Children's Day-Joint statement on Children Rights

Monday 1 June 2015

On the occasion of the 1st of June, traditionally celebrated in Albania as Children’s Day, the State Agency for Child Rights Protection, UNICEF and non governmental organisations Save the Children, Terre des Hommes and World Vision take the opportunity to wish to all the children in Albania a “Happy Children’s Day!”, and to remind authorities, whose responsibility is to protect children that the rights of all children without distinction must be promoted and protected.

The origin of this celebration (linked to the announcement of the International Day for Protection of Children in 1950) reminds us that children have the right to be protected from all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. This right has been one of the pillars of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but also of the Albanian Constitution and legislation.

In order for this right  to be realized, much more needs to be done at all levels of the state governance, but particularly at the local level, through meaningful cooperation and collaboration of all actors involved in the field of protecting children from all forms of violence. The new local government units that will emerge after the 21st of June, will hold a very important weight and play a decisive role in this regard, by ensuring the establishment of well-functioning Child Protection Units but also by ensuring provision of quality social services for child protection, including  the empowerment of families in need.

The establishment of Child Protection Units is a legal obligation of the local government stated in the Law 10347 (dated 04.11.2010) “On the Protection of Children’s Rights”. The responsibilities of such units, together with the obligations of local actors in social protection, education, health and law enforcement sectors, have been clearly set out in the newly issued inter-ministerial Guideline No.10 (dated 25.02.2015) “On the way and types of collaboration and intervention procedures to assist children at risk” approved by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Sports, and the Ministry of Interior.

The State Agency for Child Rights Protection, UNICEF, Save the Children, Terre des Hommes  and World Vision use the opportunity of the Children’s Day, with weeks remaining till the local elections, to call on candidates running for the new municipalities, to make public their commitment to children and give full and genuine priority to child protection. The State Agency for Child Rights Protection, UNICEF Terre des Hommes, Save the Children and World Vision stand ready to support the local governments in Albania in fulfilling their obligations, while monitoring the work of newly elected administrations in this area.