A ‘young’ country on the move

Country Programme 2006-2010

The new UNICEF representative in Albania

Related information on the Convention on the Rights of the Child


Country Programme 2006-2010

UNICEF Albania
© UNICEF Albania/04-0032/G. Pirozzi

UNICEF was established in Albania in 1992 following the collapse of the Communist government. Initially, we focused on basic services- helping to ensure that children were immunized, eating well and attending school. As transition to stability and pluralism has advanced, our role has shifted. Now we support the government and other civil society institutions to develop the structures needed to fulfill the rights of every child. Our fundamental aim is to create a “children’s first” mindset in Albania – a core belief that before any policy is adopted or any action taken, society routinely asks, “will this be good for children?”

UNICEF’s work in Albania is guided by major changes in global UN reform, by Albania’s status in the European Union, and by various national changes and reforms.   These changes created opportunities to push the agenda for children while also creating challenges in workloads, partnerships and in resource mobilization.

On 24 October the Albanian government and the UN signed the One UN Country Program Framework 2007 – 2010, which aims to enhance development results and impact by bringing together the comparative advantages of the UN system within a single strategic program.


We work and speak out for the rights of every child in Albania. We work closely with government to make sure that children needs are prioritized in policies and strategies – and we help build the capacities of relevant departments. And, we support numerous partners in establishing services needed by children and women. UNICEF along with the Albanian Government aims to create societies that recognize children as holders of rights, not simply objects of concern. We expect that the State will move rapidly to ensure that all the rights of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are recognized and all children enjoy those rights without discrimination.

These efforts fall into three broad program areas:

Social policy, information and advocacy

We work on raising awareness of government and Parliamentarians to budget allocation for children in national social and economic plans; alignment of child rights policies and standards to the National Strategy for Integration and Development (NSDI), establishment of the data base to monitor the implementation of the National Plan of Action at national level and used by national, regional and local level (piloted in four districts).

The Social Research Centre in Albania’s National Institute of Statistics has been supported and now plays a role in providing data and analysis for policy development for children.
The Government has agreed to establish a Children’s Rights Unit (click) which is moving forward the monitoring of the situation of children in four regions.  Child Rights Units have the capacity to collect, analyze and use disaggregated local data.
The National Strategy on Children and a National Plan of Action for Children have been revised and adopted. A national system of indicators that measure/assess the impact of poverty on children and social exclusion is established.

We contribute on production and distribution of information and knowledge on children and young people for effective monitoring at all levels; and participation of civil society, communities and families in selected disadvantaged areas in improving the availability and quality of services

We are also supporting young people’s involvement in decision making process in society and in the mass media.(click)

Children’s health and development

We are helping children to get a good start in life. In the first three years a child learns more than during the rest of his or her life. When well nurtured and cared for the earliest years, children are more likely to survive, have less illness, and to fully develop thinking, language and social skills.

UNICEF is working with the Government of Albania and the civil society to improve the child care practices by educating parents and health workers. We will focus on increasing access to and availability of quality of Early Child Development services through improving family and community care practices for young children and improving children’s school readiness. 

UNICEF is also contributing to implement the “Child-Led Environmental Education Initiative” (CLEEN)click  project which will focus on equipping primary school children with knowledge and skills to take action to preserve, conserve and protect the environment.

We are contributing on the development of standards and child rights centered policies that prevent and reduce marginalization in education. (click)

We are advocating at the highest political level for the implementation and enforcement of national legislation on universal salt iodization to prevent iodine deficiency disorders among children. We are among few countries in the region which have ratified the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes. (Click)

Child, youth and family protection

A protective environment is one in which the rights of the child are respected in all spheres – health, education, social welfare and justice. This part of the programme is helping to reveal the impact of social deprivation on children and to protect the rights of the underprivileged. UNICEF is supporting government, civil society and others in reviewing and revising the laws relating to child protection to ensure that they are consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A preventive juvenile justice (Click) system is under development with our support. The project will provide support to the reform of the juvenile justice system by adjusting law and policy framework that promotes a reduction in youth pre-detention and treatment of youth in custody in accordance to international accepted practice.

We work to enable young people (click)  ketu fut link te Youth to make informed choices and for them to develop their full potential as healthy well-informed adults. We help young people to have the right access to youth friendly services, especially on HIV/AIDS. (Click)

Through technical assistance and advocacy, UNICEF is assisting the Government of Albania to strength laws and polices to protect children from abuse and neglect.
We work on  four-pillar approach to fighting child trafficking ; prevention of trafficking through raising awareness, protection of children who have been trafficked, assisted voluntary repatriation of children trafficked to other countries who want to return home and reintegration into society.
We work closely with the Albanian government to implement its national plan of action against human trafficking. (Click)



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