The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009



I. II. A.
B. C. D. E.

INTRODUCTION LEGAL FRAMEWORK International Instruments of Human Right Albanian Legislation on Human Rights Protection The Institutional Framework for the Protection of Human Rights Other institutions and mechanisms for the protection of human rights International Obligations INTEGRITY OF PERSON The right to life and health Arbitrary deprivation of life Torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment The situation in detention and prison institutions Conditions of detention centers Treatment of Politically Ex-Convicted People from the Communist Regime Arbitrary arrest or detention Arrest and detention The right for a fair trial Proceedings of court trials Efficiency, design and level of law enforcement CIVIL FREEDOMS Freedom of speech, press and right to information Freedom of peaceful assembly and association Freedom of religion Freedom of movement of internally displaced persons and refugee protection POLITICAL RIGHTS Elections and political participation Participation in environmental decision-making processes DISCRIMINATION, SOCIAL ABUSE, TRAFFICKING OF HUMAN BEINGS Domestic Violence Women Children Trafficking of human beings and prostitution Persons with disabilities National, racial and ethnic minorities Other social abuses and discriminations A. B. RIGHTS OF WORKERS Prohibition of forced and bonded labor Prohibition of child labor practices and minimum age of employment RECOMMENDATIONS

A. B. C.

D. E.

A. B. C. D.





The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009



ANNEX List of acronyms of the organizations mentioned in the report Glossary

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009




Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights 2009 is the first attempt of a group of organizations1 engaged in human rights issues in Albania, for jointly preparing a full report on the situation of human rights, seen under the view of finding the existing problems in the field of respecting and guaranteeing the freedoms of human rights in the country, with the aim to make this report an annual product of all local actors who are engaged in this field. This report was prepared following conclusions, remarks and suggestions obtained at the conclusion of the National Conference "Situation of Human Rights 2009", held at Tirana International Hotel on 7th December ‘09, in the framework of the International Day of Human Rights; during which was presented the first draft, prepared by preliminary contributions of organizations (central/local, large/small), the work done by them in the ground, issued findings and recommendations on various aspects of human rights in Albania during 2009. The report examines the general issues and violations found during this year and despite the expertise and competence provided by contributing organizations, the report addresses only those aspects of human rights which have been addressed, investigated and protected by these organizations during the year 2009.


Agimi Shqiptar; Albanian Association for People Living with HIV/AIDS; Albanian Center for Population and Development; Albanian Development Center for Mental Health; Albanian Disability Rights Foundation; Albanian Environment Center; Albanian Helsinki Committee; Albanian Human Rights Center; Albanian Human Rights Group; Albanian Intellectual Forum – Shkodra; Albanian Journalists Union; Albanian Rehabilitation Center for Trauma and Torture; Amaro Dives; Amaro Drom; Amaro Drom – Lezha; Art & Color Center; Association “Everything for Youth”; Association “Qëndistaret”; Association for Child’s Human Rights; Association for Orphan Children and Young People; Association for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities; Association Hope for the Orphans; Association in Help of Families with SocioEconomic Difficulties; Association in Help of the Families of Pilots and Policemen Killed in Duty; Association Nature for Man; Association of Creative Intellectuals; Association of Journalists of South; Association of Political Persecuted for Integration; Association of Serbian-Montenegrin Ethnic Minority “Moraça-Rozafa”; Association of Work Invalids; Association of Work Invalids – Durrës; Association “Unë Gruaja”; BKTF Coalition (All Together Against Child Trafficking); Center for Contemporaneous Vision – Rrom; Center for Legal Civic Initiatives; Center of Integrated Legal Services and Practices; Children’s Human Rights Centre in Albania; Citizens Advocacy Office; Civil Society Development Center – Durrës; Civil Society Development Center – Korça; Civil Society Development Center – Malësi e Madhe; Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation; Communitarian Center “Today for the Future”; Counseling Center for People with Disabilities; Courageous Woman; Cultural Association “Arumunët e Shqipërisë”; Cultural Association “Vllehët e Shqipërisë”; Defense of Albanian Women’s Rights; Dibra Youth Forum; Disutni Albania; European Institute of Tirana; European Movement in Albania; Hope for Poor People; House of Human Rights; Human Rights in Democracy Center; Humanitarian Association “Dora e Ngrohtë”; Independent Union of Journalists; Institute for the Preservation of Nature in Albania; Kombinat Center for Women and Girls; KRIIK Albania Association; Legal Clinic for Minors – Korça; Miners Syndicate; Mjaft Movement – Korça; National Association of Militaries in Reserve; New Life; Orphan’s Association; Orphan’s Association – Durrës; Protection of Rural and Urban Woman; Regional Association of Parents – Durrës; Regional Association of Professional Journalists – Gjirokastër; Regional Forum of NGOs – Kruja; Rromano Kham; Skrapari Woman in Transition; Society for Democratic Culture; Society for Democratic Culture – Gramsh; Society for Democratic Culture – Kruja; SOL Center; Tirana Legal Aid Society ; Transparency International Albania; Union of the Journalists of the South; Useful to Albanian Women Association; Useful to Albanian Women Association – Elbasan; Vlora Youth Center; Woman in Global Action; Woman’s Emancipation – progress for the Society; Women’s Forum – Elbasan; Youth Center “Epoka e Re” – Fier; Youth in Free Initiative; Youth Intellectuals “Hope”; Youth Parliament – Fier; “Antigonea” Cultural Mediatic Center; “Drushtvo Prespa” Association; “Mother Theresa” Association – Durrës; “Obelisht” Media Center; “Trokitje” Youth Center – Shkodra; “Vatra” Psycho-Social Center;

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Over 2009 Albania has made improvements in some aspects in relation to respect and promotion of human rights, while much remains to be done by the Albanian state institutions, as well as other actors of society to ensure a system of democratic values that respects the freedoms and guarantees individual rights. Situation of Human Rights in Albania - as a whole, as well as in special aspects has become part of international reports of organisms, not only political but also to organizations such as: Amnesty International, Reporters without Borders, Index Corruption Transparency International 2009 Annual Report of Europol, etc. reports which give a real picture of different aspects of human rights, such as media freedom, corruption, etc.. The year 2009 was election year for Albania. 28 June 2009 elections were won by the DP coalition that was in government. These elections were certified as a process which reached further improvements (but also with a number of shortcomings still to be improved) by the OSCE / ODHIR and other delegations of international organizations that monitored them. Socialist Party and coalition with the force presented contestations about aspects of the electoral process and insisted not to enter parliament, as long as its demands were not met, a situation which still continues. Although an election year, in addition to involvement in monitoring and following up the various preparatory processes of parliamentary elections, Albanian civil society, through 2009, has served as a very important mechanism in raising issues concerning human rights and freedoms in the country, including rights issues of minorities, persons with disabilities, issues relating to the rule of law, specific issues of justice system, the various policies pursued by the state, on the situation of prisons and detention , on the role of state administration, etc.. It is worth mentioning the contribution and commitment of these organizations in preparing for anti-discrimination bill. Written and electronic media has been a very important source of information reflecting on issues of human rights and freedoms. In conclusion, the network of organizations for human rights expresses a special thanks to NED (National Endowment for Democracy), the USA Embassy in Tirana and the Council of Europe, for the support in the implementation of this initiative, stressing that the thoughts and opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily represent those of the State Department or the Council of Europe. Tirana, on December 26, 2009

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009



A. International Instruments of Human Right
UN Human Rights Conventions • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) • Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) • Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984) • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) • Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) European Human Rights Instruments • Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) and 14 additional protocols • European Social Charter (1961), as revised in 1991 and 1996 and Additional Protocols 1988 and 1995 • European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and other Inhuman and Degrading Treatment (1987) • Final Act of Helsinki (1975) and follow- up process of CSCE/OSCE with Charter of Paris for new Europe (1990) • European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (1992) • Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1994) • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000) European Human Rights Institutions and Bodies Council of Europe: • European Court of Human Rights (single court 1998) • European Committee on Social Rights (as revised 1999) • European Committee for the Prevention of Torture or Other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CPT, 1989) • Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention on National Minorities (1998) • European Commission on Racism and Intolerance (ECRI, 1993) • European Commissioner for Human Rights (1999) • Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe OSCE: • Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR, 1990) • High Commissioner on National Minorities (OSCE, 1992) • Representative for the Freedom of the Media (OSCE, 1997) European Union: • European Court of Justice • European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC, 1998) • European Agency for Fundamental Rights (2007)

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


B. Albanian Legislation on Human Rights Protection
B1. Albanian Constitution - The fundamental human rights and freedoms are indivisible, inalienable, and inviolable and stand at the basis of the entire juridical order. - The organs of public power, in fulfillment of their duties, shall respect the fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as contribute to their realization. - All are equal before the law. - No one may be unjustly discriminated against for reasons such as gender, race, religion, ethnicity, language, political, religious or philosophical beliefs, economic condition, education, social status, or ancestry. - The life of a person is protected by law. - Freedom of expression is guaranteed. - The freedom of the press, radio and television are guaranteed. - Freedom of conscience and of religion is guaranteed. - The right to property is guaranteed. - Everyone is free to choose or to change his religion or beliefs, as well as to express them individually or collectively, in public or private life, through cult, education, practices or the performance of rituals. - No one may be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading torture, punishment or treatment. B2. The prevalence of international law over domestic law In the Republic of Albania, the international law enjoys a privileged position in proportion to the national law. The Constitution has stipulated the obligation of the Albanian state to enforce the international law. Article 122 of the Constitution defines that each international agreement ratified by the Parliament shall become part of the national law after its publication in the Official Journal. It is directly enforced saving the cases when it is not self-applicable and when its implementation requires the issuance of a law. The international agreement ratified by virtue of law prevails over the national laws which are not compatible with it. The norms issued by the international organizations prevail over the internal law, in case of a conflict, when in the agreement ratified by the Republic of Albania about its accession into that organization, the direct enforcement of the norms issued by the said organization is expressly stipulated. B3. For the purpose of serving to the protection of human rights, the Parliament of Albania, Council of Ministers or other state institutions have prepared and adopted an entire corpus of normative acts, aiming at the guarantee and protection of human rights. Some of these acts are: Criminal Code (1995 – as amended); Code of Criminal Procedure (1995 – as amended); Civil Code (1994 – as amended); Code of Civil Procedure (1995 – as amended); Labor Code (1995 – as amended); Code of Administrative Procedures (1999); Family Code (2003); Electoral Code (2008); Law “On the Status of Labour Invalid” (1994 – as amended); Law “On the Status of the Orphan” (1996); Law “On Pre-university Educational System” (1995); Law “On the Right to Gather in Public” (1996); Law “On the Status of the blind person” (1996); Law “On Private and Public Radio and Television”(1998); Law “On Rights and Treatment of Prisoners” (1998 – as amended); Law “On the Enforcement of Penal Sentences” (1998); Law “On Asylum in the Republic of Albania” (1998 – as amended); Law “On the Ombudsman” (1999 – as amended); Law “On the Status of persons with disabilities (paraplegics and tetraplegics)” (2000); Law “On Political Parties” (2000); Law “On the Functioning of the Judicial Police” (2000 – as amended); Law “On the Organization and Functioning of Prosecutor’s Office” (2001 – as amended); Law “On the Organization and Functioning of the Ministry of Justice” (2001 – as amended); Law “On Vocational Education and Training” (2002); Law “On the Lawyer’s Profession” (2003 – as amended); Law “On the Protection of Witnesses and Justice Collaborators”(2004); Law on “Social benefits and insurance” (2005); Law “On the Measures against the Domestic Violence” (2006); Law “On the State Police” (2007); Law “On the Adoption Procedures and Albanian Adoption Committee” (2007); Law “On the Functioning of the Judicial Power” (2008); Law “On the Private Bailiff Service” (2008); Law “On the Protection of Personal Data” (2008); the Law “On Foreigners” (2008); Law “On the Penitentiary Police” (2008); Law “On Legal Aid” (2008); Law “On Public Health” (2009); Law “On Prevention and Control of HIV-AIDS” (2008); Law “On Gender Equality” (2008); Law “On the Indemnity of Politically Ex-Convicted People” (2007 – as amended); Law “On Mental Health” (1996).

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


C. The Institutional Framework for the Protection of Human Rights2
Courts Article 7 of the Constitution stipulates that “The governance system in the Republic of Albania is based on the division and balance between the legislative, executive and judicial powers” thus guaranteeing the establishment of a rule of law and democratic state. Pursuant to the Constitution, the liberty, property and rights recognized by the Constitution shall not be encroached in absence of a due legal process. Any one, for the purpose of protecting his constitutional and legitimate rights, freedoms and interests, or in case of charges raised against him, is entitled to a due and public trial, within a reasonable time limit and by an independent and impartial court defined by the law. The judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court, Appeals Courts, as well as by the First Instance Courts, established according to the law. The Constitution points out that judges are independent and are subjected solely to the laws and the Constitution. The independence of the judicial system is also guaranteed by an independent structure that is competent for the appointment, transfer or dismissal of judges. The High Justice Council is composed of the President of the Republic who is simultaneously the Chair of the High Justice Council, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Minister of Justice, 3 members elected by the Assembly, and 9 judges of all instances who are elected by the National Judicial Conference. The Constitutional Court is a very important institution for the protection of human rights. This Court guarantees the respect and observance of the Constitution, renders the Constitution’s final construction, as well as the final judgment of individual complaints about the violation of constitutional rights to a due legal process, after the exhaustion of all the juridical remedies for their protection. With a view to attaining the independence and efficiency of the judicial system for the protection of human rights, a comprehensive legal framework has been adopted related to the organization and functioning of the judicial power (First Instance and Appeals Courts), the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court and Court for Serious Crimes. Prosecutor’s Office Pursuant to the Constitution, the Prosecutor’s Office exercises the criminal prosecution and represents the prosecution body in the trial in the name of the state. The Law “On the Organization and Functioning of the Prosecutor’s Office” stipulates that “the prosecutors exercise their duty in compliance with the Constitution and laws, and carry out their competences respecting and observing the principles of a fair, equal and due legal process as well as the principles of the protection of the legitimate human rights, freedoms, and interests”. The People’s Attorney (The Ombudsman) The Ombudsman is a constitutional and independent institution that exercises its activity for the purpose of the protection of legitimate individual rights, freedoms and interests, which may be encroached on by the illegal and irregular actions or non-actions of the public administration bodies, as well as by third parties acting on their account. The Ombudsman is elected by a majority of 3/5 of all the members of the Assembly for a five-year period and is entitled to re-election. The institution of the Ombudsman is composed of the Ombudsman as a monocratic body and the Ombudsman’s Office. The institution of the Ombudsman exercises its activity for the protection of human rights and freedoms pursuant to the law “On the Ombudsman” (1999 – as amended in 2000 and 2005) based on the principles of impartiality, confidentiality, professionalism and independence. The Ombudsman is entitled to make recommendations and propose measures when finds out violations of human rights and freedoms committed by the public administration. State Minority Committee Regarding the protection of the minorities rights not only as an obligation arising from the Albanian government involvement in international organizations, but also as a reality grounded on the peaceful age-long coexistence between the Albanian majority and minorities, the Albanian government has established the structures responsible for dealing with the issues the minorities are faced with. With a view to promoting the inclusion in the country’s public life of the persons who

Source: The 2009 Report of the Albanian State to the General Assembly of the United Nations

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


belong to the national minorities, the State Minority Committee was established in 2004 and has operated since then as an advisory body near the Albanian government. This Committee cooperates with central and local government bodies, with organizations and associations dealing with minority issues, for the improvement of standards in respecting and observing the minority rights in Albania. It proposes concrete measures with relation to the economic, social and educational development of minorities, contributing to the improvement of the condition of the persons belongs to minorities, wherever they live. It is composed of representatives of national minorities (Greek, Macedonian, Serbian and Montenegrin minorities) and ethno-linguistic minorities, (Roma and Aromanian/Vlach minorities). This Committee has managed to identify and put forward to the government the issues that the minorities are faced with suggesting the solutions.

D. Other institutions and mechanisms for the protection of human rights
The Sector of Human Rights, Minorities and Reporting in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs monitors the fulfillment of Albania’s international commitments in the field of human rights, and in cooperation with other institutions deals with the issues of the protection, respect of minorities rights and with the coordination and implementation of minority policies as well. Its objective is the establishment of official dialogue with representatives of minorities associations, the promotion of the activities aiming at the preservation and development of lingual, cultural, religious and national identity. The Inter-ministerial Committee of Children’s Rights, established in 2007 as an advisory body, guarantees the incorporation of policies concerning the children’s rights into the development strategies. This Committee monitors the implementation of the National Strategy for Children and its Action Plan. The Technical Secretariat for Children established in 2006 in the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, (hereinafter referred to as the Ministry of Labor) monitors the implementation of the National Strategy for Children and its Action Plan, coordinates the cooperation with other institutions, and civil society. The Units for the Protection of Children’s Rights at the county and municipality level are in charge for the protection of the children’s rights at the regional level. The National Steering Committee “On the elimination of child labor” (2001) which is chaired by the Minister of Labor is the highest structure in charge of the integration of child labor issue in the drawing up of national policies. “The Elimination of Child Labor Unit” is established near the Ministry of Labor, which monitors the expansion of the child labor phenomenon. These structures are set up within the framework of the International Program for the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC). The National Employment Service monitors the law enforcement with relation to the employment, vocational training and qualification. The State Labor Inspectorate ensures the enforcement of the labor legislation by the state and private legal entities, including the inspection of child labor. National Council on Disability Issues established in 2005, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, guarantees the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and their integration in all fields. The Technical Secretariat for Persons with Disabilities established in 2006 in the Ministry of Labor monitors the implementation of the National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities and its Action Plan. Ministry of Labor, by means of its respective structures is the key responsible, coordinating, supporting and supervising authority in the field of labor, social affairs, gender equality and domestic violence. The Directorate of Equal Opportunities Policies near this Ministry (Sector of Gender Equality and Sector for Measures against Domestic Violence) has the mission of drafting and developing the policies for the promotion of equality in such fields as gender equality, inequality in skills/abilities, minority issues, age, generation and race inequality, the prevention and reduction of domestic violence and gender-related violence. The Directorate of Social Services Policies has the mission of drafting and developing the policies and the legislation for the protection of the rights of the persons with disabilities, young peoples, elders and poor families. The State Social Service is the executive institution of the policies and legislation in the field of social protection.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


The Technical Secretariat for Roma Minority in the Ministry of Labor is in charge of the monitoring of the implementation of the objectives and measures defined in the national strategy “For the improvement of the living conditions of the Roma minority”. The State Committee of the Fight against the Trafficking in Human Beings chaired by the Minister of Interior is composed of high representatives of political level of central institutions and is responsible for the prevention and fight against trafficking. In 2009 is established the National task Force against Trafficking. The National Coordinator’s Office for the Fight against the Trafficking in Human Beings (established in 2005) coordinates the work between institutions in the fight against trafficking in human beings, at the national, international level. The Anti-Trafficking Unit operates near it. The Regional Committees of the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings were established in 2006 in the 12 counties of the country, for the prevention of the trafficking phenomenon, the protection of potential trafficking victims, whereas at the administrative level special structures operate within the police force with the aim of combating the organized crime and illicit trafficking. Beginning from 2007, the Sector for the Protection of Children and Domestic Violence operates at the central level, near the Directorate General of State Police. At the regional level, in the County Police Directorates, have been established the Sections for the Protection of Children and Domestic Violence, which, are entrusted with the prevention, fight against domestic violence, violence against children, as well as with the protection of children from criminal activities and the protection of children involved in criminal activities. The Unit for the Prevention of Torture near the Ombudsman that was established in 2008 aims at the protection of the rights of pre-trial detainees and convicts. This Unit operates near the institution of the Ombudsman, and it exercises the duties of the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture.

E. International Obligations
The Republic of Albania has ratified the main international human rights instruments: Universal Declaration of Human Rights; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming the abolishment of the death penalty; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; International Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women; Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women; Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or punishment; Optional protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or punishment; Convention on the Rights of the Child; Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; Optional Protocol to the Convention On the Rights of the Child, on the involvement of children in armed conflicts; International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families; International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; Geneva Conventions; The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Republic of Albania has signed a substantial number of the Conventions of the International Labor Organization and UNESCO. Also Albania is a party to European Convention On the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Protocols 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14 of this Convention; Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities; European Social Charter; European Convention for the prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and other conventions of Council of Europe.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


III. INTEGRITY OF PERSON A. The right to life and health Life is a right, fundamental attribute of human beings. Rights and fundamental freedoms, under Article 15 of the Constitution are indivisible, inalienable and inviolable and remain the foundation of all legal order. It is the primary constitutional duty of the state to respect and protect these rights. Constitution of the Republic of Albania, Article 15 / 2 santctions that "Public power authorities, in fulfilling their duties, shall respect the rights and fundamental freedoms, and to contribute to their realization." In a survey of KSHH3 and QSHDNJ4 noted that security of life, on the streets and in the workplace, continues to be a concern, pollution of the environment is a factor in increased mortality and morbidity of citizens, the health system does not create equal access to all citizens (especially the poor and other vulnerable groups, such as orphans, those living in remote mountainous areas, etc) and the types of diseases, especially people with mental health problems, and the chronicles. In terms of working in informal economy, many citizens remain outside the health insurance scheme, because no contributions were paid; reconfiguration of hospital mapping remains an emergency need, along with the formulation of national standards for primary health care and hospital laboratories, stomatology, etc. Psychiatric hospitals and community centers result in low numbers and in unsatisfactory conditions. Hygienic-sanitary conditions and hospital equipment, the list of available medicines needs to be improved. It is noted a lack of knowledge of duties by the staff, and implementation of institutional control mechanisms. The position of people with mental health disorders in these conditions is an inhuman treatment. B. Arbitrary deprivation of life Several of the organizations put emphasis on the lack of evaluation of care for life by the state bodies, citing as a significant example here Gërdec tragedy of last year, where was allowed the exercise of an activity with very high level of risk surrounding environment, in terms of inadequate measures to minimize risks and protect not only the life and health of employees, but also the lives and properties of residents around. During the year 2009 was registeres a lower number of murders, but, meanwhile, there have been very serious events, like the assassination of MP in office Fatmir Xhindi or the attack toward a member of the Supreme Court, Ardian Nun, events that still remain without authors. Blood feud continues to be a serious problem. According to KPM5, degeneration in the misinterpretation and misuse of the Kanun, has caused and still causes injuries constantly, keeping isolated hundreds of families, men, women and children, determining a number of about 1400 families isolated or hidden. Only in Tirana by the KPM identified 110 isolated and 70 hidden families. This Committee confirms that the phenomenon of blood feud remains a troubling problem facing the citizens' life, causing hundreds of innocent victims, including women and children, due to lack of effective rule of law and deformations of the Kanun. According to KPM, the Albanian state, unable to take the protection of isolated families, tries to hide this reality to the international community, without making any effort for a national strategy against killings for revenge or blood-feud. Furthermore, some projects
3 4

Albnian Helsinki Committee Albanian Human Rights Center 5 Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


undertaken by the government, as the center for “locked in” children in Poliçan, Police structure against the Blood Feud in Shkodra and the Ministry of Education project for the Education of Children “locked in” inside their homes, have not been eficient. KPM finds that the phenomenon of blood feud and “locked in” also tragically appears in the families which have people with mental health problems, which are forced to isolate them within the home or to bind with chains of fear of crime that would bring as a result blood feuds; as occurred with the tragedy of the family of a 10 years old boy in Peshkopia, who was raped and killed by a mentally ill, bringing revenge between two families and their tribes. KPM raises concern that between feud and “locked in” are limited many other constitutional rights, such as: the right to vote, freely exercise of religious practice, freedom to be educated, freedom of association, movement, etc.. According to KPM, the police, although it has been the only institution that has made an effort to help missionaries in conflict resolution and prevention of murders, is in the same difficult position as well as missionaries, because it has no legal and technical tools. It, in most cases, can not intervene in feud situations without a denunciation, which, in almost all events, does not occur, not to further exacerbate the situation and to leave open the possibility for later reconciliation. A particular concern is considered the damage to life and health caused by road accidents. According to TLAS6, statistics speak every day that the cases of damage to life and health are very high, and preventive measures, especially in road infrastructure, are still insufficient, especially road signals. Increasing suicides are another disturbing phenomenon. According to QDNJD 7, based in media monitoring, is determined a high number of suicides in the country, where 57% of suicide people seem to be women. Among the reasons for the suicide the Center determines that 54% of the cases were committed as a result of depression, 41% as a result of economic and family hardship and 2% as a result of mental health problems. C. Torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment One of the fundamental problems in respect of human rights in Albania remains inapplicability of international conventions, particularly in not fulfillment of legal obligations stemming from the United Nations Convention against Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and the Optional Protocol to the Convention to improve component "monitoring" the deprivation of liberty sites (prisons, detention facilities, psychiatric hospitals, military bases, etc.). Optional Protocol for the Prevention of Torture induced joint commitment of QSHRT 8, the Ombudsman and several international partners for the creation of the National Mechanism of Prevention of Torture and its attachment to the AP9, which was materialized through the changes that were made to the law on the treatment of persons in prison, where, in addition to fulfilling the obligations arising from OPCAT, the law was sanctioned with the contribution of civil society in monitoring the suffering the punishment sites (prisons and detention).

6 7

Tirana Legal Aid Society Human Rights in Democracy Center 8 Albanian Rehabilitation Center for Trauma and Torture 9 People’s Advocate – Ombudsman

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Although the constitution and law prohibit the use of severe violence or inhuman treatment, it is noticed the use of violence by police and prison guards against suspects and detainees. Furthermore, GSHDNJ10, during the year 2009 has won two court processes with object compensation as a result of the exercise of violence against citizens in prison facilities and police commissariats (ref. issue Amarildo Përfundi against the Korça Police Department and the issue Mihallaq Karaj against Prison 313, Tirana). The situation in detention and prison institutions Some of the institutions of detention and prisons have problems such as damp, lack of running water, etc. Overcrowding remains a concern and, in these conditions, it becomes difficult to ensure proper treatment of persons detained or convicted, especially for minors and women. Implementation of training programs for groups in poor positions is not performed at satisfactory levels. Education and employment of persons deprived of liberty is conducted in some pilot institutions, but remains that this service be extended to all penitentiary and prison institutions. The principle of guaranteeing defense, enshrined in Articles 31 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania and Article 6 of the Code of Penal Procedure, though is one of the basic conditions for ensuring the rights of the defendant and protection of its legitimate interests, in many cases finds no application. QDNJD, from monitoring conducted in the detention institution 313, Tirana, determines which is the representation of defendants in this institution, custody, mostly from lawyers appointed by the procedures, in many cases it is ineffective due to occasional contacts that were provided for with their legal counselor, even, in some cases, legal assistance offered by these advocates is formal and fictitious. Conditions of detention centers Treatment There are reported cases of torture in detention facilities. However, from monitoring conducted, IET11 reports that it was notified on deliberate physical ill-treatment in detention institutions in Lezha, Korça and Tepelena, while in Peqin and Vlora were identified isolated cases. Also, in some cases it was abused with disciplinary measure of isolation and was found several cases of unacceptable conditions and treatment in isolation as in Lezha, Korça, Tepelena. Another issue that is determined by the IET is the usage of cuffs in the Prison Hospital Center, where were detected two cases of inhuman and degrading treatment against the prisoners who were on the bed with chains (on one foot and one hand) about twenty days and stayed connected throughout the night and most of the day. Chaining patients is classified as inhuman and degrading treatment by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), because not only has heavy influence and psychopathological symptoms of the victims, but also affects other patients, which has been classified as inhuman and degrading treatment by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). Safeguards There is internal control structure as part of the General Directorate of Prisons and the Ministry of Justice, and a number of NGOs, international organizations and the Ombudsman, who are allowed to perform external audits in order to assess the situation human rights and preventing cases of torture and mistreatment.

10 11

Albanian Human Rights Group European Institute of Tirana

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Regarding the procedures of appeal, although the new General Regulation of Prisons (Decision no. 303, dated 25.03.2009) guaranteed the right of detainees to submit requests and complaints to staff in detention and other institutions, which are forced to submit answers in legal terms; the concrete implementation of this right remains difficult and detainees are not always able to address their requests to the competent authorities. Disciplinary procedures set forth in the General Regulation of Prisons, under the IET, in certain cases are misused and always based on the principle of proportionality. Furthermore, there is little knowledge about what constitutes breach of discipline. Separation of prisoners in categories, in general, is respected and consists of division in women/men and a juvenile/adult, charged/convicted, as well as separation due to security of detainees. However, according to monitoring conducted by the IET, is verified that in Korça children were kept in the same place with adults. While QDNJD has determined that the division juvenile/adult in Women Sector at 313 Detention Institution, Tirana is not done. Minor girls stay in the same environment with adults in the institution. Material conditions Since January 2008, the General Directorate of Prisons is charged with ensuring food under new provisions providing food and materials needed to detainees held in police departments. This provision applies to all other detainees held in the prison system. In the system of detention and prisons, prisoners and detainees are treated according to the categorized food for prisoners/detainees normal, working, or sick. Within institutions there are shops and families are allowed to bring food to detainees. Regarding lighting and ventilation, according to the monitoring of IET, in some institutions there was not adequate ventilation, and most of them had problems with natural light, as in Tirana (IEPS 302), Berat, Kukës, Fier and Saranda. Also, the heating system in these institutions does not function. Personal hygiene of detainees continues to be problematic due to lack of current water the cell or hot water, as in 313 Tirana, Durrës, the Prison Hospital Center, Lezha, Korça, Berat, Kukës, Saranda, Tepelena, Tropoja. Also, problematic is the situation of common toilets, which do not meet minimum standards of hygiene and do not ensure privacy, such as Prison Hospital Center, Rrogozhinë, Peqin, Berat, Kukës, Saranda and Tropojë. According to KSHH and IET, overcrowding and accommodation remain a major problem, despite improvements compared with the past. Moreover, overcrowding is one of the main obstacles to ensuring proper treatment of persons detained or convicted, especially for minors and women. The worst situation is presented in Tirana to the prison 313 (mainly in the section of women) and 302 in the Prison Hospital Center in Peqin, Berat, Tepelena Tropoja and Vlora. Infrastructure is often old and does not meet health standards (313 Tirana, the Prison Hospital Center, Rrogozhina, Berat, Kukës, Saranda, Tropoja), with the exception of new institutions or renovated detention raised in Durrës, Fushë Kruja, Lezha, Peqin and Vlora. Furniture are often inadequate (Prison Hospital Center, Kukës) or missing entirely, as in Tropoja, where there were no furniture or beds. Education and employment of persons deprived of liberty is conducted in some pilot institutions, but it remains that this service be extended to all penitentiary institutions. IET determines that, in terms of education, very few activities are provided to the detainees, despite the latest agreement with the Ministry of Education. Even children do not always have access to education (e.g. Lezha and Korça). Education facilities are generally inadequate to provide activities for all prisoners. Also, they do not allow to go by themselves to the library and, generally, books are too few in number (the books were distributed in the cell).

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Medical Service The right to medical service is not always guaranteed to all detainees effectively and without delay. According to IET, this is mainly due to the low number of medical personnel. Major problems in this regard IET were found in Berat, Kukës Rrogozhina and Tepelena. According to KSHH, transfer of persons for whom the injunction is granted for compulsory treatment remains a problem. They should be sent as soon as possible to the relevant medical institutions and to leave the prison hospital, or detention and imprisonment institutions where are held today unjustly. Even specialized treatment is not always guaranteed. Psychologists and psychiatrist are few in number. Drugs generally are limited and not of good quality. By IET monitoring is determined that yet there is no special care for people with disabilities, such as in 313 in Tirana. Also lacking is special care that should be indicated in the treatment of detainees with mental health problems, for whom there is a special institution. During the monitoring conducted by IET, at Vlora detention center were identified 12 detainees with mental problems and no psychiatrists. Meanwhile, according to IET, Prison Hospital Center in Tirana, 90% of patients are with mental health problems, which are cared by only one psychiatrist and one nurse with experience in psychiatric hospitals. Medical staff is generally insufficient to care for large numbers of detainees, particularly in those institutions where the prison and detention are together. Treatment of Politically Ex-Convicted People from the Communist Regime Reintegration, rehabilitation and compensation for former prisoners and political detainees have been a hot issue during 2009. Associations of former persecuted, according to some clusters and GSHDNJ, signed, in violation of their basic rights, financial compensation law, already approved, without the permission of the persecuted themselves. The persecuted have considered so far Law no. 7748, dated 29.07.1993, "On the status of former politics persecuted” and Law no. 9831, dated 12.11.2007 "On the compensation of former political persecuted” as inapplicable. GSHDNJ and QSHRT in the treatment of this category found that, generally, the Albanian state authorities have not applied to practical measures aimed at rehabilitation, reintegration and compensation of former political persecuted. According SHPPI12 there is a number of major problems that hinder reintegration and dignified treatment of political persecuted as: yet impunity of crimes of communism; non return and seizure of movable and immovable property; grace of forced labor in prisons and deportation; yet failure of innocence, lack of housing opportunities for former persecuted left without family; their non political integration, economic situation aggravated their lack of opportunities for their treatment of chronic diseases received during sickness or deportation in prisons etc.. During the period October-November-December 2009, several former prisoners of the dictatorship were stuck in a hunger strike for more than 6 weeks within the IIPP13 yard, without receiving any response from the public institutions for their requirements. According to GSHDNJ and QSHRT, they require state enforcement of legal obligations pursuant to law "For Innocence" and the Law "On Status", adopted by the Assembly of Albania since 1993. QSHRT determines the delay of 18 years of integration of victims of torture and Communist (the obligation of the constitution and laws) and non-punishment of communist crime, bypassing the United Nations Convention against Torture and Inhuman

12 13

Association of Political Persecuted for Integration Integration Institution of the Politically Victimized People

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


and Degrading Treatment, experience has become a second prosecution for the majority of victims of communist regime. D. Arbitrary arrest or detention During their monitoring activity organizations have reported cases where police have arrested and detained persons arbitrarily. Police, in general, tried to show devotion and professionalism in accomplishing its duties, but by the KSHM and GSHDNJ reports during 2009 concluded that a good portion of identified cases of stops or arrests have precipitated in physical and psychological violence from this institution to the citizens. According to TLAS, cases are often found holding people under arrest in violation of the law, as evidenced in some cases detention institutions Rrogozhine, Vlore, Peqin, Tirana, etc.., even after the legal period of stay in these institutions . Moreover, further finds TLAS, there were instances of stay in these institutions even after the court has decided the change of measure of security and release of the person. By monitoring and investigations carried out by QDNJD and TLAS, were identified delays in the transfer of the detainees, regardless of decisions and deadlines set by law. Thus, in the Tirana police departments were found problems with delays in the transfer of persons arrested or detained at security houses of the police commissariat, for the detention facilities of the General Directorate of Prisons, as the Court made a decision for allocating the security measures "in prison custody”. Nationals were held in the premises of commissariats for weeks at a time without being transferred. Also were provided cases of detention in institution for a long time (more than 6 months) after the penalty decision have become final, while the people had to stay in correctional institutions (prison). This situation is commonly repeated, finds TLAS, is a phenomenon even when talking about the time delay of one or two months, the delays justified with the necessity of performing the necessary administrative actions. TLAS raises concern about violating the rights of detainees or prisoners, and consequently non coordination and non information of institutions with each other on the observed violations or neglecting of law. Arrest and detention From contacts with detained or arrested persons, GSHDNJ reports violence by police against them, with the purpose of extracting information or obligation to admit participation or authorship of criminal acts. Also, GSHDNJ determines that during arrests or prohibitions, generally proper legal procedure set in Criminal Procedure Code is not followed and detainees are denied of the possibility to contact with family or lawyers. GSHDNJ even raises the concern about biased conduction of arrests or stops during the weekends. Also GSHDNJ notes the preparations files for bans and arrests, in many cases are contrary to legal procedure that must be followed. KSHH reports of many of the children interviewed stated that they were violated by police officers and judicial police in the moment of detention / arrest and interrogation. Further, the KSHH found cases of juvenile violence have denounced the hearing or to the prosecutor, but these bodies have not taken any steps to follow the charge and responsibility of putting forward the relevant employees of the police. E. The right for a fair trial Constitution and legislation provide a complete framework for ensuring a functioning and independent judiciary and a fair and rightful process.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


From the experience of TLAS lawyers and monitoring was raised the concern of a very low level of access of citizens to the court, particularly those with economical difficulties who have difficulties to search their rights in court. According to TLAS and QSHDNJ, the system of legal aid in civil field is outside the attention of any state body. Although since one year was adopted law "On legal aid”, it has not given any effect as yet are not been set up structures that will enable its implementation in practice. This area continues to be covered spontaneously only by organizations that provide free legal services as stated in their objectives. Consequently, legal statements providing legal assistance in civil, family and administrative work still remains almost only obligation stated in the law, but unfulfilled for citizens in need. Lack of legal provisions for tax evasion indictment or other judicial expenses (expenses for experts, psychologists, etc.) directly inhibits access to the courts for citizens who, because of income, are unable to afford these costs themselves. Proceedings of court trials Civil and criminal proceedings in court trials, in substantial portion of cases are still not respected. GSHDNJ reports that during 2009, 250 cases of alleged procedures were not respected by the courts in the development of proceedings. In monitoring conducted, GSHDNJ, KSHH and QSHDNJ have identified a range of problems such as: - failure to give answers in the form of interim decisions by the court for preliminary requirements implemented by the parties; - Lack of publicity of the hearing; - Deprivation of the right to ensure a fair and effective protection for defendants in criminal trials; - Non transcription and non justification of judicial decisions in time deprived interested parties of the right to exercise the recourse claims and complaints against them. - Over extension of judicial processes in unreasonable and unlawful terms; - Obstruction of the opportunity of interested public to attend sessions of the trial, due to their development in judges' offices; - Corruption among judges; - Safety and security of court facilities for judges is unsatisfactory; - Alternative punishments (semi liberty, suspension of execution of the decision to jail and putting to the test, stay at home) still apply and very rarely tried in juvenile detention, while the defendant lawyers do not always have a special qualification for this activity. According to QDNJD, execution of court decisions from the Bailiff Office, which operates based on Law No. 8730 date 18/01/2001, "For organization and functioning of bailiff execution service", remains problematic, and Law no. 10031 date 11.12.2008 "For private judicial bailiff service”. Among noted violations and non execution of decisions referred to the mass divorce issues, mainly related to the execution of "food pension”. Return of Property Return of property continues to be one of the main issues where flagrant violations of human rights are identified. GSHDNJ reports that during 2009 were identified a significant number of cases of deprivation of the owners of their right of property, the alienation of property and violation of various possessions of real property owners in the interests of people who do not dispose this right.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


In the meantime, according to investigations conducted by the RSL14 in Kukës, concerns were raised about the difficulties encountered by citizens on the supply of ownership certificate and the legalization process as foreseen by the law, bringing economic problems for citizens. Also, RSL still raises concern for non compensation of Kukës the citizens as a result of flooding from Fierza Lake, despite numerous protests and strikes that they have made. Efficiency, design and level of law enforcement Drafting and approval of laws has remained a deeply political process, by adopting, in some cases, articles which contradict with ratified human rights conventions, the constitution or other laws in force, making such laws unenforceable and bringing violations of the rights of citizens. KSHH highlights the Constitutional Court decisions that supersede laws inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, as Decision. No. 3, dated 02.02.2009 of the Constitutional Court, which decided to abolish as incompatible with the Constitution of the Republic of Albania and the European Charter of Local Autonomy of Articles 3, item 8, 4, paragraph 1, letters "a", "d" , and item 2, letter "b", 5, clause 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 14, item 3, 16, item 2, 5, 17, 20, item 2; 26 of law no. 9895, dated 09.06.2008 "On some amendments and additions to Law no. 9482, dated 03.04.2006 "On legalization, urbanization and integration of illegal construction; Decision no. 5, dated 06.03.2009 of the Constitutional Court, which decided to abolish as incompatible with the Constitution of Article 329 / 1, part of the sentence "unless the decision is the fact stated there, the PCC, decision no. 20, dated 09.07.2009 decided to abolish as incompatible with the Constitution of expression in Article 38, letter "a" law nr.9877: a) appoint and dismiss judicial secretarial staff and administrative personnel, technical services of the court; put repeal as incompatible with the Constitution of the points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11 of the Decision of the Council of Ministers no. 52, dated 14.01.2009 "On the quality of gasoline fuel (diesel), produced by refining crude oil to be issued in the territory of the Republic of Albania, and traded for road vehicles and generators”. SHKUR15, in its work for the rights of militaries in reserve notes of Law no. 9418, date 20.05.2005 "On supplementary social security of military Armed Forces of the Republic of Albania" was amended by law no. 9481, dated 16/02/2006, which worsen certain parameters of the Law no. 9418. After complaints to the Constitutional Court, the latter gave the right decision to SHKUR by decision no. 9, dated 26/02/2007. According to SHKUR, the government did not enforce the decision of the Constitutional Court, contrary the Parliament on 15.05.2009 adopted the Law no. 10,142, which worsen still further the rights obtained by the previous laws and the Constitutional Court's decision. SHKUR headed back to the Constitutional Court to declare as incompatible with the Constitution of Law 10,142, which, inter alia, Article 29 requires change and failure of the courts' decisions final, the law giving retroactive effect, by making many juridical processes of militaries for their pension right to stop, while removing the exercise of their right at judicial bodies. QDNJD notes insufficiency in implementation of Law No. 7995, dated 20.09.1995 "On promotion of employment" in terms of its application to women and girls. Anti-mafia law, which was adopted a few days earlier by the Assembly, according GSHDNJ and KSHH, in the way it is drafted, comes in contradiction with the international criminal acts. Since its drafting this law became subject of debate, especially in terms of increasing the powers of the prosecution authority to decide seize on property, whose
14 15

Youth in Free Initiative National Association of Militaries in Reserve

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


owners fail to justify their legal origin, competencies to keep every person as their object, when the level of income does not justify its costs, multiple bank accounts or the standards of a luxury lifestyle, etc. IV. CIVIL FREEDOMS A. Freedom of speech, press and right to information The constitution and law provide freedom of speech and press, but political and economic pressure on print and electronic media as violence used on some media representatives pose a threat to freedom of press. Freedom of Press, in reports of Council of Europe and Reporters without Borders, ranks Albania at a low ranks, even lowering. During this period, the country's media, according to UGSH16 are frequent cases of violence exerted on journalists, newspapers and on televisions and, especially, local media and journalists. Between government and media and journalists are frequent cases of public controversy, pressure and arbitrary acts, as in the case of editors and media owners, such as daily newspapers Tema, Vizion Plus, Top-Channel (Top media) and other papers. Also, there are frequent cases of judicial processes to editors and media representatives from public administration or individuals, although it is in effect an administrative order of the Prime Minister, which prevents administration employees to file a suit against the journalists. FRD17 and UGSH evaluate the addition of censorship problems and auto-censure. Albanian editors feel more dictated and controlled by administrators and owners. The media have become more influenced by politics and, at a time when the political scene has restored conflict, the phenomena of polarization and alignment of media and journalist has taken disturbing measures. UGSH evaluates that auto censure elements are very present in the conduct, practice and, especially, the relations within newspaper editorial editor, in particular audiovisual media in the country. KSHH finds lack of transparency of financial resources of print and electronic media which brings that, often, they do not represent the interests of the public, but of the owners of these media. Meanwhile, the legal initiative to draft law "For the press" is left in silence by not fulfilling the task of aligning the Albanian media legislation with European standards. Also, legislative initiatives for the removal from the Penal Code of penal acts of defamation and insult are not yet materialized. Cases of identified violence Organizations report the case of violence of local correspondent of the newspaper "The Telegraph", Gjergj Mandreja from the Mirdita Deputy Prefect Gjon Pjetri in his office, who has hit 64-year-old Mandreja, leaving him unconscious in January 2009; Violence conducted by police in the premises of Tema newspaper and forced removal of journalists in January 2009, violence committed against journalists Mero Baze in November 2009; In general, delays were identified in solving and implementing processes to justice perpetrators of the violence against journalists especially those carried out by powerful persons.

16 17

Independent Union of Journalists Dibra Youth Forum

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


The QKMA18 report concluded the case beating of Shqip newspaper correspondent in the district of Gjirokastra, Ëngjëll Serjani, in June 2008, from police officer Argjir Cela, is still under investigation by the prosecution while the authors carried out this act in the presence Tepelena Chief of Commissariat, Enver Meçe. The situation of journalists Informal work, in general, continues to be recorded as one of the problems of reporters in Albania, especially those working in the local media. According UGSH, UGQGJ19 and QKMA the situation of journalists work relation continues to be the same, discriminatory because not signing of contracts, the exercise of the profession without insurance and without a legal status. UGQGJ reports that about 80% of local journalists working in local media or as correspondents of central media work informally. UGSH reports that during July-November 2009, in country's 25 daily newspapers have been arbitrarily removed from their work place 58 journalists, who by not having contracts with the administrators and owners of media have had no opportunity to establish processes court, for their unpaid salaries. UGSH also raises concerns that in country’s 27 printed and audiovisual media, still remains in force incorrectness for monthly payments of journalists and media staff, especially during the months of October-December 2009, delays have resulted up to 2-5 months. Journalism Ethics In general, in their work, journalists make efforts to maintain professional ethics. However there are cases in which is the media that violates the rights of the public or citizens. Failure to comply with the principle of presumption of innocence from the media is reported by QDNJD as one of the main concerns of women and girls in detention institution 313 in Tirana. Also, the publication of images from visual media of film cassettes readily obtained by political parties during the election campaign of June 28 is a reflective non-fulfillment of the mission, authenticity and objectivity in journalism. The right to information on official documents Law no. 8503 date 30.06.1999 "On the Right Information for Official Documents," sanctions the right on information to interested citizens or subjects, on the activities of each institution, unless expressly prohibited by law. This right is not applied in many cases by the administration locally or centrally, or intentionally delayed breaking the terms provided for by law. RSL repeatedly raises concern in two local institutions in the district of Kukes, where not only information is not given by staff of the institution concerned about the official documents, thus justifying this position with reason that the information is classified, but officials in question in fact had no knowledge of the right to information and the law that sanctions it. B. Freedom of peaceful assembly and association The constitution and law provide freedom of assembly and association. There were no cases of violation or prohibition of such rights by state institutions.

18 19

“Antigonea” Cultural Mediatic Center Regional Association of Professional Journalists – Gjirokastër

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


However CSDC Durres20 raises concerns raised by other NGOs on uncertain legal area that regulates relations between NGOs and state institutions Tax / Fees. The latter consider all NGOs, regardless of their scope of action, as large businesses, while it placed undue bureaucracies on NGO-Tax/Fees relations, bringing progress and obstacles in their functioning. C. Freedom of religion Albania has demonstrated consistency in respect to freedom to manifest one's religion and is one country to be taken as example where there is a higher tolerance among religions. D. Freedom of movement of internally displaced persons and refugee protection Free movement of persons is one of the major issues of political and social realities in the country. Visa liberalization will bring for the first time after 1990 Albanian citizens the opportunity to move freely in all countries of the Schengen area for short periods. This process took first drive at Thessaloniki Summit of June 2003, and then in the middle of 2006, was negotiated visa facilitation agreement with the Western Balkan countries, which entered into force on 1 January 2008. According to LE21, this agreement does not offer any real relief, even every member of the Schengen country began to implement in accordance with its specific rules, leaving essentially the same procedure for obtaining a visa. In May 2008 the EU decided to open visa dialogue with Albania and materialize all the criteria that must be fulfilled in a single document called the Guide towards visa liberalization. European Commission, on July 15, 2009, presented a proposal for the removal of Schengen visas for 3 Western Balkan countries. Currently, for two countries which did not benefit the liberalization (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina) it is said that they meet about 90% the criteria of the Guide, however, new monitoring missions due to visit the place very soon in the period December 2009-February 2010 will give a clearer overview of the situation, over which the European Commission will draft a new proposal. The rights of Albanian emigrants and returned persons According to KSHH, despite measures taken to reduce irregular migration, the statistics show a considerable number of people attempting to illegally cross the border or returning from countries where they have migrated illegally. KSHH considers the legal framework is still with the problems regarding Albanian emigrants and returned persons, as well as infrastructure and level of training of border police officers and immigration still needs to be improved. KSHH finds communication problems in terms of relevant state structures at regional level with central one. V. POLITICAL RIGHTS

Elections and political participation On June 28 were held elections for the Assembly of Albania, which, according to reports of OSCE / ODIHR and other international commissions and local observers reports marked progress in some areas, however, have noted the important drawbacks and violations.

20 21

Civil Society Development Center - Durrës European Movement in Albania

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


The political situation in which 28 June 2009 elections were held was preceded by political developments that, in general, were characterized by expression of consensus between the two main political forces, the PD22 of PS23 to draft the necessary legal framework. Result of this consensus was the adoption of constitutional amendments and the drafting of the Electoral Code, which, regardless, the representation of all political forces members of parliament, was dominated in its decision by consensus PD-PS, bypassing reaction of small political parties, which culminated with the response of the hunger strike by members of LSI24, PDK25, who sought political representation voting in committees that will manage the election process Election administration was entirely political. Was evidenced unachieved level of professional preparation of the electoral administration of the second and third level, due, partly, to insufficiency of time for their training. During the campaign, products broadcast in media, in most cases, were conducted entirely by political forces, dominated by the races of the political leadership. Pursuant to Section 146 of the Electoral Code of Republic, the Electoral College of the Court of Appeal was formed with 8 judges, chosen by lot and that accepted by all political parties. As the highest decision making body, the Electoral College acknowledged and reviewed all you complaints addressed. Despite this, declarations from it as unfounded in law of requests for reassessment and / or recount of votes in some districts of the Berat, Tirana and Shkodra, and not judgment of the legal validity of the request of two members of the KQZ26 to access the evidences during the administrative review of the KQZ complaints was addressed by the PS as a fact of its resistless of political pressure exerted on the institution. For this election campaign the parties did not signed, together the Code of Ethics, regardless of declarations that the campaign and all their commitments would be a free and fair electoral process. Despite this, KVV27, KRIIK28 and SHKD29 report cases that not confirmed this position. There were repeated instances where, contrary to the Code and the requirements of international documents (Section 5.4 of the Copenhagen Document of the OSCE), the official state activities were used for campaign purposes. Employees of public institutions, ministries, municipalities, teachers, students (including minors), etc.., were used by the two major political forces to take part in their activities, as in Fier, Korça, Vlora, Tirana, Shkodër, Elbasan, Shijak, Durrës, etc. Public administration sources as cars, official buildings etc.., were used by the PD, for campaign purposes. Likewise, the opposition reported the phenomenon of pressure on voters to job losses in the event of they were not ranked at majority governing side. According to KPM, there were cases in the north of the country where the commissioners have been threatened, bought, or has been shaking for families prior sworn statement of the vote in individual, family and clan. Women June 2009 elections were a new opportunity for the movement of women in Albania, in terms of achieving its objectives: increasing the participation of women in decision making.
22 23

Democratic Party of Albania Socialist Party of Albania 24 Socialist Movement for Integration 25 Democristian Party of Albania 26 Central Elections Commission 27 Domestic Observers Coalition 28 KRIIK Albnia Association 29 Society for Democratic Culture

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Setting the quota of 30% in the Electoral Code was an important progress, which in these elections resulted in an increase from 7.1 percent to 16.4 percent of women representation in the Assembly of Albania. But progress is insufficient, given that there were spaces to achieve the target of 30%. Political parties showed unwillingness to fulfill this goal. In general, they, and especially the two major parties, used the clause "and/or" of Article 47, Section 5 of the Electoral Code, to disadvantage women. Although the Central Election Commission worked to prevent political parties to break the law, however, allowed them to artificially add to the bottom of the list the name of a woman candidate simply to meet legal obligations. In about 60% of party lists approved by the KQZ, the completeness of gender representation quota of 30% was not achieved, 19% failed to meet the requirement lists for the other gender representation in three positions. Only 43% of the lists with two criteria set out in the Electoral Code were completed. Although the media during the campaign gave greater space to both major parties and, therefore, their women candidates, civil society actors and international organizations interviewed for this report aims assess that the media, in general, gave space to women candidates. Two of KQZ members are women and one KQZ deputy is a woman. Electoral Code provides for the participation of girls and women in electoral commissions in the quote at least 30%. This provision was not agreed to meet, especially by two major parties. Observance of this requirement on the composition of KZAZ was not carried out particularly by the PS. However, the KQZ approved the committees, being justified with insufficient time to complete their tasks in preparing the elections. KVV observers report that at about 56% of the polling stations commissions, of which 86% in urban areas, participation of women and girls was in line with the requirements of Election Code. In rural areas only 11% of surveyed centers had 3-4 women / girls. In relation with the exercise of the right to vote, secret and direct from the women and / or girls, KVV observers identified instances where voters were openly recommended by their relatives for which alternative to vote. They were accompanied during the voting in the secret room without being objectively necessary, and / or required by the relatives to vote in their name. Most often these cases were monitored in peripheral urban areas and rural areas, or in those with low socio-economic development, as in the District of Mirdita, Peshkopi, Lezha, Gramsh, Tepelena etc. Inclusion of women and girls in the process of election observation marked a qualitative development. About 60 percent of engaged observers of organizations participating in monitoring the elections were women and / or girls. Minorities Political representatives of minority communities, generally, during the election process were targeted to be used by political parties and their participation in the process was considerable, given that according to estimates it was favored by electoral system choice. On the other hand, their political representation was small and almost negligible. Voters with disabilities FSHDPAK30 and KVV declare that, in the Parliamentary Elections of 28 June 2009, was denied the right to vote to persons with disabilities in Albania, due to barriers faced by persons with disabilities (PWD) as non provision with card identity (inability to get to the inadequate card application centers; impossibility to go to the polls (voting centers or the way to go there was inadequate and lacked legal alternatives to voting outside the polling station).

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


According to FSHDPAK, in polls it observed in Tirana, only 33% of them were suited to access by disabled voters. Meanwhile, converted special rooms for use by persons with disabilities, wheelchairs users were missing in 98% of centers surveyed. Another concern was found in terms of discrimination to persons with disabilities to their right to full recognition of the electoral process and equal participation in the vote, due to lack of legal framework and administrative measures for the establishment of interpreter service of sign language for voters with hearing disabilities, the creation of facilities for providing appropriate election information for voters with mental disabilities eligible to vote. Participation in environmental decision-making processes Arhus Convention, which is called the Convention of environmental democracy, give people the right to be informed and participate actively in decision making related to investments which have an impact on the environment. Forced to open the door to a greater participation of the public on environmental issues, to implement in practice the freedoms and basic human rights, the Convention is seen as an important instrument of international civil and political character. Albania has signed this Convention in 2000, but, according QSHDNJ and IRNSH31 yet there is no law that directly relates to the obligations that the state has on citizens rights to be informed and participate in environmental decision making. They are touched on environmental law and those related to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Recently was approved a decision and an order of the minister for public participation in the process of informing and consulting activities with impact on the environment (Decision no. 994, dated 02.07.2008 "On the withdrawal of public opinion on environmental decisionmaking" and Ministerial Instruction no. 1, in March 2009 on the duties of environmental authorities to ensure public participation and environmental NGOs in the process of environmental impact assessment"). IRNSH finds that, despite laws that have not yet been completed and in some cases unclear, in practice it remains difficult getting information. At the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Water Administration was established, with the support of the OSCE, an office for information, but in many cases it is powerless to convey the information properly. IRNSH reports the case of the project for Thermo-power plant at Porto Romano and Ashtës hydropower, environment impact assessment report on which has been almost impossible to get from to the participants. The same can be said for investments made for cement factories and those build at the coast. There is system not at all transparent and open to the public that could provide information to interested entities, causing wasteful meanders or giving flimsy information, verbal and incorrect, not based on proper examination of documents. Decision-making processes related to the environment were not influenced by the opinion of communities or NGOs, but on political orders that fail to take into consideration the right to express the opinion of the people of the region and beyond in the process. In the environmental field, in the last 10 years, has started to come out on the role and participation of NGOs in mobilizing communities by facilitating the dissemination of information needed and raised voices to respect fundamental rights and sanctioned by the national and international laws, but according IRNSH, it must be admitted that this movement has not enough freedom of expression to accomplish the mission objective of respecting the rights of public environmental and development projects undertaken by state actors. VI. DISCRIMINATION, SOCIAL ABUSES, TRAFFICKING OF HUMAN BEINGS

Institute for the Preservation of Nature in Albania

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Discrimination due to gender, physical and health status, race, sexual orientation, because of political beliefs, or philosophical, because of age, family or marital status, location, etc.., result widespread, that is why taking legal measures against this direction is a must, emphasize in their findings QSHDNJ and KSHH. The Parliament should pass the bill review procedures developed by civil society and signed by 28 members of parliament, regarding non discrimination. Housing, employment, education, social benefits and health services, registration of children and the conditions of infrastructure in areas with concentration of the Roma minority and the Egyptian community, remain problematic, their participation in local and central government continues to be at low levels, states in its reports KSHH. Domestic violence Law and its implementation Domestic violence continues to be problematic. Organizations determine that the effective implementation in practice of law No. 9669 dated 18.12.2006 "On measures against violence in family relations" has encountered many difficulties as the main responsible authorities have not taken over their legal obligations. QDNJD determines failure of the legal obligations to establish the necessary capacity to provide medical assistance on domestic violence for workers in health centers. Concern remains the lack of fulfillment of the relevant medical records for cases of domestic violence by health centers, although there is an order of the Ministry of Health, on the basis of which any case of domestic violence should be recorded on special documents Register and medical card that is individual for victims of domestic violence. As a result of lack of documentation, the victim of domestic violence are not provided with appropriate medical report, which will serve as evidence in court to issue an order of protection, making it difficult to issue such an order by the court. Also, by the findings of QDNJD, in the absence of knowledge of the law, Health Centers do not refer and orientate the victim to other support services and protection from domestic violence, as can be: police departments, Local Government Units or NGOs. In the framework of this Law, Local Government Units are also responsible line institutions charged with specific tasks, however, QDNJD reports lack of commitment of these units to create special structures, such as social and rehabilitation centers for victims and violators, the structures of social services for domestic violence cases, which have not yet been filed. Within this law the Ministry of Justice should provide free legal protection for victims of domestic violence by providing a number of trained lawyers, the obligation which has not yet been met. According to QDNJD, under no circumstances the victims of domestic violence were not protected by attorney assigned mainly by the procedures. Another obstacle for non enforcement of the law is not functioning of the Law No. 10039, dated 22.12.2008 "On legal aid” which will guarantee legal protection for free to victims of domestic violence. Ministry of Education and Science is also charged by law with the task to design the curriculum for high schools and secondary schools, for the preparation of textbooks and other materials to educate pupils and students with thoughts on stopping domestic violence, obligations which are not yet met. In terms of well-defined tasks of the Ministry of Interior and Police Commissariats, under this law, problematic appears the failure of the criminal proceedings against the authors (violators) who violate orders of protection, under Article 320 of the Criminal Code for "Prevention in execution of court decisions”, leading to escalation of violence in the worst shape and worsening the situation of victims of domestic violence.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


By monitoring over 400 court decisions QNLQ32 noticed a continued improvement in judgments of the Court of First Instance, Tirana, to issue Defense and Immediate of Defense orders. The center found a better functioning of the police-court system and believes the significant increase in the number of claims before the Court, inter alia, linked with increased confidence of citizens towards the professionalism and commitment of these bodies. However, the Court should analyze the fact, why of all claims submitted, subject to monitoring, the trial was stopped at 73.43% of cases. According to QDNJD, many cases are closed by the court not only as a result of the statement issued by party plaintiff to leave the trial, but also for other reasons, which are mainly related to handling of the issue by the judges, who, for lack of a unified and practical use of their discretion, stop a number of cases (especially immediate confirmation of orders of protection) in unjustified way. Courts, in some cases violate the procedural deadlines set for the start of judicial review and adjudication of cases the decision for issuing protection orders or immediate protection orders. Cases not judged within a reasonable time, despite the immediate nature they represent. Courts have the duty within 24 hours after issuance of the order of protection or defense command prompt to send a copy of the decision to the victim, the police commissariat, social services office to local entities, but this obligation, according to monitoring done by QDNJD is not met in all cases by creating problems in the execution of these decisions. QDNJD reports that, in most cases, victims of domestic violence are women, but there are also cases of men abused mainly by children but also from spouses. In violence exercised, physical violence is prevalent, coupled with psychological violence, but economic violence is not absent as well, which is expressed mainly by allowing for joint owned apartment or family income. Violence is present in all categories, regardless of educational level, although most cases addressed to victims with 8-year education. Problematic remain cases when parents use physical and psychological violence against their minor children, in some cases by denied them the right to be educated. QDNJD determines the unemployment and economic difficulty is seen as one of the main reasons for the exercise of domestic violence. Lack of shelters for victims of domestic violence is a major problem and requires an immediate solution, as victims of domestic violence, in many cases, are forced to leave their apartment, due to extreme violence exercise on them. These victims, often along with their minor children, do not have a place to be accommodated. For this reason is needed the creation of shelters for accommodation and treatment of victims of domestic violence in a shortest possible time. Women Violence against women occurs in all forms and in all social classes, regardless of education, economic status or cultural identity. Violence against women is a phenomenon that is associated with numerous problems in terms of mental health, social, economic, etc. NDGSH33 reports of serious health cases as a result of violence exercised. According to NDGSH, girls and women who reported that they are victims of domestic violence in most parts have a very low level of economic income, low education and come from rural areas. In socio-economic aspect these victims are isolated from the social environment and in most cases unemployed. This is further deepened in small districts in the country as Puka, etc..

32 33

Center for Legal Civic Initiatives Useful to Albanian Women Association

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Most of the cases treated by this association centers in some cities, women and girls are traumatized as a result of long time abuse. Awareness of society about violence against women has positive effects in its denunciation. According to SHGK34, in Korça, from 30 cases that have sought protection order in 2008, this number has gone in 75 cases in 2009. NDGSH reports that, by monitoring the print media during 2009, that Albanian media has yet a lot to be done to give the necessary space and to address the right dimension of appropriate gender policies. Children Protection from abuse and maltreatment The situation of children in Albania has improved in terms of recommendations made, but still needs institutional coordination between actors involved in this issue and, especially, should be much more willing to the final fulfillment of obligations towards respect for children's rights. CRCA35 and UNICEF promoted the preparation of draft law "On Protection of Children from abuse, neglect and exploitation", which was later discussed in a series of public debates with government and civil society. For the first time in Albania is provided the prohibition of child corporal punishment and any other form of violence or exploitation, the bill expected to be passed in parliament soon. Meanwhile, the draft Framework for the Rights of the Child, an initiative led by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and supported by UNICEF has not yet been approved by the Assembly of Albania, although the first draft bill was presented state institutions and civil society in March 2009. Justice for Juveniles Despite the improvements identified in the legislation, it still should be completed in terms of management and referral of juveniles under the age of 14. CRCA determines that remains the problem of determination investigation rules and discipline, as well as delays in delivering justice for juveniles, especially for juveniles condemned for the first time. Also, there is a vacuum in legislation for immediate psycho-social support. Services in child protection Economic improvement and changes in social structure in Albania not brought the expected positive impact on the protection of children. Although children and young people comprise one of the largest groups of society, public attention and adequate funding are not focused enough on their care, protection, education and issues related to them. CRCA notes the reference system to coordinate all services provided for children and nongovernmental institutions is not yet a reality, while this year marked the establishment of the National Telephone Line for Children (116), an initiative of UNICEF-Albania and CRCA. Unregistered children in Civil Register BKTF36 notes the high number of unregistered children in the estate is still a major concern for Albania. Many children in the country do not register because born out of health centers and, consequently, not equipped with the birth certificate; incorrect statement of the identity of the parents; economic inability to follow court proceedings in cases where time limits envisaged in the law are not respected; parents unawareness on the importance of registering children and improper registration scheme, which is unable to manage the
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Korça Woman Association Children’s Human Rights Centre in Albania 36 BKTF Coalition - All Together Against Child Trafficking

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


problems posed by internal migration and other phenomena. Although there is no official statistics the number of unregistered children, the number of reported BKTF is about 400. Registration of children can become very complicated in cases where should be applied the legal system of two or more states. Registration of children from Roma community is still a very problematic issue, bringing as a consequence the exclusion of Roma children and their families from all rights, such as education, health and economic support schemes. Care for children who leave the "House of the Child" The situation of children who leave public residential institutions (orphanages) is still an unresolved issue in Albania. Children leave these institutions in young age, and later sent to school only if there are free spaces in schools with boarding. BKTF reports that most children who grow up in the child's home have low level of education. A part of them leave school or fail intentionally to repeat the year and to postpone their departure from school. Children living in public boarding schools are often stigmatized, live in poverty, have no free access to health services and not have any support for housing after the age of 18. There is no specific policy to support children without care, even for those in the age of 14. For this category of children there is no other service, after they leave public care institutions. There is no care for their education, employment, or housing. This lack of comprehensive support services and any particular structure to further care for youngest and children results in many negative consequences: unemployment, lack of housing and sensitivity to abuse, while, according to National Law "On status of Orphans" Law No. 8153 dated 31/10/1996, children who have orphan status are entitled to some support, as financial payments, scholarships and free access to other basic services. According to QSHPLI37 access to the right to education is problematic and discriminatory against Roma children who are not accepted in schools because of lack of birth certificate or vaccination card, which is the legal criterion. With regard to children with disabilities are not yet prepared the respective by-laws by the Ministry of Education and Science to enable the physical infrastructure in schools, meanwhile, teachers do not have enough time and specialization to follow them. Legal address in the education legislation on the phenomenon of discrimination, racism and segregation in schools against children of color communities is lacking. Persons belonging to national minorities are guaranteed the right to learn in their mother tongue in terms of compulsory education, but the state has not carried out this obligation. QPSHLI notes that the state has not supported the printing and free ABC book in Roma language or for the Greek minority, as a minimum standard of this right. QSHPLI reports of legislation on primary care health services does not provide access for all children - especially for unregistered children, children with disabilities and, what is more disturbing, these services conditional on the mother's involvement in social security scheme. Revenge and blood-deud phenomenon remain problematic and the failure of the Albanian state to guarantee the life of persons, especially children who are forced to stay closed at home and deprived of all basic rights. The organizations emphasized the fact of not differentiated treatment of minors in detention facilities, placing them in the same cell with other detainees bringing cases of abuse or mistreatment not only by workers at the stations but also by separate detainees. Labor Code guarantees special protection to children by banning the hiring of minors under 16 years old, but this ban can not be applied by minors no less than 14 years old

Center of Integrated Legal Services and Practices

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


during school holidays. Also in the provisions of this Code, it is provided a reduction of working hours for minors under 18 years old, up to 6 hours per day. The QAP / NDGSH38 reported that children who work full time or residents in the street can be: totally abandoned children, children who live with relatives, who can care for them or children who live without any connection with community. This center highlights that in these categories, children of Roma and Egyptian community are most discriminated in terms of jobs they do, opportunities for education or other rights. QAP raises its concern for the category of those children who are called "children working in the street, who beg at traffic lights junction, bars, sell packages, phone cards, etc.., abandoning school. The statistics reported by the QAP, about 40% of employed children, have only temporary work or casual, which are mainly heavy work as bricklayer, construction workers, shoe manufacturing and confectioner, guards, etc. ambulant vendors., by working mainly in black. According to SHJD39, situation of children who have their relatives as carers, after losing one or both parents remains very worrying. Some of them do not receive family pensions as their parents were not at work. SHJD reports for families with orphaned children coming mainly from the north, in the suburban areas of Tirana and Durres, who have no chance and are in difficult economic situation. Trafficking of human beings and prostitution The phenomenon of trafficking has not yet disappeared. According to QPSV40, the Albanian state, in all these years, has tried by drafting the National Anti Traffic Strategies, has set up special facilities in each District Police Office, has adopted strong laws to convict traffickers and protectors, however, these measures yielded no appropriate effects due to not properly implementation, and because of poor infliction that the state has done, especially in terms of capturing and sentencing of criminals who maintain alive this phenomenon. Law institutions of have failed in this struggle, by turning to invalid proceedings made dozens of victims at the expense of their users. Not placement of traffickers before law and not punishment of them by these institutions has caused lost of confidence of victims to justice, while rooting to those fears to break from the protectors and the trafficking networks. Lack of defense counsel to victims of trafficking and their protection from state prosecutors, has caused numerous problems and difficulties due to prejudice that they have for the victims of this traffic, making the trials not serious and extended without end in years. Witness Protection Law has been adopted since years, it was even further improved, but as QPSV states no trafficked victim has not benefited from this law. Even anti-trafficking Regional Committees, set up and attached to the prefectures in each district, result having no specific function. QPSV also finds as troubling problem not the correct identification of trafficking victims by police officers, as a result of frequent changing of police officers who work with human trafficking, replacing them with officers without training, and lack of social workers at border points to make the identification of victims, making almost impossible real evaluation of the phenomenon and its trend.

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a project of Useful to Albanian Women Association Orphan’s Association – Durrës 40 “Vatra” Psycho-Social Center

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Although police of different European states, and particularly that of Greece, turn almost every day a considerable number of clandestine, among them women and girls, Albanian police leaves them free at the border without identifying them and placing in the group of persons crossing the border illegally, this due to the fact that not one of them is accompanied by regular identification documents. QPSV estimates that, even with the drafting and adoption of strategies from the first strategy in 2001 and last one of 2008-2010, MPÇSSHB was not able to implement the realization of several important objectives that have to do with improving the life victims of human trafficking, or long-term programs and projects for their employment and housing. In this situation, QPSV determines that actually the phenomenon of human trafficking in Albania is presented in its two main forms: foreign trafficking, which is identified with the use of the victims outside the borders of Albania, which really is being alleviated, as well as internal trafficking identified with the use victims in daily prostitution in major cities of the country, which results in growth. Internal trafficking phenomenon constitutes one of the main chains of human trafficking, for the fact that it works equally in all of its key elements (such as Recruiters, carriers, host, source areas, ways of recruitment, protector, clients, etc..) with the only difference, that this phenomenon takes place within the country, as long as the traffickers are enable to transition the victim abroad. In its findings, QPSV draws attention of the Ministry of Interior and State Police on considering internal trafficking as daily prostitution "willing" or "voluntary", by assessing this phenomenon as a lower risk and, consequently, not penalizing all those involved in trafficking, but only its victims, because it considers this an ordinary phenomenon of community life. QPSV also raises concern about the dangerousness of the spread of STIs by the uncontrolled exercise of prostitution, as well as institutions and community awareness to the vulnerability of people with mental health problems, who become prey to recruitment and exploitation by traffickers, which often is followed by undesired pregnancies and births. Persons with disabilities FSHDPAK reports that, currently, in Albania are 94.804 persons with disabilities (PWD). OBSH41 refers that people with disabilities in developing countries make up 7 - 10% of the population. Persons with disabilities, primarily those who live in developing countries are the poorest category of society. Most of them are dependent on family and relatives to ensure survival. Meanwhile, people with physical disabilities can move and be economically independent, but in most cases it is impossible for them to do it as a result of lack of support services as well as equipping them with wheel-chairs. Although people with disabilities are significant as consumers, producers, taxpayers, beneficiaries and citizens, they are still excluded in providing their input in decisionmaking and country’s economic and social development. From a survey conducted by FSHDPAK on implementation of action plan of the National Strategy for persons with disabilities, came out that almost half of them are directly affected by lack of access and mitigating technology in infrastructure, home, work, entertainment facilities and communication. The foundation finds a poor state of health and social services towards this category, emphasizing the insufficient work done in the field of prevention and early identification, as well as in the field of employment and vocational training.

World Health Organization

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


But according to this survey, persons with disabilities and their families, in overwhelming measure, feel that they are not treated as equals in Albanian society, they even think that are not considered partners in decision-making in daily care centers or residential in municipal, commune, district or country level. The rights of women with disabilities FSHDPAK determines that although there is progress towards improving the legal framework that promotes gender equality and inclusion of persons with disabilities, women and girls with disabilities in Albania still have not found their place in any of the Albanian Government policy documents in the field of gender equality and disability. Strategies that promote gender equality laws treat the woman with disabilities not as equals with other women. Women with disabilities are seen as an inactive category, which should only benefit from social services and allocated payments for disability. Women with disabilities are not addressed specifically in any of the areas that promote strengthening their decisionmaking, health and employment services tailored to them, or economic empowerment. Women with disabilities are left out of benefit services for all, as they are planned in accordance with their specific needs. Foundation states that there is a lack of statistics for women with disabilities in areas such as employment, education and vocational training, community involvement and services. National statistics are fragmentary, not exist for all types of disability, by not giving the opportunity to judge on the total number of women and girls with disabilities, their current situation, the needs they have. FSHDPAK identifies that woman with disabilities is not part of the national reports obliged to report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, by so not implementing one of recommendations of this convention. Also, the National Strategy of persons with disabilities is completely insensitive to the concept of a gender perspective, as women with disabilities are invisible there and on the reports monitoring its implementation. All laws and strategies for persons with disabilities have not included a gender perspective component. There is no attempt to incorporate problems of women with disabilities in horizontal policies where gender equality tends to be included. Women with disabilities have their voice in the drafting of government documents, such as for gender equality as well as for disability. They are not directly represented by specialized organizations on disability or gender equality. According FSHDPAK, low awareness at the central and local level for their rights as women and as persons with disabilities, inadequate environment, lack of basic ancillary services, and insufficient self evaluation and organization of women with disabilities women are some of the factors that have influenced not to include women with disabilities in policy documents of the Albanian Government for women and disability. The rights to quality services for persons with disabilities Despite there are no flagrant violations of human rights to individuals in residential and daily centers yet they are not properly guaranteed, notices FSHDPAK in its study conducted on the Implementation of Standards of Social Services for PWD in Residential and Daily Centers, which highlights some problems that place these individuals in disadvantage compared to other groups of society. In order that this category enjoy civil, political, social, economic and cultural as all other individuals who are not disabled and are protected from any form of abuse or maltreatment many needs should be fulfilled.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Meanwhile, according to a study conducted by TLAS and analysis of legislation for protection of persons with disabilities, were encountered some problems like financial treatment of persons with disabilities, who under existing law is done not starting from their potential for realization of normal life and social functions, but by their ability to work. As a result, evaluation and disclosure as incapable is made by Medical Commission for Defining the Ability to Work. The measure of disability benefit payment is not differentiated depending on the costs that depend on the degree of disability of the person. Excluded from eligibility of disability benefit payment are disabled persons who have the opportunity to be hired. TLAS determines that many persons with disabilities do not enjoy their rights, while the opportunities for abuse and corruption of the structures that determine the inability of these persons are uncontrolled. The mentally disabled Albanian legislation provides a special legal framework for mentally ill persons, this is materialized in law no. 8092, dated 21.03.1996 "On Mental Health, which inter alia in Article 1 and 2 is set of “mental health protection provided by structures of state administration and public and private institutions designated for this purpose through the provision of health care and a suitable social environment for the mentally disabled, and through the pursuit of a preventive policy for mental health”. According QDNJD, despite the existence of a legal framework for special treatment of persons with mental disorders, in practice it is not applied, especially in remote areas of the country. According to this center, the mentally ill are not regularly treated with medications and accommodation is not offered in specialized centers, even the lack of residential centers for medical and social care to the mentally ill is one of the biggest problems in dealing with this part of society, leading to other serious consequences such as violence in family relations exercised by the people of this category, cases that remain without any concrete solution. Meanwhile, the law itself leaves room for significant uncertainty, which, according QSHZHSHM42, can lead to abuse and violation of the rights of service users or their families such as: improvidence by law the rights of patients during the period of hospitalization; improvidence of specific measures about the treatment of children with mental health problems; improvidence of specific preventive measures to degrading and inhuman treatment that can be made for persons with mental illness (as use of electroshock, sterilization, etc.); QSHZHSHM also finds missing of instruments (special structures) to monitor the rights of persons with mental illness in services, community and institutions, creating room for abuse and misleading cases or issues in a properly legal way. According QSHZHSHM, the media often report rashly, unethical and senseless on issues related to mental health. Severe cases were found and shown in the media in November, where people with mental disorders were kept chained because of their health status, regardless of Article 27 of the Constitution which stipulates that "Nobody may be deprived of liberty except in cases and under procedures prescribed by law ". National, racial and ethnic minorities In the Republic of Albania, according to KSHH, GSHDNJ and QSHDNJ several minorities live, Greek, Serb-Montenegrin, Macedonian, Bosnian, Roma, Vlach and Egyptian.

Albanian Development Center for Mental Health

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Albania's Constitution provides for the preservation and teaching of mother tongue for minorities. There is no accurate data of the last official number of these minorities, in addition to official census figures of 1989, while, according to these minority organizations, is necessary and even the Albanian state is required to be done as soon as registration population and where to declare, among other nationality and religion. In the Albanian government only Greek minority is represented by a minister, while the local government has minority members through municipal councils as acceding to various political forces and not as direct representatives of minority representation bodies. Upon the organizations of minority communities, with drafting of the new electoral code in 2008, was immensely difficult the possibility of minority representation in Parliament, as direct regional proportional electoral system do not favors them. The Albanian State has established the State Committee for Minorities as Albanian government advisory body which consists of five members, a member of each officially recognized minority (ethnic ones: Greek, Macedonian, Montenegrin and Serbian or language: Vlach and Roma). KSHM43 role is limited until his status is also limited to advisory and not at the executive. The Albanian state has not ratified the Charter for Regional or Minority languages. All minority organizations, in cooperation with the State Committee for Minorities, have requested that the consultation to be undertaken as soon as possible for its provisions and provisions that are left, under the Convention, up to various governments to select, with minority organizations in order to sign and then to ratify it by Albania. Serbo-Montenegrin minority Serbo-Montenegrin minority lies mainly in the north of the country. SHPKSMMR44 notes that the right of preservation and teaching native language for Serbian-Montenegrin minority is not guaranteed. According to this association there are no preschool institutions, primary education, secondary or higher which perform some form of instruction in Serbian language, or teach the history, culture, geography and other issues of native states. Members of Serb-Montenegrin minority have submitted several requests for opening here of schools in areas where resides a considerable number of minorities. The request was denied, because after verification of the Ministry of Education has concluded that there are no children with Serbian or Montenegrin nationality in civil offices. According to SHPKSMMR this happens because, constrained from the former communist regime, many members of this minority have changed nationality in civil situations, therefore the general population census of 1989 (which contains data on nationality), is considered by them as incorrect which does not contain the real situation of the number of minorities as an instrument to implement policies against them. SHPKSMMR also notes the lack of media in minority native language Serb-Montenegrin or Serbian-language broadcasts, as in print media or visual media. Even in cases of xenophobic news or articles in print or visual media, access and media space that was provided to oppose them as individuals or as an organization is small. Association stresses the possibility of limited national public media or electronic written to present problems of this minority, and again put out the lack of producers in minority languages, especially the TVSH45 and other national media.
43 44

The State Minority Committee Association of Serbian-Montenegrin Ethnic Minority “Moraça-Rozafa” 45 Albanian State Television

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Macedonian Minority According to OSHPDP46 there are no emissions in minority languages in public and private radio and television. Also, the organization emphasizes the lack of funds that can be managed by KSHM to help minority associations for different development projects and preservation of traditions, etc.. OSHPDP expressed concern about the inability of native language instruction for children in areas of Golloborde Gore, where there are members of the Macedonian minority. OSHPDP still stresses the very limited number of minority appointees in public administration. Roma minority Under the Strategy for the Improvement of Living Conditions of the Roma community, the community is considered as a language minority. Under the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Rights of National Minorities, persons belonging to national minorities can exercise and enjoy rights and freedoms that come from the principles set forth in this framework Convention either individually as well as in community with others . TLAS finds living conditions of the Roma community as very difficult and still very minimum efforts are made to integrate this community in Albanian society, noting that, currently, forecasts of the Strategy have remained on paper and their implementation is progressing by very slow leaps. In addition some state bodies and committees that are designed to integrate this community in Albanian society, targets set in international documents, even the Albanian government itself, as a condition for EU integration, are very far from what is expected. According TLAS, the biggest concern is still the large number of children, even adults, unregistered, after birth, at civil status offices. Roma are not identified in housing offices, employment offices, have no address, are not insured, no free health service benefit, do not attend schools, etc.. Although much has been made by NGOs in this regard, state and budgetary concrete intervention remains very limited. This community due to extreme poverty does not enjoy fundamental human rights, not to mention schooling and education of children, or other dangers threatening them as trafficking, exploitation, forced or hard labor, forced begging, violence, abuse or kidnapping. TLAS has identified that poor Roma families are excluded from the scheme of economic and social assistance, due to some constraints provided in existing bylaws. Vlach minority According to SHKASH47 and SHKVSH48, the Vlach minority has no right to teach the Vlach language. But according to them, is actually quite difficult to express freely their thoughts and aspirations about the Vlach minority, as in state and private televisions also in central newspapers media. Other social abuses and discriminations People living with HIV / AIDS Albania is considered as a country with low spreading HIV infection. Infected persons in most cases are discriminated in various ways reports SHPLHWA49, bringing to the
46 47

“Drushtvo Prespa” Association Cultural Association “Arumunët e Shqipërisë” 48 Cultural Association “Armanji di Albania” 49 Albanian Association for People Living with HIV/AIDS

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


attention the case of a HIV positive child, whose exclusion was requested by the head of the preschool institution (nursery). A big problem, notes in its reports SHPLHWA, which accompanies persons living with HIV / AIDS are social problems such as stigma, discrimination, exclusion, slander, etc., that these people suffer from society, for fear of the unknown and lack of information of the latter. People who live with HIV / AIDS are stigmatized, as well as in other countries, at different levels in Albania, which is expressed through social isolation, personal denial, direct and indirect discrimination and the lack of laws implemented efficiently, as only defense mechanisms to guarantee basic human rights for persons living with HIV and AIDS. Although during recent years positive steps were made in terms of treatment and health care of persons living with HIV / AIDS, in general, and HIV positive children, due to pressure from interest groups, these trends are affected by continued problems of non regular management of the problem of antiretroviral drugs at the UHCT "Mother Theresa" in Tirana and, mainly, the division of Pediatric Infectious Disease, reports SHPLWHA. The number of children infected with HIV has undergone a dramatic increase in the last four years stresses SHPLWHA. Furthermore, it notices that to the very serious social situation of HIV positive children, their stigmatization and discrimination from community, are being added to the irresponsibility of state institutions, responsible for handling, health care and their social welfare. SHPLWHA notices that media not only do not devote appropriate attention to the importance of citizen awareness and information on HIV / AIDS, but, in some cases, journalists invent for propaganda purposes or as a journalistic scoops, stories or fairytale events for persons with HIV. Also, SHPLWHA expresses concern for the violation of right of privacy in all forms for these people, as they are presented in their full names, family names, age of children, and the school where they learn, detailed family history and photographs of family members. Children living with HIV and AIDS face every day stigmatization and discrimination forms because of their health status by society, public, education and health institutions. Due to very low levels of education and information in the field of HIV / AIDS, not only in the community as a whole, but also at the level of educators, teachers and other staff of the educational system, are found stigmatization cases, discrimination and the refusal of children living with HIV and AIDS in the attendance of these institutions and in denial of the right to be educated in them because of their health status of HIV positive. Raising its concern about the lack of mechanisms for monitoring and ensuring respect for the rights of HIV positive persons, SHPLWHA determines the most flagrant cases of violation of the rights of these persons, especially children, as: − Lack of confidentiality or declaration of test results without the consent of the person; − Difficulties in their social integration, education and their profession; − Expulsion from work because of their health status (the case of educator in kindergarten); − To be abandoned, unemployed and homeless - living in the premises of the hospital for months while dying; − There are occasional shortages of ARV drugs for children; − Lack of free distribution of drugs for opportunistic infections, reflecting problems in monitoring and diagnosis of opportunistic infections, while this right is guaranteed by law; − No institutionalized action for providing law enforcement response to discrimination (including labor relations);

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


− Total lack of care at home, soothing care and other components of care; − Expulsion from the owners of houses or renting apartments because of their HIV positive status; − Discrimination in the workplace, health services, in education, in relation to HIV has been great since the beginning of the phenomenon. − Lack of clear programs and actions to determine the needs that exist in children and orphans as the lack of commitments to determine issues relating to gender balance; Sexual Minorities Rapid adoption by the Assembly of Albania of the Law on Protection from Discrimination will pave the way to the commitment of state institutions responsible for protecting and promoting the rights of LGBT50 community (sexual minorities such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (or gender-changed)) in Albania, so its rapid adoption is extremely important. CRCA notes that there was no campaign initiated by the Albanian government institutions on society awareness of LGBT rights. The International Day against Homophobia, on May 17, 24 NGOs sent to high representatives of state institutions, an open letter to seek measures to eliminate homophobia in Albania. VII. RIGHTS OF WORKERS The rights of workers in the private sector remain vulnerable, especially in the informal economy, as long as there are no effective mechanisms of control or pressure to sanction the rights under the Labor Code and applicable laws. RSL raises concern found by many other NGOs in field investigation or various surveys about neglect of the right to social security, weekly hours of work, different levels of wages for equal work, the exercise of the right for days, incorrect working contracts, black market labor, etc. Giving the right of employment in the administration continues to be a right risked by political beliefs that the employee reflects. A. Prohibition of forced and bonded labor The use of children for work The use of children for work, for the benefit of, especially, for begging has been and continues to be an obvious problem. Albanian legal framework against child exploitation is not implemented properly and mechanisms for the protection of children, as the institutional level, as well as community level, even where there exist are very weak and in most cases fail to protect children of these risks. Although there is no official data on the number of children working or begging in the streets, according BKTF, most street children perform additional jobs as sale of cigarettes or other small items on the street, collect items for sale and car maintenance, etc., even those are used as beggars in the streets of Albania, as well as abroad. Most children used in this way come from Roma and Egyptian community in the country, while most of those engaged in street sales come from the majority. In most cases they are forced under pressure of violence (both physical and psychological). BKTF reports few of children reported to be forced by people who do not members of their family. Begging on the street makes these children to face a high risk of trafficking or other forms of abuse, particularly sexual abuse.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


The use of children for sexual purposes Albanian Government, at both central and local levels and has failed in terms of protecting children from sexual exploitation for profit. According to the CRCA Albania continues to be a place where children are prostituted, trafficked, used for pornography and sexual tourism. Although the Government, local and national level has taken serious measures to combat and eliminate trafficking of children, ECSP continues to flourish due to the networks of organized crime, police corruption and lack of care system and child protection. Poverty, lack of respect for more vulnerable human beings and inadequate facilities and government structures for social support for children at the local level, continually put the children under risk of sexual exploitation for profit purposes. Albanian Government, especially at the local level, has not undertaken any measure to protect children from entering child sexual tourism, in a time when tourism in Albania is growing significantly. Moreover, legislative agencies and tourist operators have very limited information on child sexual tourism and on how to protect children from exploitation. Child pornography remains a limited phenomenon. However, the growth of Internet use across the country combined with government policies to make the Internet useful in every school to Albania may constitute a serious danger for children. This risk is further increased by lack of law that obliges Internet Service Providers to provide protected Internet for children. Finally, new amendments to the Criminal Code do not make possession of child pornography a criminal act. This increases the risk of abuse with images of children that can be used by abusers without being punished for their actions. B. Prohibition of child labor practices and minimum age of employment The law sets the minimum age of employment in 14 years and establishes the amount and type of work that can be performed by children under 18. Children between the ages of 14 and 16, legally are able to work part time during summer vacation, children between 16 and 18 may work throughout the year in some certain specific jobs. Although the employment of minors is prohibited, as long as children attend compulsory education, legal guarantees provided for in legislation work - the Labor Code and secondary legislation - are not in line with ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labor and the ILO Recommendation 190. According QSHPLI, in terms of stopping the exploitation of child labor provisions of the Criminal Code do not have had any effect in preventing hard works by children, as its is child labor in construction, road work, begging, etc.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


VIII. RECOMMENDATIONS Worldwide commitment on protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms remains one of the humanity greatest challenges. Guaranteeing these rights through ratification of international documents and their implementation in practice is really the fundamental issue of human rights which remain vulnerable in societies in transformation including the Albanian society. Guaranteeing fundamental human rights requires permanent commitment of all stakeholders in Albania, primarily of state actors who have the legal obligation, but also requires the contribution and commitment of other stakeholders for building society a rule of law. Reflection of violations or problems on the guarantee and respect the freedoms and human rights, in this report, addresses steps to be taken by relevant state institutions in fulfilling the obligations deriving from international conventions and domestic legislation. However, in addition to this obligation, with the expertise that civil society has today, following are summarized some recommendations that should become part of the work plan of different institutions. B. Arbitrary deprivation of life Revenge To cope with and to minimize this historical phenomenon, the IMC recommends developing a national strategy to respect the law and stop the revenge killings and blood feuds, through: • Strengthening the justice institutions, independence of the judiciary, prosecution and the rule of law. • Acknowledgment by the Albanian state of canon reality that carries this phenomenon in Albanian society as a challenge which must be tackled. • Reform of the penal and civil code in accordance with European Charter of Human Rights and the Constitution of Albania, strengthening sanctions for violators of property, life, family and dignity of the person. • Awareness and public information on canon and its distortions. • Building educational work in the school system on the obligation to respect and implementation of law and confidence in the rule of law. C. Torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment Guaranteeing fundamental human rights requires permanent commitment of all stakeholders in Albania. Prevention of torture, violence and discriminatory acts will require sustained and multi-disciplinary capacities by National Prevention Mechanization and coordination of expertise and priorities. QSHRT recommends guaranteeing by law the access to places of detention and police commissariats, which would strengthen the monitoring component and would improve the situation of human rights in penitentiaries. QSHRT recommends ensuring "the torture victim status" seeking international recognition of acts and their implementation by state institutions and the judiciary. The situation in detention and prison institutions Despite marked progress in legal reform undertaken in the prison system, KSHH stresses the need for enhancing the Training Center, the Prisons General Directorate, in order to increase the professional capacity of staff providing services in these institutions.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Conditions of Detention Centers The findings and expertise of the IET, recommended that in relation to: Trainings − Albanian authorities should intensify efforts to combat abuses caused by the Prisons police. − Albanian authorities should take steps to ensure that disciplinary measures of segregation to be only in exclusive cases and not be abused. In addition, the Albanian authorities should ensure that, where this measure is taken, the detainees should be ensured adequate living conditions, including appropriate sanitary equipment, proper nutrition and provision of beds and layers to sleep; − Director of the Prison Hospital Center in Tirana should order the immediate suspension of use of chains for patients as inhumane and degrading practice. Safeguards − The competent authorities should take appropriate steps to ensure that disciplinary measures taken against the detainees should respect the principle of proportionality, ensuring the proper balance between the need to rule and normal organization of works and the obligation to respect the dignity of individuals; − The competent authorities should ensure that all significant incidents are recorded in the relevant records, especially in cases when these incidents involved minor; − The competent authorities should ensure that in Korca IEPS be implemented without delay the separation of sectors between juveniles and adults; − The competent authorities should ensure that in IEPS Burrel to be applied the division in specific sectors among prisoners and detainees. Material conditions − The competent authorities must speed up moves to establish a planned catering system for detention institutions; − The competent authorities shall take all necessary measures (construction and / or reconstruction) that detainees in IEPS Tirana (302), Berat, Kukes, Saranda and Tropoja should be provided the opportunity to read or work in natural light, as well windows to be built in such a way as to allow natural ventilation, even if institutions have artificial ventilation; − The competent authorities should take measures that heating systems should exist and operate in all detention institutions, in order to ensure an appropriate temperature during winter. Priority should be given to detention centers located in cold areas; − The competent authorities should take necessary measures that all detention institutions should have cold and warm water to the extent necessary to enable detainees to maintain acceptable level of personal hygiene. Also, detention centers authorities are encouraged to distribute the necessary items for maintaining personal hygiene of detainees; − The competent authorities should take steps to build cell toilets in all institutions where they are still missing. Meanwhile, should create conditions to enable detainees to go to the bathroom without delay (including at night). In any case bathrooms need to provide appropriate hygienic standards and to ensure privacy; − The competent authorities shall take measures that all detainees be provided with separate bed and to sleep layers and the latter to be changed in appropriate intervals; - The competent authorities should take steps to build laundries in all detention institutions for washing the clothes of the detainees. Regime and activities

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


− The competent authorities should resolve the problem found in the detention institution in Tepelene, so that the detainees be allowed telephone calls to the extent provided by the new General Regulation of Prisons and in order to ensure the confidentiality of conversations; − Competent authorities should take temporary measures to allow a greater number of visits for detainees with mental problems (especially in the Prison Hospital Center), given their particular situation; − The competent authorities shall take measures to enable all detainees (especially minors and those who are illiterate) to pursuit appropriate educational programs, in accordance with the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Justice ; − The competent authorities should take necessary measures that in institutions of detention 313 (sector of adult males) and 302 in Tirana and Berat, Kukes, Saranda and Tropoje to enable the right of proper air facilities; − The competent authorities should step up funding for the purchase of educational materials, cultural and informative, so that they are in proper measure to be used by all detainees; − The competent authorities should develop a plan to provide all detainees the opportunity to work and / or to pursue professional courses. Medical Services − The competent authorities should improve procedures and to create conditions so that to the detainees be offered as soon (if it is not an emergency, within 24 hours) a general or specialized medical service; − The competent authorities should make possible that every detention institution offers qualified dental service provided to all detainees; − The competent authorities should take measures of detention Institutions FC, Fushe Kruje, Berat, Saranda and Tepelene have ambulance transport to hospital for detainees in cases of need; − The competent authorities must speed up moves to open the hospital institution in Durres; − The competent authorities shall take all necessary measures to increase the number of psychologists and / or psychiatrists in detention centers. D. Arbitrary arrest or detention To avoid violating the rights of detainees or prisoners from non information or non coordination of institutions with each other, on identified violations or fulfillment of legal obligations, TLAS raises the need of functioning of coordination mechanisms and information, composed by specialists who are employed in detention or prison staff (including lawyers and social workers), representatives from the Court, the Prosecutor, the bar office and the police. These mechanisms should periodically harmonize relevant concerns observed during the work of each institution and inform each other on failure of procedures or obstacles faced, by improving the coordination to avoid the failure to not fulfill legal obligations. IV. CIVIL FREEDOMS D. Freedom of movement of internally displaced persons and refugee protection Rights of Albanian emigrants and returned persons

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


KSHH assesses that for the respect of rights of Albanian emigrants and returned persons is necessary to improve the legal framework, to improve the infrastructure of border crossing points, increase and improve the communication structures of the state concerned with those central regional level as well as training of border and migration police officers. V. POLITICAL RIGHTS Elections and Political Participation Voters with disabilities In order to ensure the right to vote and persons with disabilities, FSHDPAK proposes improving election legislation: − To provide alternative voting outside the voting center for voters who can not move from the apartment; − To establish interpreter service of sign language for voters with hearing disabilities; − To provide election information adapted for voters with mental disabilities that have the right to vote; − To access and support candidates with disabilities. Central Election Commission should take administrative measures to implement strictly the Electoral Code, in terms of aspects that have to do with ensuring the voting rights for persons with disabilities. VI. DISCRIMINATION, SOCIAL ABUSES, TRAFFICING OF HUMAN BEINGS Domestic Violence Law and its implementation For a better implementation and efficiency of law against domestic violence, QDNJD finds necessary to achieve: • Creating special sections on domestic violence, in any Police Commissariats, with specialists in this field, or police officers of these commissariats specifically trained and dealing only with cases of domestic violence; • Criminal proceedings against the authors (violators) who violate orders of protection, under Article 320 of the Criminal Code for "obstructing the execution of court decisions"; • Further training of police officers concerning the law "On Measures against Violence in Family Relations", as problems are noticed mainly in the way of filling the application and lawsuits distinction between protective orders and immediate defense orders; • Police officers should pay a great importance to security and documentation of all evidence, whether written as police incident reports, statements of the parties, the injured person's card file of damages, even those with witnesses, which will serve as evidence in court; • Police departments in the frame of law enforcement in cases where the victim's safety is at risk should provide escort and transportation of violence victim to health centers, etc. Court.; • Police officers must provide the victim of domestic violence with a decision to conduct forensic expert, not only when body signs are visible and heavy but also in other cases; • The police officer must inform in advance and advise the victim of domestic violence for the content of the law "On Measures against Violence in Family Relations and the protection that this law provides;

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Meanwhile, QNLQ emphasizes the role of institutions to help victims of domestic violence and identified the need to: • Police should strengthen the work, not only in terms of identifying and sending to the Court of cases of domestic violence, but also in the execution of final judicial decisions, in cooperation with the Office of Enforcement and Prosecution. It is required a better cooperation with lawyers and centers that provide free legal service. • The staff should conduct training of local bodies, municipalities, municipal units or communes, as the only institutions closer to citizens. • Ministry of Justice should ensure implementation of the law, "For Legal Assistance", which is already into force, and provide free legal protection to victims of domestic violence. Children Unregistered children in the Civil Register To minimize this phenomenon BKTF proposes that - The Albanian government should inform, raise public awareness on the importance of registration of children and the rights and obligations arising therefore. - The Albanian government should take all necessary measures to ensure implementation of laws relating to registration of citizens and ensure that every child born in the territory of Albania or Albanian citizens’ children born outside the territory, will be recorded the civil state records. - The Albanian government should implement a specific plan, such as free legal assistance and social inclusion for the registration of children, particularly in facilitating the registration of Roma and other communities at risk. - The Albanian authorities should take necessary steps for the signing of agreements with other countries, particularly with those where are substantial communities of Albanian citizens, in connection with facilitating the release of documents relating to registration of birth. Care for children who leave the "House of the Child" As for better protection of children of this category BKTF proposes: • Period of state care for these children should be extended until age of 18. • Establishment of legislation and establishment of appropriate practical measures to ensure that children leaving care can receive support in providing education, training and skills courses for those who leave care. • Creation of policy and legal improvements that enhance and clarify the obligations of all stakeholders in local and national levels to support children who leave care. • Development of forms and construction of respective supporting structures of state that support those who leave care during the transition from care to independent life in terms of education, health care, housing and psycho-social support (particularly for children who leave care in age 14). • Develop effective training courses for children who leave care to be in accordance with market needs. • Provision of appropriate financial support for young people who are in leaving care age. • Developments of appropriate housing opportunities for children who leave care at age 14 years and suitable housing for those who leave the dormitory. Trafficking of human beings and prostitution In support of trafficking victims and their reintegration in society QPSV proposes to be taken:

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


• • •

Awareness of government to give priority measures and actions to fight the growing phenomenon of internal trafficking; undertaking steps for setting up an Anti-Trafficking Action Plan to combat and prevent the development of internal trafficking. Undertake joint steps with state institutions to adopt the social status of victim of trafficking. Creating favorable conditions for trafficking victims who have mental health problems, because their treatment in current hospitals (psychiatry) is inadequate for their Rehabilitation. Develop long-term social programs and policies in support of victims of trafficking by providing them financial assistance, employment, housing etc..

Persons with disabilities In accordance with the National Action Plan National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities, FSHDPAK urges all responsible actors, at central and local level, to take more responsibility for its implementation to give this category real integration possibility, and requires measures to: • Provide full equality for persons with disabilities through the improvement of legal framework on social services, education, housing and telecommunications. • MPÇSSHB must resume the process of evaluating the legal framework in the field of disability to open the way for the preparation of integral law on partial disability. Meanwhile, to protect individual right according to the degree of disability, TLAS recommend to be determined by law the assessment of disability based on combined medical and social criteria. For this purpose should be made changes in Law No.9355, dated 10.03.2005 "On social assistance and services”. The amended law should be determined that the authority will make an assessment of disability based on medical-social criteria. Also should be expressed the determination of a measure disability benefit payment differential depending on the person's disability. In these changes should be foreseen that the individual with disabilities have the right to obtain payment of disability and incomes from work (in cases where persons are employed PWD). The rights of women with disabilities Regarding this category FSHDPAK requires that: - Institutions responsible for promoting gender equality and respect for the rights of persons with disabilities, to: • Realize and increase their capacities on the rights of women with disabilities • Review existing strategies in order laws involving gender perspective components in them. • To promote the inclusion of gender equality component in all horizontal and multidimensional policies under which disability should be treated (employment, education, health, services, transportation, children, youth, elderly, etc..) • To establish a system of indicators based on gender and disability in order to monitor the implementation of all strategies for disability and gender equality. • To promote the statistics for women with disabilities in each area of relevant strategies, local and central level. • To include reporting on women with disabilities in all binding relations through which the Albanian government reports on women as well as for persons with disabilities. - Organizations that work in terms of promoting gender equality

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• • •

Organizations in the sphere of gender equality should realize and include training on the rights and specific needs of women with disabilities. To improve their plans and strategies, so the inclusion of women with disabilities in all stages and in all areas of their work Be aware and encourage the involvement of women with disabilities not just as passive beneficiary of their programs of social assistance, but also their involvement in all programs to promote employment, economic empowerment, leadership and decision-making, health services and reproductive health.

The rights to quality services for persons with disabilities Each of the centers (daily and residential) must have operational policies and procedures written for the recognition and protection of civil, political, social, economic and cultural human rights. Their protection and fulfillment are constantly monitored. Studies should be made about the inclusion of clients in centers of decision-making processes and recommendations should be part of written policies and procedures for each center. The mentally disabled QSHZHSHM recommends reviewing the legal framework through specific amendments, further enabling additional specification as Mental Health Law: - Does not provide for the rights of patients during the hospitalization period, - Does not provided specific provisions about the treatment of children with mental health problems. - Does not provide specific preventive measures to degrading and inhuman treatment that can be made to persons with mental illness. Such practices may be considered use of electro shock, sterilization, etc.. This could cause that abusive practice within the services to remain unpunished. - Must review the rights of different persons to seek hospitalization of persons with mental illness, as this right if given in an uncontrolled manner, or anyone, can lead to significant abuses against the right of property, decision taking, for management of assets, spouse’s rights etc, which persons with mental illness also enjoy. Also it is recommended the preparation of monitoring instruments and training’s is provided for monitoring the rights of persons with mental illness in services, community and institutions, as well as depth training provided on the rights of patients and the existing legal framework for health professionals. Packages must be designed specifically for the media, in order to be trained to report carefully, ethical and sensitive issues related to persons with disabilities, especially mental. National, racial and ethnic minorities For full guarantee of minority rights, their representative organizations recommend undertaking of steps by the Albanian state to ratify the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Meanwhile to get more active role in governance, it is recommended that KSHM status change from advisory to executive. Roma minority To come in help to this community, TLAS suggests that it is necessary organizing awareness campaign in the field of social protection for the rights of the benefit for economic aid and payment of unemployment, maternity payment and other rights arising from legislation in force.

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It also should be the issuance of an administrative act, which obliges communes and municipalities to provide legal assistance to meet the Roma families files. While in terms of new legislation for economic aid, it must provide the following practices "positive discrimination" for members of the Roma community to the benefit of economic aid. This means that these families benefit from economic aid, by excluding them from the fulfillment of some specific criteria required for inclusion in this scheme, as for example the introduction of property documents, submission of documents for school enrollment of children, payments energy, or other taxes, etc.. TLAS recommends that should be pursued policies and real partial strategies for positive discrimination of this community and toward facilitattion of procedures for admission of students from this community in high schools and universities. Employment of this community should be seen as an opportunity of integration of this layer of society in the everyday lives of Albanian society. For how long will exist apathetic treatment of this community from state structures, it is the clear expression of direct discrimination of members of this community. In particular, it is recommended to be accepted into the police and justice structures, members of this community, as this would bring a greater co-operation of these structures with members of the Roma community, especially in areas where they constitute a majority. Vlach minority For enabling the political representation of minority Vlach, SHKVSH proposes adoption of a law even with local base, where it becomes possible the representation in the governance of minority representatives. While SHKASH proposes state institutions to facilitate the teaching of the Vlach language, publication of newspapers, magazines and broadcasting of programs in Aromanian language public radio and television. Other social abuses and discriminations People living with HIV / AIDS To improve the situation in the coverage of the problems of HIV / AIDS in Albania, SHPLWHA recommends taking several steps like: • RECOGNITION of the legal framework for HIV and AIDS issues as well as recognition and respect for the legal basis of media and journalism ethics code. • Information and training journalists on issues of HIV and AIDS for more detailed analysis about these issues. • Further awareness on HIV and AIDS issues by the media. • Promotion and encouragement of positive models of living with HIV by promoting positive behavior changes that affect their growth and professionalism in reducing stigmatisation and discrimination in the community. • Increase partnerships with NGOs and other institutions that focus on HIV and AIDS issues. • Develop brochures, packets written guidelines with basic rules for ways of treatment of HIV and AIDS issues in Albania. VII. RIGHTS OF WORKERS A. Prohibition of forced and bonded labor The use of children for work - The state must take more responsibilities on social issues, based on the NGOs experience and supporting their activities and programs.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


The role of social services should be reinforced in: Proactive identification and referral of children at risk, monitoring of standards of care; assessing the situation and development of protection plans for children, family and community and serve as a connecting point for coordination of referrals and response to this situation. - The phenomenon of child labor and begging is very complex and linked with other problems, such as domestic violence, gender-based violence, etc.. As such, the Albanian state should adopt a model, which addresses all these problems at a local level, as well at central level. Experience of Child Protection Units should be integrated within the structure of social services, supported by financial resources, as well as human sources from the Albanian government and distributed throughout the territory of the country at the local level. - Family support programs should begin to set in work, considering the fact that, in most cases, parents are involved in the exploitation of children. Also, in cases where parents repeatedly use their children, exposing them to risks of living on the street, should be removed parental care. State must improve and monitor the process of legal custody of children. Alternative care programs should be created and placed in operation, considering the best for children. - Families who suffer from such risks should be empowered economically. By addressing the economic needs of these families will be reduced need for child work and increase the ability of parents to care for them. For these families need to ensure social integration and economic aid. - Police and other stakeholders (such as social workers, health personnel and teachers) should be trained on the best ways of assisting the victims of exploitation and abuse, in order to able to care for these cases when identified as such. On the other hand, for these victims should be created such conditions that facilitates and encourages the denunciation of cases of abuse and exploitation. - Government, in cooperation with NGOs should establish formal and non formal programs such as to provide a safe and non discriminatory environment for all children so that they integrate into the school system. These programs should, primarily, to address stigma by school and community environments.

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009




List of acronyms of the organizations mentioned in the report AP BKTF CPT CRCA CSDC FRD FSHDPAK GSHDNJ IET IIPP ILO IPEC IRNSH KPM KQZ KRIIK KSHH KSHM KVV LE NDGSH OBSH OSBE OSHPDP Avokati i Popullit (Peoples Advocate – Ombusdman) Koalicioni Së Bashku Kundër Trafikimit të Fëmijëve (BKTF Coalition - All Together Against Child Trafficking) Komiteti për Parandalimin e Torturës (Committee for the Prevention of Torture) Qendra për Mbrojtjen e të Drejtave të Fëmijëve (Children’s Human Rights Centre in Albania) Qendra për Zhvillimin e Shoqërisë Civile (Civil Society Development Center) Forumi i Rinisë Dibrane (Dibra Youth Forum) Fondacioni Shqiptar për të Drejtat e Personave me Aftësi të Kufizuar (Albanian Disability Rights Foundation) Grupi Shqiptar i të Drejtave të Njeriut (Albanian Human Rights Group) Instituti Europian i Tiranës (European Institute of Tirana) Instituti i Integrimit të të Përndjekurve Politikë (Integration Institution of the Politically Victimized People) Organizata Ndërkombëtare e Punës (International Labour Organization) Programi Ndërkombëtar për Eleminimin e Punës së fëmijës (International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour) Instituti për Ruajtjen e Natyrës në Shqipëri (Institute for the Preservation of Nature in Albania) Komiteti i Pajtimit Mbarëkombëtar (Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation) Komisioni Qëndror i Zgjedhjeve (Central Elections Commission) Organizata KRIIK Albania (KRIIK Albania Association) Komiteti Shqiptar i Helsinkit (Albanian Helsinki Committee) Komiteti Shtetëror i Minoriteteve (The State Minority Committee) Koalicioni i Vëzhguesve Vendorë (Domestic Observers Coalition) Lëvizja Europiane (European Movement in Albania) Shoqata Në Dobi të Gruas Shqiptare (Useful to Albanian Women Association) Organizata Botërore e Shëndetit (World Health Organization) Organizata për Sigurimin dhe Bashkëpunimin në Europë (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Organizata Shoqërore Politike "Drushtvo-Prespa" (“Drushtvo Prespa” Association)

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


QAP/NDGSH Qendra "Alternativa Profesionale"/Shoq. Në Dobi të Gruas Shqiptare (a project of Useful to Albanian Women Association) QDNJD Qendra për të Drejtat e Njeriut në Demokraci (Human Rights in Democracy Center) QKMA Qendra Kulturore Mediatike Antigonea (“Antigonea” Cultural Mediatic Center) QNLQ Qendra për Nisma Ligjore e Qytetare (Center for Legal Civic Initiatives) QPSV Qendra Psiko-Sociale “Vatra” (“Vatra” Psycho-Social Center) QSHPLI Qendra e Praktikave dhe Shërbimeve Ligjore të Integruara (Center of Integrated Legal Services and Practices) QSHDNJ Qendra Shqiptare e të Drejtave të Njeriut (Albanian Human Rights Center) QSHRT Qendra Shqiptare për Rehabilitimin e Viktimave të Torturës (Albanian Rehabilitation Center for Trauma and Torture) QSHZHSHM Qendra Shqiptare për Zhvillimin e Shëndetit Mendor (Albanian Development Center for Mental Health) RSL Rinia në Sipërmarrjen e Lirë (Youth in Free Initiative – Kukes) SHGK Shoqata e Gruas Korçare (Korça Woman Association) SHJD Shoqata e Jetimëve, Dega Durrës (Orphan’s Association – Durrës) SHKASH Shoqata Kulturore "Arumunët e Shqipërisë" (Cultural Association “Arumunët e Shqipërisë”) SHKD Shoqata për Kulturë Demokratike (Society for Democratic Culture) SHKUR Shoqata Kombëtare e Ushtarakëve në Rezervë (National Association of Militaries in Reserve) SHKVSH Shoqata Kulturore "Armanji di Albania" (Cultural Association “Armanji di Albania”) SHPKSMMR Shoqata e Pakicës Kombëtare Serbo-Malazeze "Moraça-Rozafa" (Association of Serbian-Montenegrin Ethnic Minority “Moraça-Rozafa”) SHPLHWA Shoqata Shqiptare e Personave që Jetojnë me HIV/AIDS (Albanian Association for People Living with HIV/AIDS) SHPPI Shoqata e të Përndjekurve Politikë për Integrim (Association of Political Persecuted for Integration) TLAS Tirana Legal Aid Society, Shërbimi Ligjor Falas Tiranë (Tirana Legal Aid Society) UGQGJ Unioni i Gazetarëve Qarku Gjirokastër (Regional Association of Professional Journalists – Gjirokastër) UGSH Unioni i Gazetarëve Shqiptar (Independent Union of Journalists) UNESCO Organizata e Kombeve të Bashkuara për Edukim, Shkencë dhe Kulturë (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)

The Situation of Human Rights in Albania Annual Report 2009


Glossary AIDS ARV Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome Antiretroviral- anti-HIV medicines which prevent the propagation of the virus and improve health HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus IEPS Institution of Execution of Penal Sentence LGBT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender PWD People with Disabilities PLWHA People Living with HIV/AIDS UHCT University Hospital Center Tirana ECSP Exploitation of Children for Sexual Purposes STIs Sexually Transmitted Infections

Për informacione të mëtejshme lutemi kontaktoni: Tel/fax: Mob. E-mail: + 355 4 2244412; + 355 (0) 6820 39297; (0) 6820 23881;

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