International child rights agencies pledge their support to advance child rights in Albania
Tirana, 15 May 2018 - Today United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Albania, Terre des Hommes, World Vision, Save the Children and the OSCE Presence in Albania formally renewed their collaboration for a strengthened Child Protection system in Albania.
A child protection system is the set of all organised actors that work together towards the common goal of preventing and responding to exploitation, violence, neglect and abuse against children to create or (re)establish all conditions propitious to good and sound child growth and development.
Albania has gone through considerable changes in the areas of child protection in the past few years. The two fundamental legislations (the Law on the Rights and Protection of the Child and Criminal Justice for Children Code) were adopted in 2017 and are now providing a modern and progressive legal framework.
However, there are significant bottlenecks and barriers ahead, such as: ability of the Child Protection workers to deal with children issues; lack of integrated approach to case management; lack of quality/availability of services for children at risk of or already affected by neglect, abuse or violence and lack of monitoring and evaluation.
Addressing these issues require, strong coordination, pulled resources and mutual reinforcement among all key stake holders. Through this collaboration, the child rights agencies aim to:
- help the professionals, caregivers, children, parents and to demand their rights have a better understanding of what is the violence against children
- enable central and local child protection professionals and other specialists to deliver high quality child protection services for children and families in need
- support the practices and procedures in identification, referral and case management and ensuring adequate responses to cases of children in need of protection that uphold the principle of the best interest of the child;
- support the accessibility, availability and quality of preventive and response child protection services.
“I strongly believe that this letter of collaboration will serve as basis for a sustainable, coherent and effective responses to child protection system for Albania. We are committed to support the Government of Albania to meet its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure that recently adopted laws are implemented” said Roberto De Bernardi, UNICEF Representative.
For the first time, the Government has adopted a long-term national plan “children’s agenda 2020” where there are several line ministries, department and agencies mandated with the task of protecting children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. The Ministry of Health and Social Protection has a lead role in child protection. The Ministry of Interior is at the head of the response to combat trafficking in persons. The Ministry of Justice is in charge of justice for
children. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports works to ensure that that schools are safe environments for children. As part of the Local Government Units, Child Protection Units/Workers are established at the Municipal.
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.