psychological assistance to victims (Mexico);
106.15 Amend the Criminal Code in order to for it to contain a specific provision stating that a child victim of prostitution should not be prosecuted and criminalizing the offences of offering, obtaining and providing a child for prostitution (Brazil); 
106.21 Abolish any possible legal grounds for differentiated treatment between national and ethno-linguistic minorities and ensure equal access in practice to rights for persons belonging to all minorities throughout especially the right of education in and teaching of the minority languages (Romania);
106.22 Adopt a law for the protection of national minorities, in particular in the area of ensuring teaching of and instruction in their mother tongue (Russian Federation).


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