“The protection of children and inclusion of persons with disabilities has improved in Albania, but the authorities still have to address remaining shortcomings”, said today Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing the report on her visit to the country carried out from 21 to 25 May 2018, which focused on children’s rights, the human rights of persons with disabilities and access to free legal aid.
Noting with satisfaction that Albania has banned all forms of violence against children - including corporal punishment - in all settings, the Commissioner remains concerned at the high rate of such violence that is still reported. “The authorities should tackle this problem in a more systematic and effective manner. To this end, they should adopt and implement a coordinated strategy; implement the recommendations of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence; strengthen the capacities of child protection services and education professionals to identify and respond to violence; and promote positive and non-violent forms of child-rearing.”
Another matter of concern is that some 700 children still live in care institutions, sometimes for very long periods of time without clear prospects for leaving before they become adults. Underscoring that Council of Europe standards require that the placement of children in such institutions remains exceptional, Commissioner Mijatović recommends accelerating the deinstitutionalisation process and preventing the placement of children in state care, including by providing more support to families raising children and by developing an effective system of family-type services.