The Group of Parliamentarians “Friends of Children” and the Ministry of Justice support the new Strategy for a child-friendly justice
Child-friendly justice is part of the justice system reform
Under the auspices of H.E. Lindita Nikolla, and with UNICEF support, the “Friends of Children caucus and the Ministry of Justice convene around friendly and accessible justice for every child.
Ms. Lindita Nikolla, Speaker of the Parliament and Chairperson of the “Friends of Children” caucus, while valuing the document presented, stated that: “The Parliament is monitoring how the Ministry of Justice and other public authorities have materialized our vision as legislators when we set to undertake the justice system reform and adopted the modern Criminal Justice for Children Code in 2017. We assure Albanian children and their families that we will support the Government and the justice system institutions in this endeavor, and at the same time will oversee and control how much they fulfill the right of children to receive justice”.
The Parliament oversees the implementation of the Criminal Justice for Children Code that it adopted five years ago and of the National Justice for Children Strategy 2018-2021. The Ministry obtains the views of the MPs over the major directions the national planning around child-friendly justice will take in the next five years. Both institutions and other public authorities commit to supporting the implementation of the new Justice for Children Strategy 2022-2026 and bringing a positive impact on children’s right to friendly and accessible justice. Child-friendly justice is part of the justice system reform – a prerequisite for Albania’s EU accession.
"Friends of Children" caucus aims to create synergies for the effective implementation of the Strategy measures, especially those related to the improvement of legislation on child rights in accordance with international standards, the establishment of good practices for child protection, and addressing recommendations from independent institutions”, -stated the Deputy Chair of the Group, MP Dasantila Tahiraj.
"In this meeting, I wish to talk about positive things and welcome the cooperation of the Ministry of Justice and Tirana Municipality to provide a restorative justice instead of a justice that punishes children" - emphasized the Deputy Chair of “Friends of Children”, MP Ina Zhupa. "Among others, I would like this practice to be extended throughout Albania, for the benefit of children." -she added.
"The issues that we are discussing today are very important, but without proper budgeting, we cannot fulfill them. I express all my support for enabling the establishment of a multi-disciplinary institute for the treatment of children in conflict/contact with the law. Their education is a common challenge. Budgeting and monitoring are two very important issues." – underlined the Deputy Chair of “Friends of Children”, MP Erisa Xhixho.
“Albania has accomplished so much and has managed to set the foundations for a modern system of criminal justice for children: normative framework; capacity strengthening; institution building, data gathering; inter-agency collaboration in case management. But Albanian children need more. They demand a justice system that is friendly and adaptable to their needs in all areas of law, such as civil, family, and administrative law, a system and professionals that have their best interest at heart and provide effective remedies for any violation of child rights. We believe this new Strategy is the best policy vehicle to guide implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the international standards around equitable access to justice for every child.” - underlines Ms. Edina Kozma, Deputy Representative of UNICEF Albania.
Deputy Minister of Justice Klajd Karameta underlined that the new Strategy will shift its focus on the prevention of juvenile criminality as well as the victimization of children, to build a justice system that responds to the needs of children and provides redress for violations of their rights and sees child-friendly justice as a strong contributor to the community and societal peace. He sought the support of the parliamentarians and of the “Friends of Children” through the implementation path of the new Strategy.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/albania.