First Periodic Report of Albania Considered by Human Rights Committee
Friday, November 19, 2004 8:35 AM

The Human Rights Committee considered the first report of Albania under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In its concluding observations (PDF, 5 pages), Committee welcomed several positive measures taken by Albania, such as the establishment of a Committee for Equal Opportunity and new legislation in the Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and Family Code relevant to the protection of human rights.

With regard to women, the Committee expressed concern over the continuing gender discrimination under customary laws and traditional codes (Kanun) and the prevalence of domestic violence. In addition, the Committee was concerned over the low participation of women in the political and economic spheres of public affairs, especially in higher-ranking positions in public administration. Finally, while the Committee observed that Albania's role as a transit country for trafficking had decreased, it expressed concern over the issue, the involvement of authorities in this phenomenon, and the lack of victim and witness protection.

The Committee recommended that the Albanian government adopt and carry out policies to counter gender discrimination under customary laws, enforce policies to combat domestic violence, increase public awareness on the issue, and provide victim assistance through crisis hotlines, victim support centres with medical, legal and psychological facilities, and shelters. The Committee also suggested taking steps to ensure participation of women in the political, public and other areas of the State. The Committee urged the Albanian government to strengthen international cooperation to combat trafficking in persons and to provide protection to victims of and witnesses to trafficking.