CM(99)124...(679/6.1)... Situation of children in Albania Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1398 (1999)



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679 Meeting, 15[-16] September 1999
6 Social and Economic Questions

6.1 Situation of children in Albania

Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1398 (1999)
European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS)

2nd meeting of the Forum for Children (Strasbourg, 16 April 1999)

Extract from the Report of the meeting

CM(99)124 18 August 1999





1. The second meeting of the Forum for Children took place in Strasbourg on 16 April 1999, with Mrs Inger-Johanne WREMER (Norway) in the chair. The agenda and list of participants appear in Appendices I and II respectively of the full meeting report (document CDCS PC(99)7). The meeting was attended, inter alia, by Mr Gjergji LEKA, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of Albania, and by three members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as well as by representatives of most of the other bodies who are partners in the Forum.

Ad hoc terms of reference concerning Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1398 (1999) on the situation of children in Albania

2. The Forum’s principal item on the original agenda was to discuss the ad hoc terms of reference from the Committee of Ministers' Deputies concerning the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1398 (1999) on the situation of children in Albania (see Appendix III).

3. Mr LEKA (Albania) referred to the need to go beyond the urgent short-term approaches that need to be addressed. He also stressed the need for medium and long-term approaches in dealing with problems such as the prostitution and exploitation of children. The Albanian Government had adopted a National Childhood Strategy, intended to prepare a democratic future for children in Albania. It had therefore taken measures to set up an inter-ministerial Childhood Committee to deal with matters concerning children. The Committee would take into account activities carried out by the Council of Europe and supply necessary information. The Committee needed both bilateral and multilateral assistance, including assistance from the Council of Europe and from other international organisations, especially those in Europe. The National Childhood Strategy was a first priority, and the Deputy Minister appealed for aid and assistance. A similar strategy for women would also be launched at a later stage.

4. Among the participants who contributed to the discussion was Mr Claude EVIN (France), Chairman of the sub-committee on children, representing the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Social, Health and Family Affairs, which had prepared the Recommendation.

5. A number of proposals for future activities were put forward by representatives of steering committees present at the meeting. These cover short term, medium term and long term proposals. A table of these proposals, together with information about already agreed activities for 1999 where appropriate, is set out in Appendix III.

6. The Committee of Ministers is invited to take note of these proposals, and to examine what concrete follow-up may be given to them, in the short, medium and long term.


Ad hoc terms of reference

"Situation of children in Albania"

DECISION No. CM/711/260299




2. Source: Committee of Ministers

3. Completion date: 31 December 1999

4. Terms of Reference: Study, through the Forum for Children as being a multi-partner and multidisciplinary body, the follow-up which could be given to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1398(1999) "Situation of children in Albania".

5. Committee(s) informed of the terms -

of reference for information:





Proposals for future activities

Short Term/immediate:

1. Training and implementation programme for newly created Regional and Local Authorities for the social protection of children and families.

2. Needs assessment of children with disabilities in residential care and identifying resources for meeting the most urgent material needs.

3. Fact finding mission (Task Force) to Albania to assess the situation of children with disabilities in residential care and for action with a view to improve their condition

Medium Term:

Setting-up a pilot scheme for foster families and community based family-type residential care units, as well as training carers/educators and parents/families in the necessary skills to be able to care for children with disabilities.

Long Term:

Developing mechanisms, setting up services and structures and creating means for education to allow (re-) integration into society for children with disabilities. The objectives are to reduce the number of residential care units in favour of care in families and integration in society.



Proposals for future activities

Short Term/immediate:

Exploratory mission

- to determine the precise needs

- to develop co-operation with other organisations, particularly WHO (Europe) and the European Commission

Medium Term:

- set up programmes jointly with the Albanian authorities on the basis of the findings of the explanatory mission

Long Term:

1. Re-organisation/re-orientation of health care services to ensure that health promotion, disease prevention, cure and care for children are properly integrated into the health care system and given the priority they deserve

2. Training of health care staff dealing with children – management and co-ordination of services, professional knowledge



Proposals for future activities

Short Term/immediate:

Assistance in the return and resettlement of displaced populations from Kosovo, with special attention on the conditions for the return of children

Medium Term:

Organisation of a Round Table in Albania or in one of the Albanian immigration countries (Italy, Greece, Germany) on how to achieve the integration of Albanian families and to avoid that children "become victims of violence, forced labour and prostitution".

Long Term:

Assistance programme for the elaboration of a legal framework on migration which would take account of the special needs of children



Activities for 1999

The Demand Reduction Staff Training Programme (DRSTP) follow-up project 1999-2002 includes Albania. This project will support national, multidisciplinary drug demand reduction curriculum development.



Proposals for future activities

Short Term/immediate:

In co-operation with our DRSTP liaisons and the Albanian Phare Experts assess current needs for improvements in the national drug prevention policy using the Pompidou Group publication European Prevention Handbook as a starting point.

Medium Term:

In co-operation with relevant authorities in Albania assist in developing a pilot project on local community prevention. Based on the outcome, develop relevant sustainable staff training opportunities in the area of local community drug prevention.

Long Term:

Support development of small income generating rehabilitation projects for young drug users focusing on skill development and reintegration. This should be seen in continuation of the EU initiative on setting up a national drug treatment centre



Activities for 1999

Seminar on the new draft Family Code. Possible dates and place : Tirana, December 1999. ADACS [Joint Programme EC/CoE].

The Department of Codification of the Albanian Ministry of Justice has been charged with the task of drafting a new family Code (the existing family Code was adopted in 1982) and the Albanian Working Group set up for this aim has been working for the draft for more than two years now. The Directorate of Legal Affairs has been providing legal assistance and expertise through different experts meetings (December 1996 Tirana, November 1997 Strasbourg).


Proposals for future activities

Short Term/immediate:

- Legal expertise on the new Albanian Family Code to be carried out by the experts of the CJ-FA

Medium Term:

- Seminar on the follow-up to the implementation of the Law No. 7650 of 17 December 1992 relating to the adoption of Albanian children by foreign citizens

Long Term:



ADACS criminal law-related activities (juvenile justice aspects) for 1999

1. Seminar on "Minors and Judicial System";

2. Expertise meeting on drafting a law on the setting-up of sections for minors in the courts;

3. Study visit in one of the west European countries in order to study the functioning of a Court of Minors in the context of strengthening such services in Albania


Proposals for future activities

Short Term/immediate:

1. Expert meeting on evaluation of the problems and needs of the Albanian authorities in implementing the Recommendation No. R (91) 11 concerning sexual exploitation, pornography and prostitution of, and trafficking in, children and young adults.

Medium Term:
Long Term:



Activities for 1999

1. Combating trafficking in girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

2. Free choice in matters of reproduction and sexuality.


Proposals for future activities

Short Term/immediate:

Activity planned: information seminar for NGOs, planned in co-operation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Demosthenes/Equality Programme; budget estimate: 30,000 FF; shortfall: 30,000 FF.

Medium Term:

Consideration could be given to:

- training seminar(s) for NGOs on trafficking, in particular in places where migrants are in transit to western Europe (harbours/Durres and elsewhere) (60-80,000 FF per seminar);

- awareness-raising seminars for teachers/educators on the three topics mentioned (60-80,000 FF per seminar);

assistance with the establishment of family planning centres aimed in particular at teenagers (costing will depend on arrangements).

Long Term:



Activities for 1999

1. training course for youth leaders and civil servants responsible for youth affairs, 28.2-7.3 99

2. traineeships for 3 young Albanians in different NGYOs


Proposals for future activities

Short Term/immediate:

Open a special fund in the EYF to finance youth projects held by NGYOs or national councils in Albania.

See with the CDEJ members which projects are held in Albania in this field and in the framework of the Council of Europe, study the possibility to develop bilateral or multilateral governmental activities

Information and exchange of good practice on problems of child prostitution, refugees : which NGOs, which projects, which expertise were developed in this field

Medium Term:

Help to develop youth information centres which could provide information for the prevention of prostitution, drug abuse (we have already sent information on this question to the department of youth, ministry of culture) at national level but also at local level, maybe in co-operation with the CLRAE

Long term training course for youth organisations dealing with children problems within the ADACS programme, maybe in co-operation with DASE, DECS develop a common programme on child issues

Send team of representatives of different youth NGOs – as Council of Europe consultants – for 6 months for example to develop some specific project, such as mediation in intergeneration, inter ethnic conflicts, at school, in the family, etc.

See also possibilities to develop activities in this field within the Covenant between the Youth Directorate and the European Union

Long Term:

Develop intercultural dialogue through intercultural learning : set up a long-term activity with schools and NGYOs in this field



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