An important step toward the strengthening of child protection system

Tuesday 15 May 2018

UNICEF, OSCE Presence in Albania, Save the Children, Terre des hommes and World Vision today signed a Cooperation Agreement to coordinate their efforts to strengthen the child protection system at central and local level.

Under this agreement, these organizations will cooperate to increase the effectiveness of the work, the impact and sustainability of their interventions in the field of child protection such as:
1. Supporting knowledge and awareness raising of of professionals, children, parents and caregivers on child protection issues and violence against children;
2. Increasing the capacities, competences and quality of work of professionals and stakeholders working in the field of child protection at central and local level;
3. Supporting practices and procedures in identification, referral and case management;
4. Taking appropriate measures to support children in need of protection, by respecting the best interest of the child;
5. Supporting the accessibility, avalability and quality of preventive and response child protection services.
In Albania, at recent years there have been important changes in the field of child protection such as: Adoption of the Law on the Rights and Protection of Children and the Criminal Justice Code for Children in 2017, as well as the long-term national plan "Agenda 2020 for Children ", recently adopted by the government.  These changes provide an improved legal framework, in full compliance with international standards, and sustainable policies for children in need of protection.
However, there is still much to be done in terms of the functioning of a comprehensive child protection system. Estimates and the results to date on services and the capacity to fight all forms of violence are weak and challenge remains the implementation of policies. Other challenges are the inadequacy of financial and human resources in the field of child protection services, in accordance with adopted standards; capacity building of professionals; strengthening the multi-disciplinary approach to case management; the quality of protection services for children at risk or already affected by neglect, abuse or violence; establishment of an effective monitoring and reporting system; raising public awareness of children's rights and protection and the active participation of children.
"I strongly believe that this letter of cooperation will serve as the basis for a consistent, coherent and effective response to the child protection system in Albania. We are committed to supporting the Government of Albania to fulfill its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure the implementation of recently adopted laws"said Roberto De Bernardi, UNICEF Representative in Albania.