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: email@example.com and contact person: firstname.lastname@example.org
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”)
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 email@example.com 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 and discussions for “The Albanian reality of Early Marriages: The need for intervention. . .”
Observatory for Children’s Rights in partnership with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives organized the Conference focused on enhancing of different stakeholders engagement and outline of intervention strategies to prevent and eradicate the phenomenon of child early marriage in Albania. Drawbacks and perpetual problems faced by girls–women and their newly established families throughout their lives were acknowledged and addressed in the statements/speeches of high governmental authorities, as well as by each panelist and participant of this conference.
Research tackling issues related to early and child marriages as societal problems of women and youth at the local levels, along with increasing of awareness to prevent early child marriage at the local and national level can be considered innovative and progressive in countries like Albania, where this phenomenon has spread its roots deep into history and unfortunately revived lately by the very dynamic social factors of a prolonged transition. Regional and global research place special focus on indicating the long-lasting consequences of the child early marriage on physical and emotional wellbeing and infringements of the rights to education and development (personal, professional and economic). Similar findings were evidenced through our detailed snapshot of the Albanian reality urging for immediate interventions to address the push and pulling factors of child early marriage in Albanian context.
Under the CRC and CEDAW Albania is required to consider the issue of early marriages and report about it. The coordination and intensification of joint efforts on early marriage in the Albanian context is a crucial imperative.
The constructive debates has bring the expression of the willingness of Ministries for future cooperation to reduce underage marriages through:
- Strengthening the role of CPUs and CRU’s which are suitably placed at local and regional level;
- Support of young mothers through specific social intervention programs;
- Individual work with girls -mothers;
- Addressing the gaps through adoption of necessary changes in the legal framework;
- Conducting of a national study including areas in northern Albania;
- Provision of tailored psycho-social services to address young people needs.
The multifaceted issue of early marriage both in terms of reducing its occurrence and in terms of adressing its consequences represents a give-and-take process among different stakeholders groups including the Government of Albania and its host of institutions, the local government as implementer and supporter of policies, donor community interested in the issues related to early marriage, media outlets, community at the local level, and the civil society operating at the local level.
We are convinced and inspired that an effective cooperation among the above-mentioned stakeholders will provide the best policy and social environment where these girls are empowered to have a stronger voice and take the lead of their lives – “to enjoy being girls before being brides!”
Observatory for Children’s Rights
 Child Rights Convention
 Convention for Elemination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women
Tirana, 27 January 2016
Workshop, consultation and debate
Out of School Children- Phase II
Observatory for Children’s Rights, Ministry of Education and Sports in partnership with UNICEF Albania, have realized the Workshop, consultation and debate in the framework of the initiative “Every child in school”.
“Out of school children”, an initiative of MoES, in partnership with UNICEF is implemented by the Observatory for Children’s Rights. This initiative started in 2013 and was followed by the Observatory for Children’s Rights from 2014 onward, with the aim of identifying and registering in school all children of compulsory education age as well as preventing school leave by children who are at risk of dropping out. This initiative aims to establish adequate mechanisms that facilitate the attendance of school from every child of compulsory school age till 9 grade.
This Workshop has collected together representatives of Regional Education Directories, Education Officces, MoES specialists, as well as other experts tasked with collecting data for the registration and keeping the children in school enrollment, in Albania.