Joint statement by UNICEF and UN Women in Albania on sexual abuse against children
UNICEF and UN Women are very concerned by the recent news of another case of sexual violence against an adolescent girl. Sexual violence committed against anyone is a crime, but are very concerned about the intensity with which it affects women, young girls and children. This constitutes a gross violation of fundamental human rights, and bears long-term devastating impact on the victims and their surroundings.
We call on institutions to fully investigate such crimes, establishing a culture of zero tolerance for sexual harassment and abuse. Women and girls must feel safe in the spaces where they learn, live and play. We also call on the media to stop reporting details on the identity of survivors and their families. Public information and communication should help eradicate the culture of sexual violence, and use its power to fully support survivors, not perpetrators. Most importantly, we call upon all society to not turn its back on those who were affected by this violence, to stop blaming them, and to stand against abuse. There is no justification, no excuse, no tolerance to rape!
Albania has made significant gains in protecting children from violence, including by endorsing key human rights instruments. Their full implementation, today more than ever, is fundamental to guarantee that all women and children are protected against all forms of abuse and exploitation. The gains made so far must not be reversed. UNICEF and UN Women in Albania will continue to support the work of public institutions and civil society organizations to promote a safe environment for women and girls, where they feel empowered to live safely and are supported when needed, with sex offenders systematically reported and brought to justice.
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.