Social exclusion of children in Albania

Tirana on December 4th, 2012 –  The digitalised presentation of the database regarding children’s social exclusion indicators in Albania, on a regional level (for every district in the country), aims at encouraging the Albanian society to be more aware of children’s critical issues which affect the violation of their rights.

The Observatory for Children’s Rights aims at observing the realisation of children’s rights on a national level and in every district of Albania, analyse and process the information according to the point of view of the civil society and encourage interest groups discussions about the inclusive realisation of children’s rights.

The Observatory for Children’s Rights is an initiative of UNICEF, which aims at empowering alliances and harmonising the collaboration with the objective of increasing effective efforts for the realisation of children’s rights. The Observatory for Children’s Rights is a civil society mechanism capable of drawing near every actor and even children themselves under the initiative: ‘’ Children’s issues are everybody’s issues’’.

Until now, the Observatory has prepared and published several reports that offer detailed information regarding the main indicators of the realisation of children’s rights. In order for the rich information that has been collected to be effectively helpful to the network of governmental, nongovernmental and academic institutions, the Observatory wishes to realise “Social exclusion of children in Albania, presented in a digitalized format”

Digitalisation helps the fast and detailed presentation of the information regarding the institutionalisation of children’s rights, in every district of the country; also it creates the opportunity to use the information regarding children’s poverty and social exclusion indicators in every district, municipality, commune by every institution/ specialist/ citizen that will show interest. The preparation and distribution of 12 informative flyers for every district of the country and also a statistical descriptive brochure about national data, facilitates information usage regarding children’s rights and the collaboration with the Observatory for Children’s Rights network.

Kukës Observatory – 28 August 2013

Kukës on 28th August, 2013

Information regarding the meeting organised in Kukës in the framework of the project “Empowering Social Welfare Services on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children – RIDE”

The Observatory for Children’s Rights in Kukës in collaboration with the District Council of Kukës and with support from the representatives of UNICEF in Albania on the 28th of August 2013 in the conference room of the District Council of Kukës organised the first meeting with the team responsible for the implementation of the project “Empowering Social Welfare Services on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children”.

In this meeting were participants the representatives of local institutions (Police Department of the District of Kukës, Regional Educational Department – Kukës, Regional Office of the Labour State Unit etc), representatives of local NGO-s, employees of the children’s rights unit in the commune and social administrators.

 

The meeting was organised according to the program by starting with the presentation of the participants and the welcoming speech was given to the Chairman of the District of Kukës, Mr. Ibsen Elezi, who guaranteed his continuous support in the successful realisation of this project.

Afterwards, Mr. Jonuz Kola, Executive Director of the association ALB-AID, gave his speech in support of this initiative, that will affect positively on the social care policies for children..

Mrs. Elma Tërshana, director of the project, presented the activity of the Observatory for Children’s Rights and the project “Empowering of Social Welfare Services for Children on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children”.

This project, among other things, aims at identifying cases of child abuse that the current protection system cannot identify. If we talk about children who live in poverty and are part of the economic assistance scheme, we must include in this poverty definition also families whose application to economic assistance has been declined or even those families that because of procedures cannot apply at all. Also the participants received information regarding the territorial expansion of the project in the districts of Shkodër e Fier.

The participants asked questions and discussed regarding the situation of children’s rights in the District of Kukës, also they asked that cases that are identified by regional office should be discussed every month by the team;

Some of the conclusions of this meeting were:

– To build the cooperation network and by September 2013 to organise the second meeting.

– Cases that are discussed in the meeting must me documented and the team should immediately start working on solving problems.

– To contact all local units of the district and build the cooperation network with all these units.

 

Prepared by:

Shkëlqim Muça

Observatory for Children’s Rights Expert, Kukës

Fier Observatory – 22 August 2013

Fier on August 22nd, 2013

Information regarding the meeting organised in Fier in the framework of the project “Empowering Social Welfare Services on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children – RIDE”

 

The Observatory for Children’s Rights in Fier in collaboration with Social Care Services Office Fier and with support from the representatives of UNICEF in Albania on the 22nd of August 2013 in the conference room of the Prefecture of Fier organised the first meeting with the team responsible for the implementation of the project “Empowering Social Welfare Services on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children”.

 

In this meeting were participants the representatives of local institutions (Social Care Services Office – District Council Fier, Prefecture of Fier, State Social Service regional office Fier, Regional Health Office Fier, Regional Police Department of the District of Fier), representatives of local NGO-s, employees of the children’s rights unit in the commune and social administrators.

The meeting was organised according to the program by starting with the presentation of the participants and the welcoming speech was given to the Director of Social Care Services – District Council Fier, Mr. Astrit Hysi, who guaranteed his continuous support in the successful realisation of this project.

Afterwards, Mrs. Arlinda Ymeraj, Social Policy Officer at the regional office of UNICEF in Albania gives her speech as a supporter of this positive initiative aiming at improving social policies for children.

Mrs. Elma Tërshana, director of the project, presented the activity of the Observatory for Children’s Rights and the project “Empowering of Social Welfare Services for Children on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children”.

This project, among other things, aims at identifying cases of child abuse that the current protection system cannot identify. If we talk about children who live in poverty and are part of the economic assistance scheme, we must include in this poverty definition also families whose application to economic assistance has been declined or even those families that because of procedures cannot apply at all. Also the participants received information regarding the territorial expansion of the project in the districts of Shkodër e Kukës.

 

The participants asked questions and discussed regarding the situation of children’s rights in the District of Fier.

Some of the conclusions of this meeting were:

– The project’s office RIDE will make possible the coordination and harmonisation of all social welfare structures on a regional and local level, in order to make certain that no child gets excluded from exercising their rights. Such thing will be realised by networking challenges/difficulties, current achievements and capacities. This new initiative will help offering integrated services for children (not only benefits from the economic assistance scheme, but from other social welfare fields as well).

– Urge local units to apply for projects in order to benefit unlimited Funds. This way, local units should identify the main needs that demand immediate solving.

– Suggestion for social policies; the creation of a general social welfare budget, (not separating the budget in specific categories: for the Roma, for widows etc), in order to avoid discrimination of the provided services.

– A positive case that was identified during this meeting was the case of Mrs. Suela Spaho, family doctor at the Regional Health Office, who has also been the coordinator of PEACE Corps for the last 4 years, offering services for children in the communes and villages that have a high concentration of the Roma community (Levan, Baltëz, Drizë).

– In the Commune of Qendër Fier there are 7 cases of children aged 2-3 months old who are not registered in the civil status office. Efforts for solving this case have consisted in contacting the Free Legal Service in Tiranë. In the meanwhile families do not have the economic possibility to pay for the trial (to attest the fatherhood). For these cases must intervene the court, civil status, and family doctors. To solve these 7 cases, the project’s office RIDE must begin its work by creating a communication access point between the representative of this commune and the representative of the civil status office in the District Council of Fier. The suggestion of this Commune is empowering the collaboration with the District Council of Fier in order to give children from the Roma community the possibility to benefit from the offered services.

– Cases brought by the chief of the Orphans Association are in relation with the increase of crime in the family. A family, with 4 children, that has no home but owns a land. The mother is in prison. In the meanwhile, because they own a land, the children do not benefit from the economic assistance scheme. Members of the Commune Council must insist to withdraw the land, because children do not use it, in order for them to become part of the economic assistance scheme. Also, the Commune Council must help them better plan their budget adding their monthly amount from the economic assistance. Problems come also from children born out-of-wedlock, who, in most cases do not receive the orphan status.

Prepared by:

Eridjona Kica

Observatory for Children’s Roights Expert, Fier

Shkodër Observatory – August 29, 2013

Shkodër on August 29th, 2013

Information regarding the meeting organised in Shkodër in the framework of the project “Empowering Social Welfare Services on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children – RIDE”

 

The Observatory for Children’s Rights in Shkodër in collaboration with the Children’s Rights Unit and support from UNICEF representatives in Albania, on the 29th of August 2013, organised in the conference room of the District of Shkodër, the first meeting with the team responsible for the implementation of the project: “Empowering of Social Welfare Services for Children on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children”.

 

In this meeting were participants the representatives of local institutions (Regional Office of the Regional Social Service; Regional Health Department Shkodër), representatives of local NGO-s, employees of the children’s rights unit in the commune and social administrators.

The meeting was organised according to the program by starting with the presentation of the participants. Afterwards, Mrs. Elma Tërshana, director of the project, presented the activity of the Observatory for Children’s Rights and the project “Empowering of Social Welfare Services for Children on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children”.

 

This project, among other things, aims at identifying cases of child abuse that the current protection system cannot identify. If we talk about children who live in poverty and are part of the economic assistance scheme, we must include in this poverty definition also families whose application to economic assistance has been declined or even those families that because of procedures cannot apply at all. Also the participants received information regarding the territorial expansion of the project in the districts of Fier and Kukës.

 

Mrs. Anila Gurakuqi presented an exposé of the Observatory’s work, achievements and successful collaboration with regional institutions; civil society organisations and especially with the Children’s Rights Unit and the Social Services Department at the Shkodër District Council.

The representative of the Children’s Rights Unit, Mr. Jozef Serrmi, stated that this project is important and indispensable for the coordination of problematic cases of children that need to be included in social services. He accentuated the fact that the situation in the District of Shkodër does not look well regarding the creation of Children’s Rights Units near the Communes. From 33 administrative unit of the district only 7 units, including the Municipality of Shkodër, have built the Children’s Rights Unit.

 

– The project’s office RIDE will make possible the coordination and harmonisation of all social welfare structures on a regional and local level, in order to make certain that no child gets excluded from exercising their rights. Such thing will be realised by networking challenges/difficulties, current achievements and capacities. This new initiative will help offering integrated services for children (not only benefits from the economic assistance scheme, but from other social welfare fields as well).

– Encouraging and lobbing for local units to create Children’s Rights Units. It is important to further empower these new structures and enable them to refer; orient; coordinate and also solve problematic cases of children in collaboration with other actors (Mr. Jozef, CRU).

– Problematic are the cases of uneducated children. From a visit of the director of World Vision Shkodër in the village Bardhaj of the Commune of Rrehina, it resulted that there were uneducated children in 3 families. It is important that these individual cases become issues to be resolved. During the meeting regarding these specific cases, Mrs. Neta Pero, oriented and informed the participants that it is possible to attend school by correspondence at the Primary school ‘’P. Vasa’’ Shkodër. The participants had the opportunity to exchange information and practices regarding solving and coordinating cases of children.

– It is recommended that the Children’s Protection Unit functions in Communes as a specific structure. Article 39 of the children’s legal framework, 1st point, determines that it can be a specific structure or as unit of the social affairs structures. The great amount of work requires that specialised people in children affairs are responsible for this unit. (Mrs. Arlinda from World Vision)

– The case referring mechanism must be more functional and be further empowered. The law has clearly determined inter institutional links and those of the civil society but there must be more cooperation between them. (Mrs. Alketa, Director of the Regional Social Service).

– The structures of the Children’s Protection Units in the Communes and the structures responsible for the coordination of work cases, performance and reciprocal collaboration must be supervised. The organisation of monthly meetings or every 2 months is highly recommended to share cases, distribute reports in order to create good practices for the solving of problematic cases. (Mr. Altin from the Psychological Counselling Centre).

– Building an online database of all referred cases for solving from local actors. (Mrs. Elma, National Observatory).

-Define case referring procedures and appropriate protocol.

The Commune of Postribë and the Commune of Ana e Malit refer that they currently have 9 problematic cases. (The Commune of Postribë has 5 cases and the Commune of Ana e Malit has 4 cases). The employee of the Children’s Protection Unit in the Commune of Postribë accentuates the accuracy of the law but currently the work of this unit is based on good will and individual morals for solving problematic cases. Detail the work description of the CPU employee in the Communes and ask local government to increase the number of employees in this structure.  (Mr. Dashamir, CPU Postribë).

– The lack of a psychologist in the schools of the Commune is an issue that needs to be addressed. In the Commune there is no psychologist and in the city one psychologist works with 2500 students. The amount of work does not permit the offering of a qualitative service.

– SOS Villages for children address the issue of 3 orphans regarding accommodation and inclusion in the economic assistance scheme. Also, orphans leaving the orphanages are a highlighted problem. They have difficulties to be included in social life and often are victims of abuse.  (Mrs. Jonida, SOS Shkodër).

 

Prepared by:

Anilda Gurakuqi (Shestani)

Observatory for Children’s Rights Expert, Shkodër