UN Women Statement: Day of the Girl Child
11 October 2017
“Some people say that it is shameful for girls to go to work or go to school. These are old traditions and conventions.”These are the words of Alan and Israa, two Syrian girls who, through a UN Women-supported training and community centre in Beirut, Lebanon, are learning how to repair mobile phones. This training is helping to break down traditional ideas about what girls can and cannot do, and through giving them relevant skills for their future, it is building resilience and helping to break conventional isolation.
This year, on the International Day of the Girl Child,we are focused on how to ‘EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises’. Throughout 2017 we have seen growing conflict, instability and inequality, with 128.6 million people this year expected to need humanitarian assistance due to security threats, climate change and poverty. More than three-quarters of those who have become refugees or who are displaced from their homes, are women and children. Among these, women and girls are among the most vulnerable in times of crisis.
Displaced and vulnerable women and girls face higher risks of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as damage to their livelihoods ; girls are 2.5 times more likely than boys to miss school during disasters; and displaced girls are often married Offas children in an effort to ensure their security. A 2013 assessment estimated a rise in the percentage of Syrian girl refugees in Jordan being married before age 18 from below 17 per cent before the conflict, to more than 50 per cent afterwards.
At UN Women, we are working to ensure that girls experiencing crises have positive options that allow them to grow and develop social and economic skills. Along with local women’s organizations, we support women and girl refugees through our Global Flagship Initiative, on Women’s Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection in Crisis Response (LEAP), which boosts civic engagement and leadership by advocating for women’s political and social participation at the local, national and international levels. LEAP also establishes Empowerment Hubs where women can network and access critical services and training, and provides job placements, cash-for-work initiatives and training for businesses.
Programmes like these can turn situations of displacement into opportunities for empowerment for girls and young women, remove them from potentially violent situations, and serve as a path to economic security so that they are not forced to marry older men to provide for their physical and financial wellbeing.
As Alan and Israa experienced, UN Women is also tapping into the possibilities of mobile technology, developing a Virtual Skills School, so that women and girls who have dropped out of school due to early marriage, childbearing or traditional practices, who are living with a disability, or who are displaced from their homes and in refugee camps, have access to second-chance learning.
On the International Day of the Girl Child, let us commit to investing in skills training and education for girls and livelihood activities for young women around the world who are facing crises. Far from being passive recipients of assistance, these girls are leaders who will use the skills that they develop today to rebuild their communities, and create a better future for all of us.
The citizen says his word on the efficiency of Public Administration at the local level
Observatory for Children’s Rights (Observatory) in the framework of the Public Administration Reform (PAR), is implementing the “WeBER” initiative on “Monitoring the effectiveness of the performance of local government administration through citizens’ opinion”.
This initiative is being implemented in 2 municipalities and respectively in Municipality of Tirana and Municipality of Cerrik. The pilot zone of the initiative are the administrative units No. 5, 6, Dajt and Petrela on Municipality of Tirana and Cerrik and Gostimi on Municipalities of Cerrik. The duration of the initiative is 7 months, June – December 2017. The main purpose of the initiative is to assess the public opinion (residents) about the transparency of local government, the services provided, the best forms of public information and the effectiveness of public administration.
This initiative is funded by the European Union and co-financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the Small Grants Instrument of the “WeBER – Enabling Western Balkan Countries for Monitoring the Reform in Public Administration by Civil Society” project implemented by the Institute for Democracy and Mediation in Albania (IDM). The project will be realized through the implementation of some measuring instruments that will serve to measure the perceptions of community opinion and local administration staff as; questionnaires and interviews. Meetings on communities and with public administration staff of local government units during which the initiatives and targets to be achieved will be presented and they are also part of the activities of the implementation process. Promoting public dialogue will be achieved through 2 face-to-face meetings with participation of the community and the local administration where the results of both sides’ opinion and their comparison will be disclosed in terms of the performance of the administration in Municipality of Tirana and Municipality of Cerrik.
At the end of the implementation of the initiative will be presented at a final meeting findings, recommendations and comparison of best experiences. The main activities of the WeBER initiative will be made public at all times of its implementation on the Observatory’s web site: www.observator.org.al on facebook: Observatory for Children’s Rights and on other media.
For anyone interested in knowing more about the initiative implemented by the Observatory, may contact the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and contact person: email@example.com
This project is funded by the European Union and co-financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the Small Grants Instrument of the “WeBER – Enabling Western Balkan Countries for Monitoring the Reform in Public Administration by Civil Society” project implemented in Albania by the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM).
The enrollment of pupils in the first grade is done pursuant to article 13 of Chapter IV “Primary Education” of the Normative Provisions on the pre-university educational system, 2013.
Procedures for the enrollment of pupils in the first grade
1. The enrollment of students in the first grade of primary education for the new academic year is done during the last two weeks of June.
a. During the first six days, only the pupils who live in the school area are eligible to enroll in the first grade of a public school. When the distance of the child’s residence from two public schools is debatable, the parent chooses one of the two schools.
b. Students belonging to other school areas are entitled to enroll in the next four days. The special registrations are admissible until the first days before the start of the school year in September.
2. Pursuant to the implementation of the joint Order no. 2, dated 05.01.2015 “On the approval of the regulation for the implementation of the cooperation Agreement, dated 02.08.2013 “On the identification and school enrollment of all children of compulsory school age”, every educational institution must apply the list of children’s names sent by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
3. The documents needed to enroll the child in the first grade are:
a. The birth certificate of the child.
b. Confirmation of vaccination from the health center.
c. Ophthalmologist’s report.
d. Child’s address.
e. Confirmation of kindergarten attendance by groups, signed by the director of the kindergarten (if any).
4. In special cases, when a parent wants to enroll a child in the first grade, but:
a. does not have a birth certificate, the school principal allows the child to attend school according to the age claimed by the parent and, according to the circumstances, gives the parent a deadline for the submission of the certificate;
b. does not have the confirmation of vaccination, the school principal asks the parent to address the matter to the relevant health center and, enrolls the child after receiving the confirmation.
We bring to your attention:
– Free transportation for students attending kindergarten or primary education who live at a distance of over 2 km away from the school (Item 1.b, Decision “On the use of public funds to transport the educational staff and students who work and study outside the residence”).
– Free textbooks for children: victims of trafficking, in detention/sentenced, admitted to the Oncology Service, children of police officers fallen on duty, Roma and Egyptian Children and beneficiaries in public residential social care institutions. (Item 6.9 of the Decision no. 707, dated 26. 08.2015 “On the publication, printing, distribution and sale of textbooks for pre-university education system,” as amended”)
Observatory for Children’s Rights (Observatory), with the support of Austrian Development Agency (ADA), has implemented during the period March – May 2017, in Dibra, Fier and Tirana region the initiative “Mapping of Albanian returnees (special focus on children and families)”.
By believing that returnees are a vulnerable group and should be prioritized to facilitate their re-integration process in the country, was undertaken this initiative to identify their needs for services as well as the extent to which they are fulfilled by every institution.
To better understand the needs and challenges faced during their fulfillment, an assessment of access to each of the baseline services has been conducted for each region, with some recommendations for each of the local institutions, available at:
Assessment of the situation, Dibra region:
Assessment of the situation, Fier region:
Assessment of the situation, Tirana region:
Also, findings from the entire process have been used to prepare a final document targeting policy-making central institutions, coming up with some recommendations for each of the inline ministries, available at:
Award “Child Protection Workers of the Year”
“Child Protection Organization of the Year”
This award has the aim of evaluation of the extraordinary contribution for children of individuals and organizations, for protecting them from any form of violence – by promoting positive and inspirational examples.
The award will be given on 1st of June, as an initial of yearly tradition.
The criteria’s for the Award “Child protection workers of the year”:
- To be an employee of the Child Protection Unit and have more than 5 years of working experience.
- Have made an extraordinary contribution to protecting children from violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation by bringing changes in the lives of children and families.
- To have managed a significant number of cases, applying quality case management procedures.
- To be active and cooperate with actors from various public, private, donor, NGO and public awareness-raising community in the field of child protection issues.
The criteria’s for the Award “Child Protection Organization of the Year” (NGO)
- To be an NGO registered in the Republic of Albania for more than 5 years.
- To have focus on child labor rights and be known in child protection work for abuse, exploitation, violence, or neglect.
- To have provided community support and contributing to capacity building of public institutions and / or childcare providers.
The prize will be “Participation in an international training” provided by Childhub.org
Candidates can be nominated at firstname.lastname@example.org until May 25, 2017. The proposal should contain a short argument (max 150 words) on the proposed candidacy. The candidates will be evaluated and selected by the MOSWY Evaluation Commission.
Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth
Tirana, 10 March 2017
Observatory in partnership with Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), realized the meeting for presenting the Report on the legal, judicial practice and social aspects of underage marriages in Korca and Pogradec for the period 2011 – 2016.
Observatory with the support of CFLI has implemented the initiative “Prevention of early marriages in strengthening the legal mechanisms and social perceptions, as a tool to empower women and girls (PREVENTION)”. The project is implemented by the Observatory through “monitoring decisions of District Courts of Korca and Pogradec for the period 2011 – 2016″ followed with the social analyze of these cases.
Aiming the improvement of the court decisions with the respect of highest interest of the child, the open meeting has collected the representatives of international and national institutions, various ministries and the central and local subordinate institutions together with NGOs operating in the field of children’s rights.
Some of the legal and judicial practice recommendations of the report are:
- For the Court, keeping the interest of the minor in mind should be the main consideration and this special care needs to be reflected in the content of the decision as clearly as possible through the specific analysis according to the case.
- Only the minor seeking to enter into underage marriage is the one that is actively legitimated to make the request.
- A very important principle that should be kept in control by the Court is the autonomy of the will of the minor requesting permit to enter into underage marriage. In order to evaluate this will, the minor should be personally present throughout the entire process. The Court should guarantee the right of the minor to be heard and informed. The Court should keep in mind that the younger the age of the person the easier it is to manipulate the minor to enter into marriage without free consent.
- Taking the opinion of the psychologist on the psychological evaluation, free consent and social situation is a legal obligation and a great help for the Court, so that it can rule a fair decision and to judge on the importance of the causes and their merits, as well as the physical and psychological maturity of the person through the verification of the psychologist.
- The Court should keep in mind that the juvenile girls in difficult economic situation are more exposed to the risk of fictitious marriages or the promises of marriage that end up to exploitation for prostitution, trafficking or any other kind of exploitation.
- As pertaining to the legislation, there is still room for improvements regarding the active legitimating of the minor girl and the determination of a minimum age below which underage marriage cannot be allowed for any reason. Furthermore, many of the suggestions include in this document may be also accompanied by legal improvements. The approach and harmonization with the international standards quoted in this report is still important.
The problems and issues that accompany underage marriages require an in-depth analysis of this situation throughout the entire country.
An adequate and productive intervention in this direction is related to the unification of the interventions and the efforts to improve the situation of women married under age by bringing together the policymakers, the state bodies involved in the enforcement of the law related to marriage, civil society organizations, donors, schools and the communities where these women live.
Let us give a voice to these girls and let them have a healthy and dignified childhood!
Tirana, 16 December 2016
Round table for the Report “With the voice of children deprived of their liberty”
The People’s Advocate, in collaboration with the Observatory for Children’s Rights and UNICEF launched the report “With the voice of children deprived of their liberty: monitoring of the conditions and treatment in the institutions of custody, pre-trial detention, and prisons”.
The report includes the findings and recommendations from the monitoring during August – Decmeber 2016 in Police Stations of Tirana, Institution for Serving of Criminal Sentences (ISCS) in Kavajë and Shën Kollë (Lezhë).
This report is prepared by a group of specialists in the field of human rights, justice and sociology and cognitive of international standards, in terms of juvenile justice. These experts, who developed the methodology and questionnaires, followed fieldwork for conducting the monitoring, analyzed data and prepared the report.
Some of the findings and recommendations
21 children interviewed for the purposes of this assessment. Sixteen of them belonged to the age group 16–18 years and five to the group 14–16 years.
- Seven children, only one third of the sample, had completed mandatory education. There seems to be a strong correlation between school non-attendance and conflict with the law among juveniles in Albania.
- For most of the children interviewed both parents were present in the family setting and were the income providers. High levels of poverty and a lack of possibility for parents to be more involved in the rearing of their children were the main factors that emerged during the interviews as causes for delinquent behaviour.
- The Kavaja facility seems to be well staffed and, during the time of the visit, the ratio of staff to juveniles in detention was two to one.
- Staff of ISCS Lezhë is low and has difficulty to realize the juvenile needs, for approximate 700 individulas.
- Fifteen respondents stated that they were informed of their rights upon arrest.
- With only one exception, respondents were given medical information and screening.
- The staff respondents were unable to understand and discuss special psychological care for the children.
- There is lack of regularity in medical examination for incarcerated juveniles.
- About half of the respondents were in triple-shared accommodation.
- While bedding and mattresses were available there were no provisions for clothing. In the Kavaja facility clothing is donated by civil society and aid-based organisations.
- Half of the respondents responded positively about education provisions. Qualified teaching staff to implement courses of compulsory education and vocational training seem to be missing.
- Nine children claimed to have been harmed, four of whom in the police commissariat.
- Abuse was reported, and in one case denounced
- Mistreatment was evident during the monitoring visits to the Shën Koll facility.
- Kavaja facility staff were trained by UNICEF and Save the Children in how to deal with children.
- There were no reports of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.
- Sixteen respondents claimed to have good relationships with others.
- Respondents had regular family visits, weekly or monthly. They also accessed information via telephone (20) or TV (14).
- Legal services were not provided free by the institution of incarceration.
Tirane, 15 November 2016
On November 15th, was conducted the workshop of Tirana Region entitled “Workshop- for promoting the debate on data precondition of effective decision-making for children”. This workshop was realized in accordance to the project entitled “Child Rights Observatory supports evidence-based child-sensitive policy planning, with focus on decentralized action” implemented in partnership with UNICEF in Albania following the 11 Workshops realized by Observatori in the other 11 Regions of Albania. In the Workshop participated representatives from: Regional Council of Tirana; Prefecture Tirane; local government municipalities of Tirana, Kavaja, Kamza and Vora; local institutions of health sector, pre education sector, social protection sector and police such as Regional Educational Directorate Tirane, Education office Kamez, Department of Public Health Kavaje, the Regional Health Authority Tirane, Social Services Tirane, Police Department Tirane; Commissioner for the Right to Public Information and Protection of Personal Data and from NGO that work directly or indirectly in Children’s Rights area. The participation of all these actors and institutions is a valuation and support to the work and mission that Observatory has realized during these years.
The debate has bring different issues and arguments, such as:
- The need to unify the indicators collected from public institutions in order to be comparable internally and abroad in different reports. Initially it was suggested to unify a small number of indicators which would be easily applicable.
- The process of data collection in nation, regional and local level for children, because of the wide range of indicators, is delicate and it has faced different difficulties despite the good will to collaborate by the local institutions. Anyway the progress for the period 2009-2015 has been improving from year to year, which shows a growing awareness of the institutions in this regard.
The new territorial division causes a shrink of the data because their collection is conducted in Municipality level and not in Administrative Unit level as integral part of these Municipalities.
The representative of Commissioner for the Right to Public Information and Protection of Personal Data stated that, according to the current low, statistical data that not constitute a state secret and that are not considered just for internal use, should be made available to all organizations or individuals according to their requirements within the terms defined by the low. This process is easier when the collaboration between organizations and state institutions is regulated by a agreement or a bilateral memorandum with rights and obligations clearly defined.
Debate for implementation of the three ministerial order “To identify and register in school every child at compulsory age”
The children do not abandon school when They are 16 years old, but they neglect It since the first grade and then They wait 10 years to make this abandon official
(The case of S.G. overcomes the extremes of pain and poverty. The family made by 11 members lives in miserable conditions is Durres. S.G. express that every child no exception want to go to school, but the reason that They have abandoned It is the the difficult economic condition and the fact that the older children have to take care of the younger ones while the parents work in different jobs to earn the living.
Currenlty in Hasa Koci School in Shkozet (which is one of the 10 pilot schools of the initiative “Out of School Children” in partnership with UNICEF and the implementation of Observatory for Children’s Rights), 2 of the girls of this family attend the second grade after a hard work by the school directory. With the attention of UNICEF and Observatory the case was referred and followed by the local institutions of Durres.
After the participation of the school staff in training, workshops and activities of the initiative “Out of School Children” to prevent the abandon of school, currently the girls are attending school regularly showing a great interests and willing. S.G. expresses that have been the teachers who have provided food when She has not been capable to provide for them.
The school has started and every child want to attend! Despite the economic difficulties, the parents ignorance, the absence of sensitivity to invest in a way that secure the future are some of the factors that prevent this journey. To fulfill the gaps created in years, the government guarantees the education for every child. In this contexts, the families should be more sensitive regarding the registration and attendance of their children in the “genesis” cycle- in preschool.
The debate that we have conducted was related with the fact that the school is not only the education mechanism, but It is also has connective and coordinating functions and makes possible the children’s registration to school and the ongoing attendance. The teachers are missionaries,which with their vision and their spirit inoculate the pupils education among generations. In support of this mission very important actors are also the municipality/ administrative units, the police, the medical centers, etc.
The work model that harmonizes the interaction of all actors in local level regarding the cause of registering in school every child at compulsory age is the initiative“Out of School Children”. This initiative, piloted in Durres region, is fulfilled in partnership between UNICEF and Observatory for Children’s Rights, with the attention of the Ministry of Education an Sports and with the support of all local structures. The purpose is to identify and register in school every child, despite the fact that they were born in the area or not, creating a favorable environment to live.
In January 5th was signed the Common order of the three Ministries (U3M – Ministry of Education and Sports (MAS), Ministry of e Internal Affairs (MPB) and Ministry of Health (MSH)) “To identify and register in school every child at compulsory age”, in order to coordinate the inter institutional collaboration to make possible that every resident child attend school. U3M publication in the Official Gazette can be found in:
In this context several important steps have been taken regarding the children education including:
- Raising a work practice for the workbook of the roles of the responsible institutions for the implementation of U3M.
- The practice of the intersection training between the staffs of the schooling and local institutions which are charged with responsibility and role by the U3M signing.
- The guides and instructions for monitoring the best schooling practices for reducing the school abundance and for integrating in school the out of school children.
- The training practices for the actors in the base educational institutions in order to ensure the regular attendance and the completion of the base education by every children.
- The work practice for the extraction of the data for international indicators of the educational system.
- The practice of the intersection of the lists from different sources in order to identify out of school children.
- The practice of the inter institutional collaboration to intensifies the work regarding the case of out of school children
The call for the children education is addressed to everyone. The education of every child is an every day mission, the implementation of which asks for attention and commitment in time of everyone.