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.