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Child Protection Measures for Children Below the Age of Criminal Responsibility who Are in Conflict With the Law in Albania

2019-03-22
Marsida Xhaferllari, Joana Qeleshi, Irida Agolli and Naureda Bajraktari | Terre des hommes Albania | 76 pages
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In 2016 Albania launched a comprehensive justice reform process to tackle the shortcomings in the justice system, as well as to improve & bring into line the existing legislation on juvenile justice with international standards. In 2017 and 2018 the Juvenile Justice Code and the law on “The rights and the protection of children’s rights” were approved.

It is in line with these developments that Terre des hommes Albania conducted a research study on “Child Protection Measures for Children below the Age of Criminal Responsibility who are in Conflict with the Law in Albania”.  

The research which is a novelty for the Albanian context, aims at providing a snapshot of the child protection measures for children below the age of criminal responsibility who are in conflict with the law in Albania. The research, conducted locally in Albania, aimed at emphasizing the compliance of the Albanian juvenile justice and child protection systems with the international standards as well as an exploration of strengths and weaknesses of the current Albanian systems in practice for children below the age of the criminal responsibility in conflict with the law.

Main finding of the research study was the fact that the Albanian legislative and policy framework on the rights of the children below the age of criminal responsibility who are in conflict with the law is de jure in compliance with international standards on juvenile justice. Further efforts are needed to ensure the child protection system functions effectively for children below the age of criminal responsibility. Inter-institutional cooperation, data collection and reporting mechanisms on child protection for this group of children should be improved.

Based upon the main findings a set of recommendations have been developed to improve the child protection system in Albania for children below MACR in conflict with the law. These recommendations are summarized as follows:

  • It is recommended that new rules related to children below MACR in conflict with the law are approved and the rules in different laws are harmonised.
  • It is recommended that the implementation of the legislation in force is monitored and periodically assessed.
  • It is recommended that the relevant infrastructure to support the child protection system for children below MACR in conflict with the law is provided by public authorities.
  • It is recommended that the capacity building for every stakeholder in the child protection system is strengthened.
  • It is recommended that cooperation and coordination in case management is strengthened.
  • It is recommended that institutional cooperation mechanisms are established.
  • It is recommended that distinct roles in case management for the different actors are developed.
  • It is recommended that monitoring and evaluation systems improved.
  • It is recommended that the child protection system is properly funded.
  • It is recommended that as part of the strategy to reduce the number of children below MACR in conflict with the law the staffing in schools, municipalities and the police are increased.
  • It is recommended that the capacities of CPUs are increased.
  • It is recommended that relevant stakeholders in the child protection system are specialized in children’s rights and child psychology.
  • It is recommended that holistic approaches are developed.
  • It is recommended that the best interest of the child are prioritized in all preventive programmes and services.

The research is prepared under the framework of the “Child Protection System Strengthening for Children in Conflict with the Law” project, which is being implemented by Terre des hommes Albania, in partnership with Defense for Children International the Netherlands, with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands MATRA programme 2017 -2021.