29 May 2024

Unaccompanied and Unprotected

The report "Unaccompanied and Unprotected: Assessing Protection Gaps for Unaccompanied Foreign Children in Albania" is a comprehensive assessment that identifies the legal and practical challenges faced by unaccompanied and separated foreign children entering Albania, a highly vulnerable group often at risk of human trafficking and exploitation.The report, prepared under the programme ‘Transforming the National Response to Human Trafficking in and from Albania,’ highlights the urgency of addressing protection gaps and ensuring the safety, dignity, and well-being of these children. It provides a detailed analysis of the national and international legal frameworks and examines their compliance with the best interest principle outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.Key findings include the need for improved custody and care arrangements, enhanced identification and sustainable solutions for unaccompanied children, and better institutional coordination. Recommendations focus on aligning local laws with international standards, increasing institutional capacities, and strengthening protective measures.UNICEF Albania urges all stakeholders, including national authorities, civil society organizations, and the international community, to reflect on these recommendations and work collaboratively to bridge the gaps in child protection systems. Together, we can build a brighter and more secure future for all children, ensuring no child is left behind.