Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Advocating for child rights

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
© UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

Most countries often believe that by submitting periodic reports to the UN Committee in Geneva, their job is done, but in our view this is not enough.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a universally agreed upon set of non-negotiable standards and obligations, provides protection and support for the rights of children. In adopting the Convention, the international community recognized that people under 18 years of age often need special care and protection that adults do not.

The Assembly of the Republic of Albania ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child with Law No. 7531 on 11 December 1991. Convention on the Rights of the Child in English language

To help the stop of the growing abuse and exploitation of children worldwide, the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 adopted two Optional Protocols to the Convention to increase the protection of children from involvement in armed conflicts and from sexual exploitation.

The ratification of the CRC and its Optional Protocols has had a positive impact on the development of law and policy in the country. However, there is a general lack of adequate resources allocated to ensure its implementation.

Albanian Government report to Geneva
The signature of the CRC is one step forward that every government makes to protect child rights, but without good planning, implementation, coordination and resources all the promises will remain empty words. Like all human rights treaties, the Convention on the Rights of the Child contains articles that establish how governments’ compliance with the treaty will be monitored.

To achieve this it requires that government make the rights written in the Convention widely known to both adults and children; it requires states to report every five years on their efforts to implement the Convention and it encourages international cooperation in the implementation of the Convention, especially with specialized UN agencies such as UNICEF.

Concluding observations in English and in Albanian language (not official translation), are broadly discussed with key stakeholders in Albania to set a strong agenda for 2013 and beyond.

Based on Article 44 of the CRC and Recommendation 81 of the Final Observations of the CRC Committee, Albania has submitted the Second, Third and Fourth Periodic Report, which is drafted in accordance with the General Guidelines of the CRC Committee, as regards the outline and content of the periodic reports and the annexes to these Instructions.

The report contains information on the measures taken by Albania to implement the CRC in compliance with the obligations deriving from Article 44/1/b/2. The present document contains progress made by the country since the first report, 2001-2009, the changes effected in the legal and administrative framework to enable the implementation of the provisions of the Convention, and the measures taken to put into practice the final observations of the CRC Committee.  

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, in its 61st session held in Geneva, considered the report submitted by the Albanian government under article 44 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The team, composed of government officials and non-government specialists, participated in the dialogue of Albania with the CRC Committee on 25 and 26 September 2012 in Geneva. 
 

Alternative Report 
The situation of children’s rights and on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

This is the first alternative report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child prepared by the Children’s Alliance.  The Alliance is the largest coalition or network of children’s organizations in Albania, with a membership of 150 civil society organizations. Through this report, the Alliance seeks to shed light on the situation of the rights of the child in Albania, both in terms of implementation and compliance with the Convention and in terms of violations of these standards. In this respect, this report is complementary to the country report submitted by Albania to the Children’s Rights Commission reporting on the period of 2005-2009.

Monitoring Child Rights is a must

Formed in 2006, the State Agency for the Protection of Children’s Rights (SAPCR) is responsible for accountable indicating who is not enjoying which rights, identifying constrains and obstacles to realizing these rights and determining what governments intend to do to overcome these challenges. The State Agency for the Protection of Children’s Rights works to:

  • Monitor the implementation of the Law no. 10347 and coordinate the work of state authorities responsible to children’s rights;
  • Propose guidelines for the operation of the Child Rights Units and Child Protection Units in local government structures;
  • Provide technical support to institutions in central and local government and civil society working for children’s rights;
  • Arrange for sanctions for entities that violate the provisions of the Law no. 10347.

The signature of the CRC is one step forward that every government does to protect the children rights, but without good planning, implementation, coordination and resources all the promises will remain empty words. Like all human rights treaties, the Convention on the Rights of the Child contains articles that establish how government’s compliance with the treaty will be monitored.

To achieve this it requires that government make the rights written in the Convention widely known to both adults and children; it requires states to report every five years on their efforts to implement the Convention and it encourages international cooperation in the implementation of the Convention, especially with specialized UN agencies such as UNICEF.

In this light we urge Albanian state institutions to analyze carefully child welfare indicators when monitoring child rights. The approach of twelve observatories to monitor the implementation of children’s rights in Albania created a new culture of reporting in Albania. They set up the basis for civil society’s contribution to scientific research about the situation of children, and collect data and indicators from health, education and social protection departments at the regional and local level. The observatories prepare annual reports for the progress of the implementation of policies for the realization of child rights in the regions.

The Ombudsman Office in Albania, based on Committee on the recommendations of the Rights of the Child has established a new subsection on children with adequate financial, human and technical resources.