Albanian Government moving forward to equitable access to justice for every child
The Council of Ministers of Albania approves the second Justice for Children Strategy 2022-2026, with UNICEF technical assistance. The new strategy builds on the achievements and lessons learned from the first Strategy 2018-2021. While addressing the remaining challenges, the new one, expands the scope of interventions from the criminal justice that dominated the 1st Strategy, towards equitable access to justice for every child and in various areas of law, such as civil, family, and administrative law. In that vein, the new Strategy’s vision is to guarantee child-friendly justice that protects their best interests. The mission envisages a collective action of public authorities, civil society and children and their families to shape a society that prevents juvenile offending and children’s victimization by crime, ensures a child-friendly justice system that provides remedies for violations of child rights, tailored to their needs, and contributes to their rehabilitation and reintegration, with a view to promote peace and security in our society and communities.
The Strategy, developed by the Ministry is a joint contribution of several experts from the Ministry and UNICEF specialists, and it reflects the views of various international and national stakeholders, including children and their families.
“On behalf of UNICEF, I would like to commend the Council of Ministers of Albania, and particularly the Minister of Justice, Ulsi Manja for their strong commitment to advance child rights and particularly their right to justice, as proclaimed by the Convention of the Rights of the Child and reaffirmed by the CRC Committee. The implementation of this Strategy requires the collective efforts, commitment, and support of all the three branches of governance and also requires wisely invested resources in those interventions that evidence shows they work. These are clearly the community-based and cross-disciplinary solutions, developed through a careful examination of the case of each individual child. UNICEF stands ready to continue its support for child-friendly justice in Albania, as part of the country’s overall efforts for justice system reform.”, says Roberto De Bernardi, UNICEF Representative.
The new Strategy is designed based on four outcomes :
1. Prevention of child delinquency and crimes against children;
2. A legal, institutional and professional framework that enables a friendly justice for every child;
3. Ensuring at all times access to friendly justice for every child;
4. Criminal justice that enables prevention of re-involvement of the child in crime, re-socialization and reintegration of the child in contact/ conflict with the law.
The Strategy demonstrates the political will of the Government of Albania to view justice for children as a crucial component of the Justice System Reform as well as a contributor to Albania’s compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (2030) and its EU accession efforts.