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Type of document: News
Topic: Policy and Planning
Geographic descriptors: Albania
Language: English
Source: www.crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=6547
Date of publication: 07 November 2005
Long Abstract: [7 November 2005] - The UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, carried out an official visit in Albania from 31 October to 7 November 2005 and met with representatives from the Parliament and government. There, he also met with representatives from the local authorities, the police, the judiciary, as well as with international organisations, donors, NGOs, and the media.

Here are some of his remarks: "Child trafficking is not a problem of Albania only. It is a global problem. Countries of destination have their responsibilities as well. It is time they assume them. Albanian victims of trafficking are exploited in Greece, Italy, and other European states. These countries have legal obligations and duties vis-�-vis these victims and victims have rights that too often are not respected.

In the area of child trafficking, Albania has several achievements to report: the legislative and policy frameworks are in place; there is more awareness in society; the police is better trained to deal and investigate this crime; border control improved; the establishment of the court of serious crimes and the prosecutors' office for serious crimes increased the prosecution capacity; NGOs gained a valuable expertise in delivering rehabilitation programmes for victims of trafficking and in providing social services to communities. Nevertheless, we all know there is a long way to go.

Prevention is the best treatment. A strong child protection system needs to be put in place, with a firm investment in education and social services, together with strengthened child protection component of police, health and justice. NGOs have been providing a good range of social programmes in these areas, almost exclusively through international aid. It is time for the state to take up responsibilities in social matters, capitalising on the experiences of NGOs and supporting their activities and programmes.

In my report on the visit, I will elaborate more on the concrete recommendations I suggest in order to achieve the overarching objective of a functioning child protection system. Some preliminary recommendations are:

- Give priority to the implementation of the national strategy on children and the one on combating child trafficking. Adequate resources are to be allocated to that end and a monitoring system established

- Ensure that children's rights are protected through an adequate national institutional set up (a functioning and high profile Committee on Children's Rights within the government with focal points in regions)

- Focus action against trafficking on prevention in communities with social work, community centres and family support

- Prioritise the creation of services for trafficked children with specially trained staff to provide protection and long-term reintegration support

- Strengthen the role of local social services in: 1) proactively identifying and referring children at risk; and 2) monitoring standards of care

- Sign and implement the bilateral agreement between Greece and Albania on the return of unaccompanied children

- Introduce community based care services, such as foster care systems

- Take measures to address domestic child abuse and violence

- Establish procedures and protocols so that key professionals in contact with children, e.g. teachers, health practitioners and social workers, know how to identify, report and refer cases of suspected abuse and a follow up procedure is in place

- Facilitate procedures for birth registration

- Research the phenomenon of child sexual exploitation in Albania and take measures to address it, including measures to avoid a black market of child prostitution"

This week, the Special Rapporteur is visiting Greece.

For more information, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/children/rapporteur

To read the press release in full, visit: http://www.crin.org/violence/search/closeup.asp?infoID=6547

Files: ( .doc 35 KB )

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