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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Monday, 28 April 2014 (Afternoon)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is not an official record, provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review, and does not cover all points addressed)

State under review

Albania
Represented by 17-member delegation headed by Mrs. Filloreta KODRA, Permanent Representative of Albania to the UN Office at Geneva.

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Albania page on the UPR website.

Troika *

Austria, Kenya and Montenegro.

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on Albania page on the UPR Extranet **)

  • Since the first UPR of Albania, a number of improvements have been registered in the legal, institutional and policy framework of human rights in various fields and several strategies and action plans have been adopted, reviewed and implemented;
  • The independent institutions of the Ombudsman and the Commissioner for the Protection against Discrimination played a significant and proactive role in promoting and protecting human rights particularly those from vulnerable groups; Since the establishment of the Commissioner for the Protection against Discrimination, the number of cases examined have increased considerably;  
  • A number of concrete measures have been taken in the field of the rights of women, gender equality and the fight against domestic violence including the adoption of the Strategy on Gender Equality, Gender Based Violence Reduction and Domestic Violence 2011-2015;
  • A number of measures have also been taken to address instances of domestic violence in particular the provision of legal assistance for women and girls who were victims of such acts and training for law enforcement personnel to deal with such issues;
  • For the current year priorities for strengthening support services for victims of domestic violence included the functioning of an online system of registration and monitoring related cases;
  • The Law on the Protection of the rights of the child was a positive step for the improvement of the national legal framework for child protection.  Among other measures being implemented, child protection units will be developed in 2014;
  • The National Action Plan 2010-2015 of Decade of Roma Inclusion aimed to improve the socio-economic status, social inclusion, poverty reduction and integration of the Roma community;
  • The Government has taken a series of measures aimed at tackling the drop-out rate for children from school and undertook measures to guarantee the enrolment of Roma children and youth;
  • A series of measures have been taken to improve the legal framework with regard to combatting human trafficking, including amendments to the Penal Code in 2013 and a number of bylaws aimed at better coordinating efforts between various structures in government aimed at better protecting and providing assistance to victims; 
  • In 2014, the Plan of Action on the prevention, detection, registering and combatting criminal activities and the offences of murder for blood feud and revenge was drafted in order to fight the blood feud phenomenon;
  • Albania prepared an Action Plan on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity 2012-2014 to be implemented in coordination with Government and civil society organisations;
  • In order to improve the rights of persons deprived of their liberty, in November 2013 amendments were proposed to the law on the rights and treatment of prisoners and detainees aimed at improving treatment of prisoners, particularly those from vulnerable groups.

Participants

In total 63 States participated in the dialogue:  29 HRC members and 34 observers  (Statements available on Albania page on the UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • Efforts to protect the rights of the child and the Law on the protection of the rights of the child;
  • The appointment of a new National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator;
  • The adoption of the strategy on Prevention and Fight against Corruption and Transparent Governance 2008-2013;
  • Concrete steps in advancing equal rights for LGBT persons;
  • The ratification of the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities;
  • The appointment of the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • Steps taken to uphold the rights of the Roma population and other vulnerable groups;
  • Efforts to ensure access to schools for Roma children;
  • Steps taken to better protect the rights of children and stamp out child labour;  
  • Measures taken to provide assistance to victims of human trafficking and to combat all such acts; 
  • Efforts aimed at combatting and investigating acts of domestic violence and ensuring accountability for such acts;
  • Measures taken to address the phenomenon of “blood feuds”.

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Albania.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To take further measures to better protect the rights of children; To organize awareness raising campaigns aimed at preventing violence against children;
  • To strengthen monitoring mechanisms which addressed incidents of forced child labour and take measures to effectively eliminate the worst forms of child labour;
  • To improve assistance for human trafficking victims, particularly women and children and to reinforce legislation to combat internal as well as cross-border trafficking in persons;
  • To continue efforts aimed at combatting and investigating acts of domestic violence and ensure that prosecutions were carried out with the full force of the law;
  • To establish appropriate shelters and social services for victims of domestic violence as well as a victim compensation programme; To fully implement the National Strategy on Gender Equality and Against Gender-Based and Domestic Violence;
  • To take steps in creating a more enabling environment for Albanian women to advance in political and public positions; To ensure equality for women in accessing socio-economic services, including property tenure, and health-care services;
  • To step up efforts to effectively implement the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion; To strengthen efforts to improve access to housing, health services, education and employment for both the Roma and Egyptian communities;
  • To adopt further measures to improve education of Roma children; To take further measures to reduce the high dropout rate in primary schools, particularly with regard to Roma children;
  • To improve facilities in places of detention for people with physical disabilities and improve access to adequate care for prisoners with mental health issues;
  • To intensify efforts to enhance the independence, efficiency and accountability of the judiciary; To step up efforts to stamp out corruption;
  • To collect and administer accurate data and statistics regarding the blood feud phenomenon, to strengthen efforts and remain vigilant on the issue of blood feuds, and pay particular attention to children involved in episodes of blood feud;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the OP to the ICESCR, the OP to the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, ILO Conventions No. 2 on Unemployment, No. 117 on Social Policy and No. 118 on Equality of Treatment.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Albania is scheduled to take place on Friday, 2 May 2014.

*The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.

** For access to the UPR Extranet, please fill out the following form to receive a username and password

Media contacts: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org
                             Cédric Sapey, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9695, csapey@ohchr.org

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