UNITED NATIONS

CCPR

International covenant on civil and political rights

Distr.GENERAL

CCPR/C/ALB/2004/116 February 2004

Original: ENGLISH

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 40 OF THE COVENANT

Initial report

Albania*

[2 February 2004]

* This report is issued unedited, in compliance with the wish expressed by the Human Rights Committee at its sixty‑sixth session in July 1999.

GE.04‑40395 (E) 280504

CONTENTS

Paragraphs Page

Introduction 1 ‑ 34

I.GENERAL PART OF THE REPORT 44

II.IMPLEMENTATION OF SPECIFIC ARTICLES OF THECOVENANT 5 ‑ 14764

Article 1.The right to self‑determination of peoples 5 ‑ 204

Article 2.Human rights and their protection 21 ‑ 1426

Article 3.Equality between the sexes 143 ‑ 26521

Article 4.Derogation of rights 266 ‑ 28352

Article 5.Restriction of rights 284 ‑ 30956

Article 6.Right to life 310 ‑ 35461

Article 7.Prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman anddegrading treatment or punishment 355 ‑ 55178

Article 8.Prohibition of slavery, servitude and compulsorywork 552 ‑ 596106

Article 9.Right to liberty and security of the person 597 ‑ 638113

Article 10.Rights of persons deprived from liberty 639 ‑ 750120

Article 11.Prohibition of imprisonment on the grounds of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation 751136

Article 12.The right to freedom of movement and to free choice of residence 752 ‑ 769136

Article 13.Expulsion of foreigners 770 ‑ 788139

Article 14.Equality of all persons before the courts 789 ‑ 874142

Article 15.Non retroactive force of criminal law 875 ‑ 876156

Article 16.The right to recognition as a person beforethe law 877 ‑ 882157

CONTENTS ( continued )

Paragraphs Page

Article 17.The right to respect of privacy, family, home andcorrespondence, and protection of honour and reputation 883 ‑ 938158

Article 18.Freedom of thought, conscience and religion 939 ‑ 956166

Article 19.Freedom of expression 957 ‑ 1002169

Article 20.Prohibition of propaganda for war and incitingnational, racial or religious hatred 1003 ‑ 1013174

Article 21.Right to peaceful assembly 1014 ‑ 1029175

Article 22.Freedom of association and the right to formand join trade unions 1030 ‑ 1114178

Article 23.Protection of the family, the right to marriageand equality of the spouses 1115 ‑ 1157198

Article 24.Rights of the child 1158 ‑ 1278207

Article 25.The right to participate in public affairs, votingrights and the right of equal access to publicservice 1279 ‑ 1329229

Article 26.Prohibition of discrimination 1330 ‑ 1389241

Article 27.The rights of minorities 1390 ‑ 1476251

Introduction

1.The Republic of Albania presents to the United Nations Human Rights Committee its initial report on the measures adopted by the Republic of Albania on the rights defined by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in compliance with its article 40.

2.The state report was drafted by a permanent group of experts from Albanian Government and NGO‑s, after discussions on the relevant issues and information based on the articles of the Covenant.

3.The Republic of Albania adhered to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with law no. 7510, dated 8 August 1991, proclaimed by the President of the Republic by Decree No. 19 of August 13, 1991. The Covenant was ratified on October 4, 1991 and entered into force with respect to Albania on 4th January 1992.

I. GENERAL PART OF THE REPORT

4.The general legal framework within which civil and political rights are ensured in the Republic of Albania has been described in the amended and revised CORE document that Albania presented to the United Nations in 2003.

II. IMPLEMENTATION OF SPECIFIC ARTICLES OF THE COVENANT

Article 1

The right to self‑determination of peoples

5.Pursuant to the principle of the United Nations Charter of the right of peoples right to self‑determination, the Republic of Albania respects the sovereignty, inviolability of borders, non‑interference in internal affairs of other states, the right of peoples to self‑determination and the respecting of fundamental human rights.

6.The Republic of Albania observes the accepted international provisions concerning the inter‑state relations and the principle of fostering the relations and mutual understanding among nations.

7.Albania proclaimed its independence on 28 November 1912, which was recognized by the London Treaty on 30 May 1913 and the Decision of the Ambassador’s Conference on 29 July 1913. Albania was accepted as member of the League of Nations on 17 December 1920 and became member of the United Nations on 14 December 1955.

8.The new Constitution was approved by the Parliament on 21 October 1998, after peoples referenda. The preamble and the following articles of the Constitutions are directly linked with the peoples right to self‑determination:

“We, the people of Albania, proud and aware of our history, with responsibility for the future, and with faith in God and/or other universal values,

with determination to build a social and democratic state based on the rule of law, and to guarantee the fundamental human rights and freedoms,

with a spirit of tolerance and religious coexistence,

with the pledge for the protection of human dignity and personhood, as well as for the prosperity of the whole nation, for peace, well‑being, culture and social solidarity, with the centuries‑old aspiration of the Albanian people for national identity and unity,

with a deep conviction that justice, peace, harmony and cooperation among nations are among the highest values of humanity,

We establish this Constitution.”

9.According to article 1 Albania is a parliamentary Republic. The Republic of Albania is a unitary and indivisible state. Governance is based on a system of elections that are free, equal, general and periodic.

10.Sovereignty in the Republic of Albania belongs to the people. The people exercise sovereignty through their representatives or directly. For the maintenance of peace and national interests, the Republic of Albania may take part in a system of collective security, on the basis of a law approved by a majority of all the members of the Assembly (article 2).

11.Article 3 stipulates that independence of the state and the integrity of its territory, dignity of the individual, human rights and freedoms, social justice, constitutional order, pluralism, national identity and inheritance, religious coexistence, as well as coexistence with, and understanding of Albanians for, minorities are the bases of this state, which has the duty of respecting and protecting them.

12.The law constitutes the basis and the boundaries of the activity of the state. The Constitution is the highest law in the Republic of Albania. The provisions of the Constitution are directly applicable, except when the Constitution provides otherwise (article 4).

13.The Republic of Albania applies international law that is binding upon it (article 5). Article 7 stipulates that the system of government in the Republic of Albania is based on the separation and balancing of legislative, executive and judicial powers.

14.The fundamental human rights and freedoms are indivisible, inalienable, and inviolable and stand at the basis of the entire juridical order. The organs of public power, in fulfilment of their duties, shall respect the fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as contribute to their realization (article 15).

15.According to article 122, any international agreement that has been ratified constitutes part of the internal juridical system after it is published in the Official Journal of the Republic of Albania. It is implemented directly, except for cases when it is not self‑executing and its implementation requires issuance of a law. The amendment, supplementing and repeal of laws approved by the majority of all members of the Assembly, for the effect of ratifying an international agreement, is done with the same majority.

16.An international agreement that has been ratified by law has superiority over laws of the country that are not compatible with it. The norms issued by an international organization have superiority, in case of conflict, over the laws of the country if the agreement ratified by the Republic of Albania for its participation in the organization expressly contemplates their direct applicability.

17.The people, through 50 thousand citizens who enjoy the right to vote, have the right to a referendum for the abrogation of a law, as well as to request the President of the Republic to hold a referendum about issues of special importance. The Assembly, upon the proposal of not less then one fifth of the deputies or the Council of Ministers, can decide that an issue or a draft law of special importance be presented for referendum. Law provides principles and procedures for holding a referendum, as well as its validity (article 150).

18.Albania is party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which entered into force in the Republic of Albania on October 4, 1991.

19.According to article 56, everyone has the right to be informed for the status of the environment and its protection. Furthermore, the state, within its constitutional powers and the means at its disposal, aims to create a sound and ecologically suitable environment for present and future and rational exploitation of forestry, waters, pastures and other natural resources on the basis of the principle of sustainable development (article 59).

20.In the framework of environmental protection and implementation of constitutional provisions, after 1998 a number of laws and by‑laws have been adopted in this regard.

Article 2

Human rights and their protection

21.A fundamental element of the constitutional democracy in Albania is the establishment of specific limitations of state’s rights over the individual. The Second Part of the Constitution, which refers to the “Fundamental human rights and freedoms”, lists the rights and guarantees of every individual, either Albanian or foreigner, enjoys towards states intervention in his private life.

22.Article 18 of the Constitution guarantees that all are equal before the law. No one may be unjustly discriminated against for reasons such as gender, race, religion, ethnicity, language, political, religious or philosophical beliefs, economic condition, education, social status, or ancestry. No one may be discriminated against for reasons mentioned above if reasonable and objective legal grounds do not exist.

23.Nevertheless this provision does not prevent the positive discrimination. It allows the particular treatment and support for special categories of individuals. For instance it allows educational incentives for talented students coming from families with low incomes, disabled persons, etc.

24.The fundamental rights and freedoms and the duties contemplated in this Constitution for Albanian citizens are also valid for foreigners and stateless persons in the territory of the Republic of Albania, except for cases when the Constitution specifically attaches the exercise of particular rights and freedoms with Albanian citizenship. The fundamental rights and freedoms and the duties contemplated in this Constitution are valid also for juridical persons so long as they comport with the general purposes of these persons and with the core of these rights, freedoms and duties (article 16).

25.Pursuant to article 17, the limitation of the rights and freedoms provided for in this Constitution may be established only by law for a public interest or for the protection of the rights of others. A limitation shall be in proportion with the situation that has dictated it. These limitations may not infringe the essence of the rights and freedoms and in no case may exceed the limitations provided for in the European Convention on Human Rights.

26.The second Part of the Constitution is entirely devoted to human rights and freedoms starting with the guaranteeing of individual’s rights, political, economic, social and cultural rights. This part provides in a particular chapter social objectives of Albania and general provisions on the institution of Peoples’ Advocate.

27.According to the Constitution, the life of a person is protected by law (article 21).

28.Freedom of expression is guaranteed. The freedom of the press, radio and television are guaranteed. Prior censorship of a means of communication is prohibited (article 22).

29.The right to information is guaranteed. Everyone has the right, in compliance with law, to get information about the activity of state organs, as well as of persons who exercise state functions (article 23).

30.According to article 24, freedom of conscience and of religion is guaranteed.

31.No one may be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading torture, punishment or treatment (article 25).

32.No one may be required to perform forced labour, except in cases of the execution of a judicial decision, the performance of military service, or for a service that results from a state of emergency, war or natural disaster that threatens human life or health (article 26).

33.No one’s liberty may be taken away except in the cases and according to the procedures provided by law (article 27).

34.Everyone whose liberty has been taken away has the right to be notified immediately, in a language that he understands, of the reasons for this measure, as well as the accusation made against him (article 28).

35.Article 35 of the Constitution stipulates, “no one may be obliged, except when the law requires it, to make public data connected with his person. The collection, use and making public of data about a person is done with his consent, except for the cases provided by law. Everyone has the right to become acquainted with data collected about him, except for the cases provided by law. Everyone has the right to request the correction or expunging of untrue or incomplete data or data collected in violation of law”.

36.The freedom and secrecy of correspondence or any other means of communication are guaranteed (article 36).

37.According to article 37, the inviolability of the residence is guaranteed.

38.Everyone has the right to choose his place of residence and to move freely to any part of the territory of the state (article 38).

39.Article 39 paragraph 9 guarantees the prohibition of collective expulsion of foreigners. The expulsion of individuals is permitted under the conditions specified by law.

40.Article 40 of the Constitution stipulates that foreigners have the right of refuge in the Republic of Albania according to law.

41.The right of private property is guaranteed (article 41).

42.According to the article 42, the freedom, property, and rights recognized in the Constitution and by law may not be infringed without due process.

43.Everyone has the right to appeal a judicial decision to a higher court, except when the Constitution provides otherwise (article 43).

44.Everyone has the right to be rehabilitated and/or indemnified in compliance with law if he is damaged because of an unlawful act, action or failure to act of the state organs (article 44).

45.Additionally, human rights and freedoms are protected, developed and exercised through the adoption of other laws and by‑laws by the Parliament and the Government, according to the constitutional provisions.

46.According to article 31 of the Constitution during a criminal proceeding, everyone has the right:

(a)to be notified immediately and in detail of the accusation made against him, of his rights, as well as to have the possibility created to notify his family or those close to him;

(b)to have the time and sufficient facilities to prepare his defence;

(c)to have the assistance without payment of a translator, when he does not speak or understand the Albanian language;

(d)to be defended by himself or with the assistance of a legal defender chosen by him; to communicate freely and privately with him, as well as to be assured of free defence when he does not have sufficient means;

(e)to question witnesses who are present and to seek the presentation of witnesses, experts and other persons who can clarify the facts.

47.Article 20 guarantees that persons who belong to national minorities exercise in full equality before the law the human rights and freedoms. They have the right to freely express, without prohibition or compulsion, their ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic belonging. They have the right to preserve and develop it, to study and to be taught in their mother tongue, as well as unite in organizations and societies for the protection of their interests and identity.

48.The Government considers the principle of non‑discrimination as an obligation deriving from the basic orientations of the Republic of Albania concerning the respect and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms. These right and freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution and the legislation in force, drafted in compliance with international standards.

49.Apart from the process of drafting the legislation and its practical implementation in order to prevent discrimination and intolerance, Albanian institutions have undertaken a number of measures aiming at fostering the mutual respect, understanding among all citizens living in Albania.

50.One of the main concerns of the non‑discrimination policy of the Albanian government is the protection of different minorities living in Albania, which is a fundamental element serving to the establishment of friendship bridges among neighbouring countries. In this context, the Albanian policy is based on two main pillars, as defined by the international instruments relating to the protection of minorities rights.

51.Legal guarantees and practical exercise of the right for a non‑discriminative treatment of citizens belonging to national and linguistic minorities, dealing with respecting of human rights, civil rights and political freedoms as foreseen by the Constitution and the legislation for all Albanian citizens.

52.The legislation into force guarantees undertaking of concrete measures for the protection of minorities’ rights, such as the right to freely express their belonging, maintenance and development of their identity through free and unhindered exercise of those particular elements characterizing their life as a minority, learning of their mother language, cultural activities, religion etc.

53.The right of the people belonging to national minorities to participate in activities of non‑governmental national or international organizations is not particularly contemplated in any legal act. However, the Albanian legislation does not restrain or prohibit persons belonging to national minorities or their associations or organizations from the right to participate in the activities of non‑governmental organizations at national or international level.

54.Like for all Albanian citizens, for the national minority people as well, the Albanian legislation contemplates the right to the freedom of movement without any obstacle to other states, the freedom of expression and organization, the freedom and secrecy of the correspondence, etc.

55.All these create the necessary span for the establishment and extension of their contacts and free participation in the activities of non‑governmental national or international organizations. The numerous joint activities held in Albania by non‑governmental organizations in mutual cooperation, with analogous organizations of different countries, with international organizations, and with the broad participation of the representatives of these organizations, is a clear testimony to this.

56.On the other hand, the participation of the people belonging to different national minorities in conferences, seminars or various activities in other states, up to conferences and seminars organized by the Council of Europe, or the participation and expression of their opinions on a variety of issues in forums such as the European Parliament, etc, are a clear proof of the fact that the members of the national minority in Albania are enjoying and exercising this right.

57.The article 19 of the Constitution provides that, everyone born of at least one parent with Albanian citizenship gains automatically Albanian citizenship. Albanian citizenship is gained also for other reasons provided by law. An Albanian citizen may not lose his citizenship, except when he gives it up.

58.According to article 1 of the Law “On citizenship”, No. 8389, dated on 5 August 1998, Albanian citizenship is a stable legal bond, expressed in the mutual rights and duties of an individual and the Albanian State. Albanian citizenship is acquired, reacquired, lost or relinquished in accordance with the provisions of this law, which respects the recognized rules and principles of international law in the area of citizenship accepted by the Republic of Albania.

59.Article 5 of this law stipulates that minors acquire and reacquire Albanian citizenship, and relinquish it with the approval of their parents. Any change in the citizenship of minors 14‑18 years old shall be made with the child’s consent.

According to this Law, Albanian citizenship is acquired by:

birth;

naturalization; and

adoption.

60.The acquisition of Albanian citizenship by birth changed by law no. 8442, dated 21 January 1999, according to which everyone who was borne, having at least as one his parents an Albanian citizen, acquires automatically the Albanian citizenship. The Law on Citizenship provides even the cases when minors risk becoming stateless.

61.A child born or found within the territory of the Republic of Albania acquires Albanian citizenship if he is born from unknown parents and would consequently become stateless. If the child’s parents become known before the child reaches the age of 14, and they hold foreign citizenship, Albanian citizenship can be relinquished at the request of his lawful parents, if the child does not become stateless because of this action (article 8).

62.This law has foreseen even the cases when a child is born by foreign parents (holding another citizenship). In this case the child can acquire the Albanian citizenship with the consent of both parents if are met two conditions:

First, the child was born within the territory of the Republic of Albania; and

Second, the parents are legally resident in the Republic of Albania.

63.According to article 9 of the Law on Citizenship, a foreigner who has submitted an application for acquisition of the Albanian citizenship by naturalization shall acquire it if he fulfils the following requirements:

he has reached the age of 18;

he has lawfully resided in the territory of the Republic of Albania for not less than five consequent years;

he has a dwelling and sufficient income;

he has never been sentenced in his state or in the Republic of Albania or in any third state for a criminal offence for which the law provides for a prison sentence of not less than five years.

64.If both parents acquire Albanian citizenship by naturalization, their children who have not reached the age of 18 and live with their parents become Albanian citizens at the request of the parents and with the consent of the child, if he is 14‑18 years old (article 11).

65.According to the same law article 17, applications for the acquisition, reacquisition or relinquishment of Albanian citizenship, together with documents required by this law, shall be filed with the organs of the Ministry of Public Order of the person’s place of residence or, if the person resides abroad, with the diplomatic or consular missions of the Republic of Albania.

66.The Ministry of Public Order, within six months from the filing date of the individual’s application, and in accordance with the requirements provided for in this law for the acquisition, reacquisition or loss of Albanian citizenship, shall decide whether to forward the application for acquiring, reacquiring or relinquishing the citizenship to the President of the Republic, who issues the relevant decree.

67.In the Republic of Albania there is no official religion. The state is neutral in questions of belief and conscience and guarantees the freedom of their expression in public life. The state and the religious communities mutually respect the independence of one another and work together for the good of each and all.

68.Religious communities are legal entities. They have independence in the administration of their properties according to their principles, rules and canons, to the extent that interests of third parties are not infringed.

69.Article 24 of the Constitution, guarantees that everyone is free to choose or to change his religion or beliefs, as well as to express them individually or collectively, in public or private life, through cult, education, practices or the performance of rituals. No one may be compelled or prohibited to take part in a religious community or its practices or to make his beliefs or faith public.

70.According to article 265 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania, inciting national, racial and religious hatred or conflict as well as preparing, propagating, or preserving with the intent of propagating, of writings with that content, is sentenced to a fine or to up ten years of imprisonment.

71.Obstructing the activities of religious organizations, ruining or damaging places of worship, obstructing religious ceremonies constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to one to three years of imprisonment (Criminal Code, articles 131, 132 and 133).

72.The provisions of the Criminal Code also provide that, the prohibition of the activities of the persons that desire to participate in the religious ceremonies or to express freely the religious belief, provides penal infringement and is sentenced to a fine or up to one year of imprisonment. The Law for Education does not permit the religious propaganda of every kind of faith.

73.With decision of the Council of Ministers no. 459, on 23 September 1999 was established a National Committee for Cults, which presents to the Ministry of education and science its opinions over the curricula, programs of subjects and the texts of the non‑laic part.

74.The Family Code provides the rights and obligations of parents and tutors concerning the child’s education. This Code does not inhibit the child to freely choose his religion.

75.It must be mentioned that religious communities, including religious representatives of minorities, have always been characterised by a strong and sincere feeling of harmony that is reflected in the relations among persons belonging to different religions and among religious persons and atheists.

76.The principle of non‑discrimination is also included in the provisions the Code of Administrative Procedures. Article 11 of this Code provides that:

(a)In relations with private persons, public administration is guided by the principle of equality, which means that no one will be privileged or discriminated because of his gender, race, religion, ethnicity, political, religious or philosophical opinions, economic, educational or social situation or paternal belonging.

(b)The actions of public administration, which by reason of protecting public interests or the rights of the others restrict the fundamental rights of the individuals guaranteed by the Constitution, international agreements, laws and by‑laws, should respect the principle of proportionality and should not infringe the substance of rights and freedoms. This means that the actions of the public administration should be done in such a manner that:

Require the realisation of legitimate public interests;

Always use appropriate means and in proportionality with the aims to be achieved.

At any case, the organs of public administration are obliged to estimate, when appropriate, that the aim is to be achieved by less repressive means, without compromising their effectiveness.

77.In order to guarantee the protection of citizens, one of the principles of public administration is the principle of internal administrative control external (judicial) control, according to he provisions of the Civil Procedural Code. Thus, article 324 of the Code and the following articles, foresee the right of presenting a lawsuit in case that an administrative act is claimed to be unlawful as well as when the rights and interests of individuals are infringed either directly or indirectly, collectively or individually.

78.Persons belonging to national minorities are also protected from discrimination even in the field of labour and social insurances. Article 9 of the Labour Code, which regulates the public and private labour relations, prohibits any kind of discrimination in employment and professional life.

79.Additionally, the legislation related to social insurances, such as health insurances, or insurances for every kind of pensions (invalidity or retirement), offers equal rights for all, regardless of race or nationality. An Appealing Commission is established in order to examine the disputes in this field, and its decisions are binding.

80.According to article 5 of law no. 8328, dated on 16 April 1998, “On the rights and treatment of the prisoners”, the prisoners are treated impartially or indiscriminately on account of their sex, nationality, race, economic and social conditions, political opinions and religious beliefs.

81.The Regulation of Prisons of the Republic of Albania, approved by the Council of Ministers with Decision no. 96 of 9 March 2000, in its articles 13, 45, and 63, provides for the communication in the language of the convicted persons, the way of serving the sentence, the rights and the obligations of prisoners, etc.

82.The Chapter VI of the Constitution provides for the creation of the institution of People’s Advocate, which defends the rights, freedoms and lawful interests of individuals from unlawful or improper actions or failures to act of the organs of public administration. The People’s Advocate is independent in the exercise of his duties (article 60).

83.According to article 63 of the Constitution, the People’s Advocate has the right to make recommendations and to propose measures when he observes violations of human rights and freedoms by the public administration. Public organs and officials are obliged to present to the People’s Advocate all documents and information requested by him.

84.Pursuant to law no. 8454, dated 4 February 1999 “On People’s Advocate” the role of this institution is to safeguard the rights, freedoms and lawful interests of individuals from unlawful or improper actions or failures to act of the organs of public administration or third parties acting on their behalf.

85.The People’s Advocate exercises his activity for the protection of human rights and freedoms as defined by the constitutional provisions and by the laws. The provisions of this law shall also apply to protect the rights of foreigners, whether they are residing lawfully in Albania or not, refugees, as well as stateless persons within the territory of the Republic of Albania, pursuant to the terms set forth by law.

86.Article 12 of law “On People’s Advocate” provides that: “Every individual, group of individuals or non‑governmental organization that claims that his/their rights, freedoms or lawful interests have been violated by the unlawful or improper actions or failures to act of the organs of the public administration shall have the right to complain or notify the People’s Advocate and to request his intervention to remedy the violation of the right or freedom.

87.The People’s Advocate shall maintain confidentiality if he deems it reasonable as well as when the person submitting the complaint, request or notification so requests” According to article 29, the People’s Advocate may assist, give opinions and make recommendations in the drafting of reports and other documents by the Albanian State on human rights and freedoms in the Republic of Albania”.

88.By monitoring the functioning the public administration the institution of People’s Advocate guarantees the equal treatment of citizens by the administration. This is realized mainly through negotiations, impartiality and broadest standards of justice. The most distinct features of the People’s Advocate are its independence from the Government and from any political interference, easiness in contacts, rapidity, flexibility, effectiveness and the power of its recommendations.

89.The existence of the institution of the People’s Advocate has a positive impact in the activity of the public administration, for the mere reason that this institution is a third party that observes the relations of individuals with the administration. On the other hand, the People’s Advocate works to raise the awareness of the public to be better informed about the law “On People’s Advocate”, especially concerning the possibility of presenting claims to it by means of an easy procedure and without costs.

90.According to article 73 of Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania “the execution of a premeditated plan aiming at the total or partial destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group directed towards its members, and combined with the following acts, such as: intentionally killing a group’s members, serious physical and psychological harm, placement in difficult living conditions which cause physical destruction, applying birth preventing measures, as well as the obligatory transfer of children from one group to another, is sentenced with no less than ten years of imprisonment, or with life imprisonment”.

91.Article 74 of Criminal Code stipulates that killing, massacres, slavery, internal exile and deportation, as well as every act of torture or other inhuman violence committed, pursuant to a intentional concrete plan, against a group of civilians for political, ideological, racial, ethnic and religious reasons, are sentenced with no less than fifteen years of imprisonment, or with life imprisonment.

92.Article 253 of the Criminal Code provides that, discrimination by a worker holding a state function or public service conducted because of his capacity or during its exercise, when the discrimination is based upon origin, sex, health situation, religious or political beliefs, trade‑union activity or because of belonging to a particular ethnic group, nation, race or religion, which consists in creating unfair privileges or in refusing a right or benefit deriving by law, is sentenced to a fine or up to five years of imprisonment.

93.According to article 265, inciting national, racial and religious hatred or conflict as well as preparing, propagating, or preserving with the intent of propagating, of writings with that content, is sentenced to a fine or to up ten years of imprisonment. Endangering public peace by calling for national hatred against other parts of the population, by insulting or defaming them, or by requesting the use of force or arbitrary actions against them, is sentenced to a fine or up to five years of imprisonment (article 266).

94.Article 46 of the Constitution provides that everyone has the right to organize collectively for any lawful purpose. The registration of organizations or associations with the court is done according to the procedure provided by law. Organizations or societies that pursue unconstitutional purposes are prohibited pursuant to law.

95.Articles 7/d and 8 of the law no. 8580 of 17 February 2000 “On Political Parties” provide that it is prohibited the registration of a party when its founding documents explicitly express incitement and support for racial, religious, regional or ethnic hatred. The anti‑constitutional activities of political parties are prohibited. The Constitutional Court decides the finding of an anti‑constitutional activity of a political party and its prohibition. This law does not inhibit the foundation of political parties on entirely ethnic basis.

96.Article 30 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Albania provides that a legal person may conduct any juridical action allowed by law, in the document of the establishment or in the statute, whereas according to article 39 associations are social organizations that pursue political, scientific, cultural, religious, charitable, or any other non‑profit goals. The competent authority for the registration of the association is Court of the First Instance in whose territory the association will conduct its activities.

97.According to the article 52/ç of Civil Code, an association may be dissolved, inter alia, by a competent court decides that the association does not intend to fulfil the purposes specified in the statute or the association has started an illegal activity.

98.Freedom of peaceful meetings and without arms, as well the participation in them is guaranteed by the Constitution, article 47. In addition, the law “On the Right of Meeting”, No. 8145 of 11 September 1996, provides that in the Republic of Albania, the right of public meeting is guaranteed to all citizens, regardless of their sex, race, colour, language, religion, ethnicity, economic, financial, educational and social conditions, political opinions, paternal belonging or any kind of personal circumstances.

99.Article 224 of Criminal Code provides that founding of or participating in parties, organizations or associations which intent to violently overturn the constitutional order is sentenced to a fine or up to three years of imprisonment. Re‑founding a party, organization or association which was previously banned as anti‑constitutional or the continuation of their activity in an open or covert way, is sentenced from one to five years of imprisonment.

100.Furthermore, article 269 of Criminal Code provides that forced obstruction of the lawful activity of political parties, organizations or associations constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to two years of imprisonment.

101.According to the Criminal Code, committing of crimes by an armed gang or criminal organization shall be sentenced according to respective criminal provisions adding five more years to the sentence given for the crime committed, when the referring provision contains imprisonment and another lighter punishment, but without exceeding the maximum term of imprisonment.

102.When the respective criminal provision contains imprisonment or life imprisonment or the death penalty, it is sentenced to twenty‑five years of imprisonment or to life imprisonment. When the respective criminal provision contains only life imprisonment, it is sentenced to life imprisonment. Therefore, if a crime is committed against a particular ethnic, racial, religious group, etc, by an armed gang or criminal organization, it is sentenced by harder punishments.

103.The right of individuals to choose their place of residence and to move freely to any part of the territory of the state is foreseen in article 38 of the Constitution. This right is guaranteed either to Albanian nationals or to persons belonging to national minorities or different racial groups.

104.Pursuant to law no. 7652, dated on 23 December 1992, “On the privatisation of State dwellings” the Government must provide housing for a particular category of homeless individuals. In addition, the Government applies a special housing policy towards orphans, blind persons, invalids, etc.

105.The provisions of the law no. 8030, dated on 15 November 1995 “On state contribution towards homeless families” define the ways by which the Government provides a special treatment for homeless families. Every Albanian citizen is entitled to profit the facilities foreseen by this law in case he fulfils the requirements, regardless of his racial or ethnic belonging and so on.

106.The Constitution, in its article 57, foresees the right of everyone to education and law determining mandatory school education. It also provides the open character of general high school public education for all and the conditioning of professional high school education and higher education only on criteria of abilities.

107.As was mentioned above, the Constitution guarantees the rights of individuals belonging to national minorities and the principle of non‑discrimination and particularly, their right to be taught in their mother tongue.

108.Albanian Constitution and legislation, especially law no. 7952, dated on 21.06.1995 “On pre‑university education system” sanctions the observance of international standards and norms concerning the protection of human rights and elimination of discrimination cases, by stating that education in the Republic of Albania is a national priority, it is conducted in conformity with international agreements and treaties ratified by the Republic of Albania” and “…respects the rights of the child and adults sanctioned in these documents (article 1).

109.This law offers a broad and multidimensional overview of the integrity of the principle of non‑discrimination, protection of individuals from discrimination, treating them in the context of accomplishing the obligations, principles and standards of international agreements on fundamental human rights and freedoms in the field of education.

110.In addition, this Law guarantees:

the equal right of Albanian citizens to be educated in all levels of pre‑university education, regardless of their social state, nationality, mother tongue, sex, religion, race, political opinions, health state and economic level (article 3);

the right of national minorities to education in their mother tongue, to study their national history and culture, (article 10);

the right of children of age 3‑6 years to pre‑school public education (articles 17‑19);

the right of citizens to study in public high schools, either general or professional, after the termination of obligatory education (articles 26‑28 and 33‑37);

the right of public education framework for qualification (articles 14, 41);

the right of Albanian and foreign citizens to private, laic or religious education (articles 43‑48) and right of transferring from private to public schools (article 45).

111.The above‑mentioned aspects of the law “On pre‑university education system” reflect the obligations deriving from a number of international agreements ratified by Albania, including the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (article 7); the provisions of the Convention against the Discrimination in the Field of Education (articles 2‑5) as well as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (article 10), etc.

112.Law “On higher education in the Republic of Albania”, no. 8461, dated 25 February 1999 sanctions the right of Albanian and foreign citizens to higher education, either public or private, in Albania (articles 1 and 31); the right to graduation in more than one field of study (article 42); the right of recognition and to equivalent diplomas, certificates and grades obtained in higher foreign schools (article 43); the right to pre‑university specialised education and to scientific qualification (articles 37‑39); the right to be admitted in higher public schools through exams (article 31); the right of academic institutions to be autonomous (article 7).

113.In these articles are included the basic requirements for respecting human rights in the field of higher education and other specialisations, which exclude any form of discrimination in this respect.

114.With regard to foreign or stateless citizens, they equally enjoy in the territory of the Republic of Albania the fundamental rights and freedoms granted in the Constitution for Albanian citizens, except for cases when the Constitution specifically attaches the exercise of particular rights and freedoms with Albanian citizenship.

115.Foreigners have the right of refuge in the Republic of Albania according to law, (article 40 of the Constitution). The collective expulsion of foreigners is prohibited. The expulsion of individuals is permitted under the conditions specified by law, (article 39/3).

116.The entry, residence and treatment of foreigners in the Republic of Albania is regulated by law no. 7939, dated 25 May 1995 “On migration”, law no. 8492, dated on 27 May 1999, “On foreigners” and the Decision of the Council of Ministers, No. 439, dated on 4 August 2000 “On Entry, Residence and Treatment of Foreigners in the Republic of Albania”.

117.Articles 3 and 4 of the Law “On migration” provide that this law recognizes and observes the general principles of international acts. Albanian civil servants in the public administration, who are engaged in the implementation of this law, or other related by‑laws, exercise their duties in accordance with the general principles of international acts and other international obligations of Albania, regardless of gender, race, colour or religion of persons, who seek to enter, leave or reside in the Republic of Albania.

118.According to articles 26, 27 and 28 of the law “On Migration”, it is prohibited the expulsion, return, deportation out of the territory of the Republic of Albania of those persons who have a well‑founded fear that their life or freedom is at risk because of their race, gender, religion, nationality, political opinions, or belonging to a particular social group, to the territory where this risk exists.

119.The principle of non‑discrimination is also included in the provisions of the Law on Asylum, no. 8432, dated on 14 December 1998. According to this law, the Republic of Albania recognizes and observes the right of individuals, who have acquired the right of asylum “not to be expelled out of the Albanian territory” to a state where their life and freedom are endangered because of their race, religion, nationality, belonging to a particular social group or political opinions.

120.After the collapse of communist regime and ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights the Albanian Parliament has enacted a number of laws in order to enable practical implementation of the Covenant. The most important of them are the Criminal Code, Civil Code, Codes of Criminal and Civil Procedure, Family Code, Labour Code, Law on Political Parties, Law on People’s Advocate, Law on Advocacy, etc.

121.According to article 122 of the Constitution, any international agreement that has been ratified constitutes part of the internal juridical system after it is published in the Official Journal of the Republic of Albania. It is implemented directly, except for cases when it is not self‑executing and its implementation requires issuance of a law. An international agreement that has been ratified by law has superiority over laws of the country that are not compatible with it.

122.The norms adopted by international organizations prevail, in case of conflict, over domestic laws, when the ratified agreement by the Republic of Albania concerning its participation in that organization provides for direct application of norms adopted by it.

123.With a view to make effective the rights embodied in CCPR, the Albanian Government has included in the curricula of eight years education, high schools and academic institutions particularly in the curricula of Law Faculties information on the provisions of this covenant.

The right to petition

124.According to article 60 of the Constitution and article 2 of Law on People’s Advocate, this institution defends the rights, freedoms and lawful interests of individuals from unlawful or improper actions or failures to act of the organs of public administration or third parties acting on its behalf.

125.As a consequence, under the jurisdiction of the People’s Advocate fall the Government, ministries, other central institutions such as national committees for recession of property, intelligence services, National Bank and banks with state capitals, organs of local government where are included prefectures, districts, municipalities and communes as well as those public institutions or authorities acting on behalf of the organs of public administration and the institutions depending on them either central or local.

126.Similarly to other countries where the Ombudsman institution operates, in Albania the institution of People’s Advocate has not decision‑making competences in relation to the organs of public administration, but only the right to make recommendations. This does not imply that the People’s Advocate has not the proper means to defend he rights and freedoms of individuals. The right of this institution to follow the cases step by step, according to the hierarchy of the administration, until the submission of he case to the Parliament, as well as its transparency, close cooperation with NGO‑s and media, guarantee the success of the task it is in charge of.

127.Each person, group of individuals, or non‑governmental organisation that pretend their legitimate rights and interests are violated by an act, activities or inactions of the central and local administration or other public authority, may submit complaints, requests or other notification to the People’s Advocate concerning the particular case. He may also, for particular cases, which are made public, initiate the procedure of investigation with his own initiative, but taking afterwards the approval of the interested or the offended person.

128.The People’s Advocate is entitled to request from organs of administration any information or document pertaining to the case he is investigating, or to conduct independent investigations on the ground, to be provided with any dossier or other material related to his investigation, to interrogate any person, who, according to him, is related to the case under investigation or to conduct himself or ask for expertise.

129.He is entitled to be provided with information or documents classified as confidential. Under these circumstances he is obliged to respect the restrictions for the protection of state secret. The People’s Advocate may not be prohibited to enter any offices of above‑mentioned administration organs, as well as prisons, detaining centres or other institutes where the rights of individuals are restricted. He also would not be prohibited to talk privately to detained persons in these institutes. All these rights arise from the interpretation of the Constitution and the law “On People’s Advocate” as well as from the international precedents in the activities of Ombudsman institutions.

130.According to article 22 of the law, the organs to which the People’s Advocate has submitted a recommendation, request or proposal for dismissal shall review the recommendation, request or proposal for dismissal and shall reply within 30 days from the date the recommendation, request or proposal for dismissal is delivered. The reply shall include reasoned explanations on the specific case as well as the actions, omissions or measures undertaken by that organ.

131.If the People’s Advocate does not consider sufficient the reply or measures an organ has undertaken, he shall have the right to refer the case to the higher organ in hierarchy. If [the violations] are repetitive or the respective organ does not respond to the recommendations of the People’s Advocate, the latter may present to the Assembly a report, which shall include proposals for specific measures to remedy the violations.

132.The right of People’s Advocate to make legislative recommendations is a very important and effective tool to prevent violation of human rights. If the People’s Advocate finds that it is the content of a statute or other legal act and not its application that leads to violation of human rights recognized by the Constitution or other laws, he shall have the right to:

(a)recommend to the organs vested with legislative initiative to propose amendments and improvement to the statute;

(b)propose to the Administration to amend and improve by‑laws acts; or

(c)recommend to the Constitutional Court to invalidate those acts.

133.The institution of People’s Advocate pays a special attention to contacts with the petitioners, because its role is to assist the resolution of people’s needs. Its duty is to prevent or to detect the violations of human rights and freedoms, with a view to resolve the consequences resulting from that violation.

134.It is very important that this institution be open and disposed for anyone who needs its assistance. Every Albanian or foreign citizen may contact at any time during working hours from 8.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. the officials of People’s Advocate. The People’s Advocate and Commissioners organize meetings with the interested persons. There is installeda phone line free of charge at the disposal of individuals and particularly to the prisoners, detained or persons kept in custody, who may present their complaints, requests, explanations and information regarding the case.

135.Citizens may address themselves to the People’s Advocate in different ways. According to the procedure, the complaints may be submitted to the People’s Advocate in a written form. In urgent cases, the complaint may be presented by phone as well, but soon it should be submitted in a written form, otherwise the procedure examining case is interrupted. Anonymous complaints or requests are not accepted.

136.In cases when the complaint submitted is not complete, because the relevant documents are lacking, the People’s Advocate may ask for its completion or he makes direct inquiries at the institution to which the complaint is addressed, if such a thing is evident in the complaint. In many cases, the conversation with the complainant is necessary to demonstrate properly the case under investigation, especially where it is complicated and needs many explanations. The institution of People’s Advocate realizes many meetings also out of its premisesin variousdistricts of country.

137.Some of the submitted complaints may not be under the People’s Advocate jurisdiction, or do not meet the conditions to be dealt by this institution. In such cases, the petitioner will get feedback by the People’s Advocate as soon as possible, within one month at the latest, advising the petitioner about the steps to be taken, which are the possibilities left, or which are the legal means to be used before the complaint is examined by the People’s Advocate.

138.As a rule, at first, the People’s Advocate sends to concerned institutions a short concentrate description of the case submitted, and asks for detailed explanations about it. At the same time, he settles the deadline, within which he expects the response by the institution to which the complaint is addressed. This deadline depends on the emergency of the case and the range of its complication, but it should not exceed 30 days. Sometimes, when the difficulty of the case is so that deadline cannot exceed a certain time, the People’s Advocate might do his verifications by phone or fax.

139.After conducting his investigations for a certain case, the People’s Advocate compiles a report related to the case and which contains his conclusions, and may submit it to the concerned parties to the case. The report contains the assessment of the People’s Advocate on facts and circumstances of each case, indicating which of the human rights are impinged and who are the responsible persons that have caused those impingements.

140.At the same time, he may propose the remedies for the impinged right. He may also propose relevant compensations for the harm caused against the individual as result of impingement of his right. The People’s Advocate may require that the institution, which has caused the impingement of individual’s right, should address to him its excuses for that.

141.The People’s Advocate submits every year to the Assembly an annual report for the conducted work. A copy of it should be sent to the President of the Republic and to the Council of Ministers.

142.Annual reports and special reports are made public and they have to be published no later than one month from the date of debate for it/them in the Parliament. A copy thereof in English language must be published and issued by Office of the People’s Advocate homologue institutions of other countries as well as international institutions related to this institution.

Article 3

Equality between the sexes

143.The principle of equality between men and women is an integral part of the Albanian legal system drawn in the Constitution and domestic legislation. As mentioned above, article 18 of the Constitution provides that all are equal before the law. No one may be unjustly discriminated against for reasons such as gender, race, religion, ethnicity, language, political, religious or philosophical beliefs, economic condition, education, social status, or ancestry.

144.The Constitution, in its articles 15 to 58 guarantees the civil, political, economic and cultural rights for all citizens, but it does not define the notion of discrimination. While, as regards international acts, article 122 provides that an international agreement that has been ratified by law has superiority over laws of the country that are not compatible with it.

145.According to these principles asserted by the Constitution, which are also in conformity with the classic provisions of international law, other human rights are developed. Apart from the Constitution, civil rights are sanctioned in particular laws and codes.

Civil Code

146.According to article 1 every physical person enjoys full and equal capacity in order to have civil rights and obligations, within the limits defined by law.

147.Article 2 provides that juridical capacity is acquired at the time the person is born alive and ends with his death. When the child is born alive, it enjoys judicial capacity from the time of the pregnancy. Meanwhile, the person who reaches eighteen years old acquires the full right to act so that by his acts he gains rights and holds civil obligations. According to the article 4, civil rights of a physical person cannot be limited, except exclusions provided by law. The juridical action that places limits to the legal capacity of a physical person is invalid.

148.With regard to females, the Code provides that when they get married before 18 years old, acquire full legal capacity and capacity to act even before this age and they do not loose this capacity even when the marriage is declared invalid or divorced before reaching the age of eighteen years old.

Right to marriage

149.The new Family Code (law no. 9062, date 08.05.2003) constitutes a significant step towards the protection of woman with regard to the elimination of the discrimination in terms of marriage age, because the Code of year 1982 provided the 16 years age for females and 18 years for males to be joined by marriage, while article 7 of current Family Code provides that a man and a woman may be joined by marriage if they are over 18 years.

150.The district court where the marriage is concluded for appropriate reasons would allow the marriage before that age as well. Thus, article 7 does not make any difference between two genders with regard to the age of marriage.

151.Albanian Constitution, Family Code and Civil Code guarantee equality in family. According to article 53 of Constitution any individuals have, the right to get married and to have family, as well as the marriage and family are under a special protection by the state.

152.Marriage and its dissolution are regulated by the provisions the Family Code (law no. 9062 of 08.05.2003) and of Civil Code. New Family Code established many insights, which regulate relations that emerged during the transition period. More than ever before in this Code the right of equality between husband and wife are set forth. Chapter II provides the rights and obligations arising from marriage. Article 50 stipulates that under marriage, the husband and wife have the equal rights and the same obligations.

153.According to article 8, the marriage is concluded in the presence of a registrar, with the free consent of both spouses. The new Code has foreseen a special form for joining in marriage, by means of announcement, which consists of putting up the relevant poster at appropriate places by City Hall or Municipality. A new subject to the Code is also the representative with special power of attorney who is authorized by spouses for carrying out various procedures with regard to the conclusion of marriage.154.Article 51 of the Family Code provides that husband and wife have the right to chose since the conclusion of marriage as family name either of their both previous surnames or not to change them. Actually there have been rare cases where after conclusion of marriage, the spouses have not changed their previous surnames or furthermore to own as family name the previous wife’s surname. This results from the patriarchal tradition and considering husband as the head of the family.

155.The New Family Code abrogates articles 86 and 87 of Civil Code consisting of property of spouses. Chapter III of New Family Code provides general and special provisions in terms of conjugal wealth rule. To that aim, the conclusion by signature of a contract before marriage in order to be provided the rule they have decided, which would not be in contradiction to the provisions of this Code and respective legislation. Article 74 provides also the elements of the set of legal rules, whereas article 77 sets out the items of personal property.

156.Number of marriages is greater in rural districts comparing big cities (10 to 1). The trend of young people, especially in urban districts, is to get married at an advanced age. Marriage with foreign nationals began to be concluded in 1990, after being prohibited for 30 years.

157.Before ‘90s extramarital relations of unmarried young couple, recognized in developed societies, was uncommon in Albania. In the past extramarital relations out of legal civil marriage was condemnable by administrative procedures, whereas now it is recognized and accepted by the majority of young people living in urban areas.

158.Under these circumstances was acknowledged as indispensable its providence in Family Code. In two articles, concretely in articles 163 and 164 is set forth the meaning of extramarital relations as a factual join between a man and a woman who live as couple, characterized by a joint living, which is stable and continual, as well as conclusion at a notary of a contract where are provided the consequences in respect of children and property during cohabitation.

Termination of marriage

159.Article 123 provides clauses of terminating a marriage:

When one of spouses dies;

When one of spouses is declared dead;

In case of dissolution of marriage.

Divorce

By mutual consent. In this case, both spouses are addressed to court by means of a request followed by a draft‑agreement that regulates the consequences of marriage dissolution. Court, after obtaining evidences that there is a mutual consent, which is real and unimpeded, gives its approval for the dissolution of marriage.

By request of one spouse. In this case, article 132 sets out the reasons grounds for the dissolution of marriage.

160.Article 137 provides the case of pending trial by pregnant wife’s request up to one year since her pregnancy. There were an increasing number of divorces in Albania during ’80s. Total number of divorces was 2024 in 1980, while 2597 in 1988. In year 1989, from 100 married women, 9.5 were divorced. In two first years of transition, there were a significant increasing number of divorcements. In 1991, it was maximum figure having one divorcement every 10 marriages.

161.In the big cities this percentage was even higher. This culmination (not confirmed by the subsequent data) is possible because of the fact that in these years failed marriages for along time have been officially dissolved. In the recent years the number of divorces has dropped in proportion with the number of new marriages (from 7.5 divorces out of 100 marriages to 5.9 divorces in 1997). After 1997 there is an increasing tendency of the number of divorces.

Marriages and divorces(1990‑1999)

Year

Marriages

Divorces

Total

Per 1 000 inhabitants

Total

Per 100 marriages

1990

28 992

8.9

2 675

9.2

1991

24 853

7.6

2 236

9.0

1992

26 405

8.3

2 480

9.4

1993

25 963

8.2

2 251

8.7

1994

27 895

8.7

2 108

7.6

1995

26 989

8.3

2 331

8.6

1996

27 690

8.4

1 901

6.9

1997

24 122

7.3

1 430

5.9

1998

27 871

8.3

2 005

7.2

1999

27 254

8.1

2 114

7.8

162.The difference by previous percentages of divorces is the ratio between sexes who have submitted a lawsuit for divorce. In 1993, 1,304 men and 1,589 women submitted a lawsuit for divorce, in 1994, 1,297 were men and 1,454 were women, and in 1996, 1,114 were men and 1,151 were women. The level of their unemployment has most probably affected the dropping of percentages of the lawsuits for divorce by women, which is higher than that of men, which makes women economically dependent on their husbands.

163.Chapter III “effects of marriage dissolution”, article 147, provides that the court may oblige one of the ex spouses to shell out in the account of the other spouse a financial contribute destined to compensate as much as possible inequalities that may cause in the life of the other spouse division of property after the dissolution of marriage, apart from the obligation for nutrition. The court decides this contribution, which may be provided immediately or periodically. Article 149 foresees also the circumstances when this compensation should be given.

164.With regard to obligation for nutrition of one the spouses towards the other one; article 199 of new Family Code determines a time limit no more than six years. One of the spouses is entitled to claim the financial contribution of the other spouse, in case he or she is incapable to work or has no sufficient means for living.

165.Concerning the use of house that is property of one of the spouses, article 153 foresees the cases when ex spouse who is not the owner of the house may live even after the dissolution of the marriage. Children are under the responsibility of one of the ex spouses who is not the owner of the house, until the children become mature.

166.When the spouse who owns the house claims the dissolution of the marriage, his/her right can be exercised for 7 years. When ex‑spouse who is not the owner of the house has installed a professional cabinet in the house with a great value, whose removal needs a lot of expenses, the right of use the house until 3 years. In these cases the court determines the amount of rent to be paid, taking into consideration the incomes of the ex‑spouse who is not the owner of the house.

Family rights

167.Family is the most durable institution of the Albanian society. Nevertheless, economic changes have caused a reduction of family members. In the early ‘80s, rural families were composed of 6.2 members, whereas in 1989 the number was reduced in 5.3 members. Furthermore, the number of family members in urban areas was reduced from 4.6 members to 3.9.

168.Changes in the family structure as a result of the communist and transition period have distinctly affected gender relations. In the past, the strong patriarchal orientation of Albanian families gave the men the possibility to dominate in local politics and economic decision‑making. Instead, at present, the market economy has created an unclear situation of the roles of men and women. The majority families are still composed of the husband, wife, unmarried children and spouses and the children of the married sons.

169.Another effect of the transition period is the decrease of age for marriage of rural women, since the majority of young people emigrate. This affects the education of young women who often are engaged and married before they terminate their schooling.

170.Young married couples live normally with the parents of husband or wife (in rare cases), as long as their revenues allow them to have their own house. In a house composed of the husband and wife, the later may enjoy the same status with her husband if they contribute to the family revenues and give birth to a male.

171.The number of families with one parent is increasing. Even though there is a lack of precise data, families with one parent are mainly because of natural death. Partial observations indicate that women run 80% of the housework as a single parent.

Family and child policy

172.Concerning the policies towards children the Government has approved the national strategy on children. There are no particular policies concerning families. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs offers financial assistance only to families in need by making a categorization according to certain conditions.

Ownership

173.Article 41 of the Constitution guarantees the right of private property, by defining also the ways of gaining the property (by gift, inheritance, purchase, or any other classical means provided by the Civil Code). This principle is dealt also by article 153 of the Civil Code, which prevents full or partial loss of property gained legally (excluding the cases of expropriation for public necessities).

174.Civil Code provides the loss of property (article 191) when it is acquired by another person, or when renounced and it is recognised when done through a notary act and is registered. Furthermore, the registration of immovable properties must be done according to the provisions of article 192 of Civil Code.

175.Title III of the Code deals with co‑ownership of two or more individuals (which is assumed to be equal for all unless the contrary is verified). Every co‑owner has rights and obligations deriving from their property, but they cannot sell their part of property without giving the possibility to the other co‑owners to buy it (article 204).

176.Inheritance by law is applied when the person leaving the inheritance has not made a will or has made it only for a part of his property or when the will is entirely or partially invalid, (article 317 of the Civil Code). A person has capacity to inherit when at the time of the opening of the inheritance, is alive or has been conceived before the death of the person leaving the inheritance and is born alive (art. 320). In the first row are called in inheritance the children and the spouse able or unable to work, each inheriting in equal parts (article 361);

177.When besides the spouse there are no other heirs of the first row, those of the succeeding row as set forth in article 362 of this Code are called in inheritance and, when there are no such, heirs of the next succeeding row as set forth in article 363 of this Code are called. In any event the spouse receives 1/2 of the inheritance.

178.Inheritance by will. Referring to the article 373 any person who has completed eighteen years as well as a woman under that age, when she is married, may make a will (it should be mentioned that in case of co‑ownership one of the spouses may include in his/her will only 50% of the property created during the marriage).

179.At any case, according to article 379, the person leaving an inheritance can neither exclude from legal inheritance his minor children or other minor heirs who inherit but who are not in the first row, ore those who inherit according to legal provisions. Practically speaking, a property gained during the marriage belongs equally to the spouses, as long as the contrary is proved in the court. None of the spouses may decide by law the share of property of the other spouse.

Access to judiciary

180.While legal provisions are consistent with the protection of fundamental human rights, practical access of women to judicial system to obtain redress is restricted by a number of difficulties:

First of all women are not always aware of full extent of their rights and therefore rarely act upon it. Legal literacy activities and legal awareness campaigns have been carried out by non‑governmental organizations, but they efforts are limited mainly due to lack of funding. No specific governmental programme exists to improve legal literacy of women.

Secondly, especially in civil cases, legal proceedings are often very long and therefore expensive for the plaintiffs, in practice limiting access of poorer groups to legal redress. In fact even though persons may start a civil action of their own motion, procedures are fairly complex and require the assistance of a legal representative, not provided by public means.

Access to free legal services

181.Article 6 of the Criminal Procedure Code guarantees legal aid. A defendant is entitled to self‑defence or to defence by a defence lawyer. In case of insufficient means, he shall be provided legal aid. In civil cases, the parties may defend themselves, except for the cases when representation is mandatory, (article 22 of the Civil Procedural Code).

182.According to article 85 these cases are related to the condition and capacity to act of persons; interests of minors when they are under guardianship, the cases considered by the Supreme Court, the instances when it is set forth by the law.

183.Even though in theory legal aid is possible (there is no legal provision against it), in practice, remunerated attorneys of their choice assist plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases. Free legal assistance to vulnerable group in civil cases is at present provided by governmental associations (both national and international). In particularly the Women’s Advocacy Centre provides women with legal aid in cases of divorce, separation, alimony, child custody, paternity etc.

184.The right of name ‑ Every physical person has the right and obligation to have his/her name and surname. After being married, the wife usually takes the surname of her husband, regardless that she is entitled by the legislation to keep also her surname. After being divorced women retakes her maiden name but she can also keep the surname of her ex‑spouse only for reasonable grounds.

185.The right of residence ‑ according to the Civil Code and article 55 of Family Code, everyone may chose freely his residence and after the marriage the question of residence is resolved in agreement between the two spouses taking into account the interests of their children and better fulfilment of the interests of their family. In reality, being affected by the tradition and customs, woman after her marriage goes in her husband’s house, who becomes head of the family and by the law and customs it is up to him to decide the residence of their family.

186.Inheritance ‑ The legislation provides equality between men and women who, by means of legal acts, may gain civil rights and undertake obligations by concluding contracts, different agreements, or by legal inheritance.

187.Albanian legislation provides equal rights for the daughter and son in the family with regard to gaining inheritance by law. But, in practical terms, in most of the cases, is the husband who inherits the family’s land.

188.Citizenship ‑ As was mentioned previously, the Constitution and the Law on Albanian Citizenship (law no. 8389 of 05.08.1998) provide the legal bases for Albanian citizenship. According to article 19 of the Constitution every child born of at least one parent (be it the father or the mother) with Albanian nationality gains automatically Albanian nationality.

189.Article 6 of the Law on Citizenship provides that Albanian citizenship is acquired by birth, naturalization and adoption, while article 10 foresees that a foreigner married to an Albanian citizen for not less than three years may acquire, if he/she so wishes, Albanian citizenship. Therefore marriage is not a criterion for acquiring or losing Albanian citizenship. Being that Albania is party to the Convention of 1954 on the marital status of women, Albanian legislation on Albanian Citizenship follows the guidelines and is in compliance with the convention.

Participation in political and public affairs

190.The participation of women in political and public life includes particularly their right to participate in all elections and public and political referendums, to be elected in all political elected bodies, to participate in designing and implementing governmental policies, to work in public and political institutions at all levels, to participate in non‑governmental bodies dealing with the public and political life of the country.

191.All these basic rights are guaranteed by the Constitution (arts. 45, 46 and 48), but statistical data prove that in Albania management and political posts, in government and public decision‑making structures are mostly taken by men despite the fact that women’s education level is equal, and often higher, than men’s.

Statistical data

Composition of the Government, January 2000

Post

Number

%

Male

Female

Male

Female

Prime Minister

1

0

Vice/Prime Minister

0

1

Ministers

14

2

87.5

12.5

Vice Ministers

16

4

80

20

Directors

82

23

78.1

21.9

Head and member of courts by sex ‑ year 2000

Post

Number

%

Male

Female

Male

Female

Head of Supreme Court

1

0

100

0

Head of Constitutional Court

1

0

100

0

Head of Appeal Court

4

2

66.7

33.3

Members of Supreme Council of Justice

13

2

86.7

13.3

Member of Supreme Court

12

5

70.6

29.4

Member of Constitutional Court

8

1

88.9

11.1

Member of Appeal Court

30

13

69.8

30.2

Universities staff by sex ‑ January 2000

Post

Number

%

Male

Female

Male

Female

Rector

8

1

89

11

Vice/Rector

7

2

78

22

Dean

30

6

83

17

Vice/Dean

10

3

77

23

Member of Senate

151

40

79

21

Members of Faculty Councils

344

150

70

30

Chief of Departments

101

31

76.5

23.5

Participation in media (newspapers) by sex ‑ January 2000

Post

Number

%

Male

Female

Male

Female

Director

6

0

100

0

Chief Publisher

9

0

100

0

Vice/Chief Publisher

9

3

75

25

Chief of Departments

26

12

68

32

Journalist

92

72

56

44

192.Women’s highest political presentation in the history of the Albanian Parliament was reached in the 1974 with 33% of total MP‑s and in 1989 where 1/3 of the Members of Parliament were women. In the first multi‑party political elections of March, 1991, the representation of women in elected bodies decreased to 51 against 199 men, while in 1997 only 11 women were elected against 144 male deputies. In the Parliamentarian elections of 2001, 9 women were elected as MP‑s out of 140.

193.The situation does not differ substantially for the participation of women to local government. In rural areas it is more difficult rather than in urban areas for women to take decision making positions. For example in 1996 out of 309 Heads of Commune only one was a woman. 61 out of 947 members of Municipal Council were women (6.4%), 64 out of 930 members of District Councils were women (6.8) and only 105 women were elected as members of Commune Council out of 3548 (2.9%). An improvement was in the Local Election of 1st October 2000, where 8 out of 65 majors were women and 3 out of 11 were elected as heads of mini‑municipalities.

194.According to article 3 of the Electoral Code (Law No. 8609 of 08.05.2000), every Albanian citizen, of 18 years of age, without distinction of race, ethnicity, sex, language, political conviction, religious belief or economic conditions has the right to vote and to be elected. Certain categories of citizens are not allowed to run as candidates nor be elected deputies, without resigning their office (judges and prosecutors, military servicemen in active duty, staff of police and National Security, diplomatic representatives, or members of the local government).

195.This principle is also foreseen also in the article 3/3 of the new Electoral Code, adopted by the Parliament with the Law No. 9087, dated on 19 June 2003.

Composition of Parliament 1920‑1997

Years

Number

%

Male

Female

Male

Female

1920

37

0  

100

0

1921

78

0  

100

0

1925

75

0  

100

0

1928

57

0  

100

0

1945

76

6  

93

7

1950

104

17  

86

14

1958

171

17  

93

9

1970

192

72  

73

27

1974

167

83  

67

33

1982

174

76  

70

30

1990

169

81  

68

32

1991

199

51  

79.6

20.4

1997

144

11  

93

7

Posts in Parliament by sex

Position

1997

%

Male

Female

Female

Head of Parliament

1  

0   

0

Vice Head of Parliament

1  

1   

50

Head of Parliament Commissions

13  

1   

7.1

Head of Sub‑Commissions

1  

1   

50

Head of Parliamentary Groups

6  

0   

0

Composition of Parliament by political parties, June 1997

Number

In %

Male

Female

Male

Female

Socialist Party

97

9

92

8

Democratic Party

22

1

96

4

Social‑democratic Party

9

1

90

10

Others

16

0

100

0

Composition of Parliament commissions by sex, June 1997

Commissions

Number

%

Male

Female

Male

Female

Justice

12

1

92.4

7.6

Foreign Affairs

11

0

100

0

Economy, Finance, Privatisations

13

2

87

13

Agriculture and food

10

0

100

0

Industry, Transport, Trade

11

0

100

0

Education, Culture, Science and Sport

9

1

90

10

Public Information

10

0

100

0

Human Rights and Minorities

6

1

85.8

14.2

Health and Environment

8

1

89

11

Labour and social Affairs

11

2

84.7

15.3

Defence

9

0

100

0

Public order

9

0

100

0

Immunity, Mandates

11

0

100

0

196.The low participation of women is partially an outcome of their opinion about politics as a complicated business, but mainly it is a result of the opinion that women are not suitable for decision‑making positions.

197.Recently approved Election Code failed to provide a quota provision for women. As a result the decision to candidate women representatives is left very much in the hands of political parties (notwithstanding the right of a person to run as an independent).

Local government election, October 1996

Post

Number

%

Male

Female

Male

Female

Prefect

12

0

100

0

Majors

62

3

95.4

4.6

Head of District Council

34

2

94.5

5.5

Head of Commune

308

1

99.68

0.32

Member of Municipal Council

886

61

93.6

6.4

Member of District Council

866

64

93.2

6.8

Member of Commune Council

3 443

105

97.1

2.9

Secretary of District Council

33

3

91.7

8.3

Secretary of Municipal Council

56

9

86.2

13.8

Secretary of Commune Council

295

14

95.5

4.5

198.In local elections of 1st October 2000, the Albanian Socialist Party, stimulated by the Social Women Forum, decided to establish as a target a 30% quota of women candidates. The same is true for the opposition party, The Albanian Democratic Party, also providing for a voluntary quota of 30% women candidates. But, despite these promises, for the candidacy of the Mayor of Tirana none of these two parties proposed a woman and statistics available on women’s presence within political parties are still showing a substantial gender gap.

International representation and participation

199.According to the law each Albanian citizen has the opportunity to represent his/her Government at international level (either in the Foreign Service or as a member of an international organization). Statistical data show that the number of women working for the Albanian Foreign Service is increasing year by year.

Percentage of women in diplomatic missions ‑ January 2002

Position

Total

Female

% Female

Position

Ambassador

43

2

4.6

Ambassador

Minister Counsellor

4

1

25

Minister Counsellor

Counsellor

15

2

13

Counsellor

Secretary, First

36

6

16.7

Secretary, First

Secretary, Second

30

9

30

Secretary, Second

Secretary, Third

7

1

14.3

Secretary, Third

Attaché

2

1

50

Attaché

Women holding senior posts in Ministry of Foreign Affairs ‑ January 2002

Position

Male

Female

% Female

Position

Minister

1

Minister

Vice Minister

1

Vice Minister

Director

9

3

25

Director

Chief

3

0

0

Chief

Specialist

34

29

46

Specialist

National mechanisms for women development

200.The national mechanism for the protection and promotion of women’s rights underwent substantial changes since its birth in 1992. From 1992 till 1994 woman’s development was under the competences of Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In 1996 was created the State’s Secretariat for Woman’s Affairs in the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, which, in 1997, were transformed in the Department for Woman and Family in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In July 1998 the Council of Ministers upgraded the Department Women and Family to the Council of Ministers level; the Chairperson of the Committee report directly to the Deputy‑Prime Minister and the Committee’s budget is part of the budget of the Council of Ministers.

201.The responsibilities of the Committee Woman and Family/Committee for Equal Opportunities are provided in the Council of Ministers Decision no 415, of 01 July 1998:

the implementation of governmental policies for women and family issues,

the co‑ordination of programs for the promotion of equality between men and women in the central and local level,

the implementation and evaluation of governmental programs on women and family,

the proposal of new legislation and/or amendments to existing legislation on children’s and women’s rights in compliance with international standards,

the support and co‑ordination of NGOs activities in the field of women’s and family’s rights.

202.The objective of Committee is the implementation of the National Platform for Women (Council of Minister Decision N.267/03.06.1999). Furthermore, the Committee is working on the setting up of an effective information system to monitor progress countrywide, through the network of focal points appointed in the local government and on the promotion of affirmative actions to be decided by relevant organizations (Parliament, ministries, Local Government).

203.The strategy of the Committee is based on CEDAW, on the Beijing Platform for Action and on the National Platform for Women (Council of Minister Decision no.267 of 03.06.1999).

204.The latter instrument provides for, among other:

Increasing women’s participation in governmental institutions, in the judiciary and in the public administration;

Processing information and encouraging gender related research;

Increasing women’s awareness on their social, economic and cultural rights;

Improving existing legislation regarding women’s advancement;

Improving the networking between non‑governmental and governmental institutions on gender issues.

Projects of cooperation with the international and domestic institutions in this area

205.With the intention of increasing the number of women at the decision‑making levels, the institutional Albanian institution Committee for Equal Opportunities has been cooperating closely with the civil society and foreign organisations since 1999.

206.Within the framework of the Stability Pact for South‑eastern Europe, the Committee has organised several important projects for the abovementioned purpose. These projects consist firstly in local and national trainings for women that want to participate to the decision‑making institutions, foregoing to the local and parliamentary elections.

207.Another financial support on this purpose has been provided through the NPA (Norwegian Peoples’ Assistance) in cooperation with the Committee for Equal Opportunities, Women Millennium Network and the Independent Forum of the Albanian Women. Trainings such as “Women can achieve it” have been elaborated in fazes, having as main objective the increase of women self‑confidence and awareness in order to strengthen the women’s position at the political and public decision‑making.

208.In this framework have been implemented local trainings entitled “Women in leadership”, with women that wanted to present their candidature for the local elections 2003. The project has been implemented in consortium of the Committee of Equal Opportunities, Women Millennium Network, Women forums of political parties, representatives from the media with the financial support of UNDP.

209.The State Committee for Equal Opportunities has conducted two studies on the position of women in political parties and public decision‑making, in implementation of the State Platform on Women (grounded on the Beijing Platform for Action) and the CEDAW convention. The state Committee for Equal Opportunities is currently working on reporting for one of the MDG‑s, promote gender equality and empower women.

Equality of men and women in labour market

210.The right to work is stipulated in the Constitution, article 49 (1); everyone has the right to earn the means of living by lawful work that he has chosen or accepted himself. He is free to choose his profession, place of work, as well as his own system of professional qualification.

211.This principle is implemented equally for all the citizens, men and women. The Criminal Code prohibits the discrimination grounded on sex, which influences the right of the individual for equal chances in employment and training, procedures of hiring and working conditions, in remuneration, social assistance and termination of working contract, as well as participation in trade unions.

212.Article 253 of the Criminal Code provides that, discrimination by a worker holding a state function or public service conducted because of his capacity or during its exercise, when the discrimination is based upon origin, sex, health situation, religious or political beliefs, trade‑union activity or because of belonging to a particular ethnic group, nation, race or religion, which consists in creating unfair privileges or in refusing a right or benefit deriving by law, is sentenced to a fine or up to five years of imprisonment.

213.Article 1 of the Civil Code of the Republic provides full and equal possibilities for every person; the later provisions refer to words as “everyone”, “No one”, and “person” without any distinction of sex.

214.In particular, the Labour Code provides:

Article 9(1): Prevention of discrimination;

Article 9(2): Definition of discrimination;

Article 10: Participation in trade unions;

Article 32(1): Obligation of employers to respect and protect the personality of the employee;

Article 32(2): Prohibition of sexual harassment;

Chapter 8, articles 39‑75: Health and job insurance;

Chapter 9, articles 76‑97: Working hours and paid vacations;

Chapter 10, articles 98‑108: Special protective measures for women and children;

Chapter 11, articles 109‑134: Reward and Compensation

Violation of above‑mentioned provisions is penalized in with fine, which is 20‑50 folder of minimum salary set out by law.

215.In the Labour Code are provided special arrangements for the protection of female employees. Thus, article 54(3) provides that pregnant woman that works upstanding, should have time‑break at least 20 minutes every 4 hours. Article 55 provides the weight that could be raised for job purpose is no more than 20 kilos for woman, whereas 55 kilos for man.

216.According to article 72 the employer, in the jobs where there are female employees, is obliged to provide special compartments for them in spite of other hygienic conditions.

217.The Labour Code is drafted based upon international labour standards, ratified by Albanian Parliament and its article 9 reflects the provisions of Convention 111 of ILO.

218.Apart from modern and non‑discriminatory legislation towards women, the implementation and application of equal rights, needs to be improved, especially with respect to free choice of residence, inheritance and ownership.

219.Albania is a UN member since 14 December 1955 and has ratified almost all the main conventions of this Organization on human rights. As regards discrimination, the Republic of Albania is a party to following conventions:

Convention Against Discrimination in Education (UNESCO), 1960 (1963);

International Convention on the Elimination of All Types of Racial Discrimination 1969 (adhered on 1994);

ILO’s conventions on the discrimination, ratified by Republic of Albania;

1958 Convention 111 on Discrimination in Employing, ratified on 27 February 1997.

220.In addition, Albania is a member of European Council since July 13th, 1995. Albania is a party to a great number of important acts adopted by Council of Europe, such as European Convention for Human Rights and protocols 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 (protocols 12 and 13 had been signed). Because Albania is a Party to Protocol 11, its nationals have the right to address to European Court for Human Rights after they have use all remedies available from domestic legislation.

Labour market

221.First years of transition were characterized by a sudden increase in the number of unemployed as result of closure of state enterprises. This negative tendency began improving so as during 1993‑1996 unemployment was reduced as result of improvements in economy and increasing number of small and medium businesses. However, a precise evaluation of job market in Albania currently is difficult because the majority of population is in rural areas (they are not registered as unemployed) and the high level of unemployed in undeclared work.

222.Increase of the unemployment figures after 1997 resulted because most of potential workers were not declared and registered as unemployed, since they earned monthly payment from their investments in pyramidal games.

223.Albanian labour market offers limited opportunities for the unemployed with low qualification. 48% of the unemployed have 8‑year education and 49% of them have medium school education. For that reason they need professional training for specific jobs. Professional training opportunities are lacking, either in quantity or in quality. The present level of unemployment is 21% for females and 16% for males.

Balance of labour forces

In thousands

1992

1994

1999

Total population

3 190

3 202

3 373

Male

1 580

1 616

1 662

Female

1 600

1 586

1 711

Working age population

1 849

1 786

1 911

Male

912

900

957

Female

937

886

954

Labour Forces

1 489

1 423

1 305

Male

782

609

791

Female

707

814

514

Total employment

1 095

1 161

1 065

Male

588

673

661

Female

507

488

404

Total registered unemployment

394

262

240

Male

194

141

130

Female

200

121

110

Registered unemployment, long‑term unemployment and unemployment rate

1994

1996

1997

1998

1999

Total number of unemployed people

In thousands

262   

158

194

235

240

Female

In thousands

121   

70

85

108

110

Male

In thousands

141   

88

109

127

130

Long‑term unemployed

In thousands

124.3

120.2

162.6

209

216

Unemployment rate

In %

18   

12.3

15

18

18

Female

20   

17

21

21

Male

17   

14

16

16

Employment in public sector by main groups of occupations and sex in %

1993

1994

1997

1998

1999

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

Total employment

35.1

64.9

36.3

63.7

38.2

61.8

39   

61   

41.8

58.2

Managers

20.9

79.1

19.8

80.2

24.2

75.8

24.5

75.5

24.4

75.6

Specialist with university degree

43.3

56.7

46.2

53.8

46.3

53.7

46   

54   

45.9

54.1

Technicians

35.5

64.5

45.4

54.6

45.4

54.6

45.3

54.7

45.2

54.8

Clerks

49.5

50.5

47.1

52.9

49.9

50.1

50.4

49.6

50.3

49.7

Workers

32.3

67.7

29.9

70.1

28.4

71.6

29.9

70.1

38.3

61.7

Number of private business managers by sex

Year

Number

%

Total

Female

1994

32 968

6 868

20.8

1997

58 626

10 772

18.3

1998

56 453

9 800

17.4

Business of women by kind

Kind of business

1996

1998

Total

Female

% Female

Total

Female

% Female

Agriculture

1 466

31

2.11

1 241

32

2.57

Industry‑Agribusiness

5 231

560

10.7

5 674

606

10.7

Construction

1 417

93

6.56

1 905

124

6.5

Trade

30 750

6 501

21.14

29 370

6 415

21.8

Transport

9 117

150

1.64

8 199

157

1.9

Service

9 732

2 342

24

10 042

2 564

25.5

Total

57 712

9 677

16.7

56 453

9 902

17.5

Present unemployment rate of females is 21% instead of 16% for males.

Unemployment rate by sex

1989

1993

1994

1997

1998

1999

Unemployment rate by sex

7

22

18

15

18

18

Female

8

24

20

17

21

21

Male

6

21

17

14

16

16

224.Different internal and external factor have impeded the development of private businesses (excluding businesses like trade, services and construction). The main cause of unemployment in urban areas, apart from the low level of professional capacities, is also the massive flows of population from rural to urban areas.

225.According to the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), in 1989 the employment rate was 85% for females and 94% for males, while after 1990 it was dropped to 50‑60% for both sexes.

Equal remuneration

226.With regard to equal remuneration between men and women, article 115 of the Labour Code in its paragraph (3), provides that employers must give man and women an equal wage for equal work, the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. The border of proof on the employer to prove that there is no discrimination. This formulation is in conformity with international instruments (ILO Convention N. 100 on Equal remuneration, 1951) to which Albania is party.

227.During the last decade, wage level has changed continuously. Until the end of 1989, the wage was the only source of income for all the working population and wages were determined by the State according to a set fee system based on the quantity and quality of work undertaken.

228.Since 1991 wages increased in all the most important economic sectors. A new wage system was introduced for state employees comprising 22 categories based on a job evaluation, which considered the nature of the work, responsibilities and difficulties. This new system marked the beginning of the process of differentiation between wages for qualified and unqualified work.

The average monthly wage per employee in public sectorby main groups of occupations

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

Average monthly wage

3 084

4 778

6 406

8 638

9 558

11 509

12 708

14 963

Manager

4 595

7 503

10 105

14 067

16 129

19 450

22 750

24 437

Specialist

3 447

5 334

7 747

10 158

11 554

13 877

15 913

18 159

Technicians

3 044

4 756

6 286

8 237

8 440

9 411

11 951

13 482

Clerks

2 905

4 674

6 116

7 645

8 483

9 603

12 829

14 415

Workers

2 833

4 215

5 701

7 242

7 974

9 119

8 605

12 394

Right to maternity protection

229.A woman is entitled to maternity leave provided she has been included in the social insurance scheme for the last 12 months and has been employed with an employment contract from the initial moment of pregnancy until the beginning of maternity leave. The period of benefits of maternity leave is 365 days, including a minimum of 35 days before delivery

and 42 days after delivery (article 104, labour Code). A woman carrying more than one child during pregnancy is entitled to 390 days leave, including a minimum of 60 days before delivery and 42 days after delivery.

230.An employed woman receives during maternity leave 80% of the average daily payment for the period before delivery and 50% of the average daily payment for 150 days after delivery, based on the average of the previous year salary. Maternity leave benefits for employed women are equal to her pension benefits. A mother adopting a child is also entitled to such benefits provided she is insured and fulfils the conditions established by law (article 106, Labour Code). The employer is obliged to keep the job of a woman during the period she is benefiting from the paid maternity leave.

231.The Council of Ministers in 1996 established further rules safeguarding maternity and probating the employment of pregnant women and nursing mothers is activities exposing them to dangerous agents and working conditions. Pregnant women and nursing mothers cannot be obliged to start work before 5 a.m. during summer and before 6 a.m. during winter time or work after 8 p.m. It is to be noted that the Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania considers a criminal act against pregnant women as aggravated circumstances (article 50 (e), while art. 79(b) provides life imprisonment for the murder of a pregnant woman.

232.In the field of social insurance women enjoy a number of rights, such as benefits in case of illness, old age pension, invalidity benefits, family benefits, and other benefits related to accidents in the working place, to professional diseases, to unemployment etc.

233.According to the law no. 7703 of 11 May 1993 a woman can benefit from temporary disability resulting from a disease or accident not related to the work she is performing. The disability is to be proved by a medical report, on the basic of the Regulation No. 3 of 05.10.1993, “On the Delivery of Temporary Working Disability Reports”, issued by the Institute of social insurance and the Ministry of Health.

234.In the field of social insurance women enjoy a number of rights, such as benefits in case of illness, old age pension, invalidity benefits, family benefits, and other benefits related to accidents in the working place, to professional diseases, to unemployment etc. According to law no. 7703 of 11 May 1993 a woman can benefit from temporary disability resulting from a disease or accident not related to the work she is performing.

235.The disability is to be proved by a medical report, on the basic of the Regulation No. 3 of 05.10.1993, “On the Delivery of Temporary Working Disability Reports”, issued by the Institute of social insurance and the Ministry of Health.

236.According to the previous law, women got their full pension at the age of 55, provided they have been insured for 35 years and do not perform an economic activity. Mothers having 6 or more children over 8 years old are entitled to retire at the age of 50 if they have been insured for no less than 30 years.

237.The present law “On Social Insurance” provides another age for retirement pension. For females, retirement age was increased from 55 to 60 years old, while for males from 60 to 65 provided that they have been working for 35 years.

238.Unemployment benefit, regarded as social insurance, is paid to individuals for a maximum of one year. In 1998, 25 000 people benefited from this scheme. Social protection includes the social assistance program which is given to the most vulnerable families, who have no income or too little to live on. There is also a social protection scheme for the disabled. This is given to the mentally disabled since birth (unable to work).

239.Even though the country has been running a network of social protection programs for many years, a large part of the population is still unprotected or excluded from the scheme 54% of the unemployed currently receive social assistance and 9% receive unemployment benefit ‑ but that still leaves 37% of the jobless receiving nothing at all.

Night work

240.Article 108 of the Labour Code and governmental decree no. 145 of 10 August 1998 prohibits night work for pregnant women. This provision was discussed at length during the drafting of the Labour Code, since night work was considered harmful to women’s health. The Council of Ministers establishes special regulation defining exceptional cases when women may be engaged in night work.

Emigration

241.Women emigrants are generally more vulnerable than men. A high number of Albanian women abroad are employed in the informal market, without employment contract and consequently without health and social insurance. Most women are employed in low‑skilled jobs‑domestic service, agriculture, bars and restaurants‑despite their academics qualifications or employment experience.

242.The emigration of married women often accompanied by school‑age children, even though temporary in nature has caused problems of continuity of family and social life and has weekend and endangered the traditional family structures.

243.More often however, mothers have become single parents and it is not uncommon for emigrated husbands to stop sending remittances and lose contacts with the family. Family reunions are also difficult due to the strict emigration policies of many recipient countries.

244.Elderly women are another social category affected by the negative edge of emigration. A survey on aged people made in 1997 in the city of Tirana shows that many elderly women live alone and in precarious economic conditions due to legal difficulties entailed in reuniting with their children working abroad.

Part‑time employment and house work

245.Article 14 and 15 of the Labour Code deal with part‑time and home work respectively. Part‑time work is defined as an employment whereby the worker is engaged to work by hours, half‑day or by day, for a total working week inferior to the normal full‑time working week. Part‑time work entails the same rights and obligations, proportionally, to full‑time employment.

246.Homework as defined by article 15, is an employment contracts whereby the worker carries out his/her tasks in a place decided by him/her on provisions given by the employer. The home worker has the same rights of worker working on the employer’s premises.

Non‑remunerated work

247.At present in Albania there is no provision for the calculation of non‑remunerated work carried out by women within the household in the Gross Domestic Product of the country.

Self‑employment

248.The number of women included in private business is yet low (women managers of the private business were 21% in 1994, 16,8% in 1996 and 18% in 1997). The main economic activity realized by women is:

Trade, wholesale and shops;

Services, (notary, lawyer, hairdresser, dentist,);

Agro‑business and industry, (mainly milk products, textile, printing houses, handicraft, sewing).

Number of private business managers by sex

Year

Total

Female

%

1994

32 968

6 868

20.8

1997

58 626

10 772

18.3

1998

56 453

9 800

17.4

Business of women by kind

Kind of business

1996

1998

Total

Female

% Female

Total

Female

% Female

Agriculture

1 466

31

2.11

1 241

32

2.57

Industry‑agribusiness

5 231

560

10.7

5 674

606

10.7

Construction

1 417

93

6.56

1 905

124

6.5

Trade

30 750

6 501

21.14

29 370

6 415

21.8

Transport

9 117

150

1.64

8 199

157

1.9

Service

9 732

2 342

24

10 042

2 564

25.5

Total

57 712

9 677

16.7

56 453

9 902

17.5

The right to education

249.According to the Constitution, article 57, everyone has the right to education. Mandatory school and general high school public education is open for all. Education is one sector where the contribution of women is very important. Throughout the country there are 58,856 teachers, out of whom 36,939 (or 63.2%) are women, while the total number of students in the school year 1998‑1999 was 694,474. In 2000, the education system comprised 1852 pre‑school institutions, 1,798 mandatory schools, 375 high schools, 11 universities and higher education institutions.

250.The importance given to education has decreased as compared to the pre‑transition period. During the first years of the transition schools were destroyed and looted; many experienced teachers left their position and many students abandoned high school. One worrying element of the transition is the abandonment of experienced teachers and their substitutions with unqualified staff and the increasing school drop‑rates.

251.During the school year 1992‑1993, 7.8 per cent of elementary schools’ teachers had an insufficient level of education, whereas today the figure is 10 per cent. In the eight year schooling the number of teachers with an insufficient level of education rose from 24.2 per cent in 1992‑1993 to 26 per cent, whereas in high schools the rate is between 6 to 8 per cent.

Mandatory education

252.Eight year schooling in Albania comprises age groups from 6 to 14 years old and is divided into two cycles; lower cycle (first to fourth grade), which is similar to elementary school in Western countries, and the upper cycle (fifth to eighth grade). Enrolled in Albania eight year schools at present are 553,411 pupils, of whom 48 per cent are girls and 52 per cent boys.

253.For decades, Albania placed greatest importance to the development of eight‑year education network, but neglect, poor maintenance and lack of funding caused an irreversible deterioration of school buildings rendering qualitative teaching impossible.

254.An important feature of mandatory schooling in recent years has been the development of private institutions. Thus, only in 1997, three new non public schools were opened raising the total number of approved non‑public educational institutions to 36 in the last 5‑6 years. Out of these institutions, 22 are non‑religious and 14 are religious. About 3,800 pupils attended these institutions in 1998 (inclusive of pre‑school attendance).

255.Statistics show that the rate boys/girls in such institutions is almost equal. Thus, for example, out of 522 students enrolled in the college: “M.Akif”, 52 per cent are girls and 48 per cent are boys; in Medrese of Shkodra out of 258 enrolled students in the upper cycle and in high school, 53 per cent are girls. There are however 13 other religious schools (Muslim) where girls are not allowed to enrol.

High school education

256.High schools are attended by students from 14 to 18 years old and comprise 4 years of general education or from 4 to 5 years of vocational training. The number of students attending both general and vocational schools, with and without interruption, are 102,161, out of which 48 per cent are girls and 52 per cent boys.

Registration of pupils from primary educationto secondary education in %

School year

In % registration in secondary education

Male‑Female

Male

Female

1990‑1991

97

113

82

1991‑1992

72

78

64

1992‑1993

70

79

61

1993‑1994

72

83

58

1994‑1995

60

70

50

1995‑1996

55

61

48

1996‑1997

65

69

60

1997‑1998

63

70

55

1998‑1999

67

74

58

Number of secondary schools by type

School year

By type

In rural

Total

General

Profess.

United

Total

General

Profess.

United

1990‑1991

827

75

575

177

568

7

438

112

1991‑1992

763

89

209

465

510

20

114

376

1992‑1993

650

107

95

448

428

42

17

369

1993‑1994

577

161

87

329

371

86

18

267

1994‑1995

472

362

69

41

288

267

8

13

1995‑1996

430

352

50

24

269

262

1

6

1996‑1997

408

337

51

20

259

251

2

6

1997‑1998

400

337

60

3

252

247

5

0

1998‑1999

394

331

54

9

1999‑2000

386

326

51

9

Some proportions in secondary education in %

School year

Number of pupils in secondary education in %

Male

Female

General

Vocational

Full time

Part time

Urban

Rural

1990‑1991

55

45

28

72

70

30

40

60

1991‑1992

51

49

49

51

80

20

46

54

1992‑1993

48

52

63

37

87

13

51

49

1993‑1994

50

50

71

29

88

12

55

45

1994‑1995

51

49

78

22

92

8

58

42

1995‑1996

51

49

79

21

92

8

63

37

1996‑1997

52

48

82

18

92

8

71

29

1997‑1998

53

47

84

16

92

8

71

29

1998‑1999

52

48

85

15

1999‑2000

51

49

86

14

257.High schools are attended by students from 14 to 18 years old and comprise 4 years of general education or from 4 to 5 years of vocational training. The number of students attending both general and vocational schools, with and without interruption, are 102,161, out of which 48 per cent are girls and 52 per cent boys.

258.59 per cent of students completing mandatory education continue their studied in high schools. In 1998, 50.387 students completed the mandatory education system (50 per cent girls) and only 30,350 enrolled in the first year of high school, (44 per cent girls).

259.In urban centres, 52 per cent of girls who finish mandatory school continue their studies in high schools, whereas in rural areas the figure is 28 per cent for girls and 72 per cent boys. Thus, out of 14,458 rural girls finishing mandatory schooling only 4,065 enrolled in the area’s high school. Though it is expected that a number of these girls enrolled in high schools in other areas, the disparity among boys and girls is still high.

260.Another worrying phenomenon is the low enrolment of students in vocational schools (only 14 per cent of the total number of students). In vocational schools 14,423 students are enrolled, of whom 30 per cent are girls and 70 per cent are boys, whereas in rural areas this percentage is 22.6 for girls and 77.4 for boys. In agricultural, construction and mechanical schools, girls’ attendance varies from 10 to 25 per cent. These low rates are caused by difficulties the profession present for girls or because of traditional attitudes as to the nature of such professions.

261.Before the 1990s, the agricultural schools had a high attendance by village girls, mainly because of the limited possibilities in enrolling in general high schools or in other vocational schools. The percentage of girls attending vocational schools for foreign languages, arts or teaching is, on the contrary, very high, in certain areas over 90 percent. Girls are strongly present also in business and technical (informatics) schools (50% and 70% respectively). The students in the high school group age are more at risk of dropout and to be involved in crime (mainly drugs, prostitution). Partial analysis shows that minors involved in crime have often prematurely dropped‑out of school, but no national survey exit on the phenomenon.

Number of high schools 2000‑01

Schools and classes

Total

In villages

High schools

375

227

General high schools

318

222

Professional high schools

50

2

3 years

16

4 years

16

5 years

18

2

United high schools

7

3

General and professional

7

3

Classes of general education

2 455

957

First classes

722

273

Second classes

622

245

Table ( continued )

Schools and classes

Total

In villages

Third classes

585

233

Fourth classes

526

206

Fifth classes

Classes of professional education

625

37

Classes of 3 year professional education

237

11

First classes

80

3

Second classes

79

4

Third classes

78

4

Classes of 4 year professional education

219

24

First classes

60

6

Second classes

58

5

Third classes

55

7

Fourth classes

46

6

Classes of 5 year professional education

169

2

First classes

51

2

Second classes

40

0

Third classes

32

0

Fourth classes

0

Fifth classes

22

0

Enrolments in high schools 2000‑01 (full time)

Pupils enrolled

Total

Females

Villages

Females

Total enrolment (2 + 3)

95 195

48 229

27 679

12 710

Newly admitted

31 476

14 322

9 595

4 150

Pupils of the first class

32 637

14 350

9 810

4 097

Pupils of the second class

23 926

12 057

6 829

3 190

Pupils of the third class

20 974

11 705

5 994

2 842

Pupils of the fourth class

17 206

9 952

5 011

2 570

Pupils of the fifth class

452

165

35

11

General education

79 263

43 288

25 333

12 112

Newly admitted

25 924

12 939

8 703

3 915

Pupils of the first class

26 898

12 956

8 899

3 912

Pupils of the second class

19 180

10 612

6 108

3 023

Pupils of the third class

17 452

10 539

5 481

2 701

Pupils of the fourth class

15 690

9 181

4 845

2 476

Pupils of the fifth class

43

0

0

0

Professional education

15 975

4 941

2 346

598

Newly admitted

5 552

1 383

892

235

Table (continued)

Pupils enrolled

Total

Females

Villages

Females

Triennial professional education

6 169

533

755

22

Newly admitted

2 575

207

288

12

Pupils of the first class

2 677

207

301

12

Pupils of the second class

1 967

148

250

9

Pupils of the third class

1 525

178

204

1

Four years professional education

5 408

3 348

908

482

Newly admitted

1 420

888

278

176

Pupils of the first class

1 475

899

284

126

Pupils of the second class

1 700

1 059

301

140

Pupils of the third class

1 250

778

199

128

Pupils of the fourth class

983

612

124

88

Five years professional education

4 398

1 060

683

94

Newly admitted

1 557

288

326

47

Pupils of the first class

1 587

288

326

47

Pupils of the second class

1 079

238

170

18

Pupils of the third class

747

210

110

12

Pupils of the fourth class

533

159

42

6

Pupils of the fifth class

452

165

35

11

Enrolments in high schools 2000‑01 (part time)

Pupils enrolled

Total

Females

Villages

Females

Total enrolment

12 240

4 798

2 477

1 004

Newly admitted

2 536

958

514

216

Pupils of the first class

2 672

1 019

513

205

Pupils of the second class

2 479

1 059

586

259

Pupils of the third class

2 350

932

496

196

Pupils of the fourth class

2 590

930

494

187

Pupils of the fifth class

2 149

858

388

157

General education

11 828

4 771

2 477

1 004

Newly admitted

2 364

948

514

216

Pupils of the first class

2 500

1 009

513

205

Pupils of the second class

2 393

1 055

586

259

Pupils of the third class

2 316

930

496

196

Pupils of the fourth class

2 501

922

494

187

Pupils of the fifth class

2 118

855

388

157

Table (continued)

Pupils enrolled

Total

Females

Villages

Females

Professional education

412

27

Newly admitted

172

10

Pupils of the first class

172

10

Pupils of the second class

86

4

Pupils of the third class

34

2

Pupils of the fourth class

89

8

Pupils of the fifth class

31

3

Number of teachers in high schools 2000‑01

Teachers

Total

Villages

Females

Total number of teachers

5 760

1 763

693

With high school education

267

104

55

With high academic education

5 493

1 659

638

Teachers in general education

4 396

1 742

682

With high school education

135

103

55

With high academic education

4 261

1 639

627

Teachers in profess. education

1 364

21

11

With high school education

132

1

With high academic education

1 232

20

11

From them:

Teachers in united schools

1 141

1 103

405

With high school education

66

60

37

With high academic education

1 075

1 043

368

Higher education

262.In 2001 in Albania there were 11 Universities and higher education establishments whereas until 1991 there was only one University and seven Higher Education Institutes (Teaching, Agriculture, Arts, Physical education). The increase in the number of Universities is due to the fact that some previously higher education institutes were granted the status of University.

263.At high academic level only 10 women out of 146 are professors (6.8%), 58 women out of 250 are assistant professor (23.2%). However, there is a sharp decrease in the number of students coming from rural areas (due to difficult economic conditions and to internal migration flows). Thus, out of 7,670 regular students coming from various rural areas in 1991, in 1998 there were only 3,231 of them (42 per cent), at a time when there is a 30 per cent increase in the general number of students enrolled in universities.

264.Anyhow, the rate men‑women enrolled in higher education and coming from rural areas is satisfactory: 33 per cent boys and 77 per cent girls (in 1991 the rate was 54 per cent for boys and 46 per cent for girls). The percentage of women enrolled in university is increasing. Thus, during the academic year 1990‑1991 girls were 53.1 per cent, whereas in 2001 they represented 65 per cent.

265.Faculties like social sciences, medicine and economy are very popular (only one out of ten is admitted), while the teaching college and agriculture barely cover the places available.

Graduated students in full and part time education

School year

Total

Female

Full time

Part time

Total

Female

Total

Female

1990‑1991

4 647

2 407

4 029

2 145

618

262

1991‑1992

4 373

2 408

3 633

2 049

740

357

1992‑1993

4 416

2 431

3 931

2 141

485

290

1993‑1994

3 972

2 112

3 343

1 932

629

180

1994‑1995

4 436

2 556

3 711

2 135

725

421

1995‑1996

4 630

2 606

3 702

2 086

928

520

1996‑1997

3 708

1 990

3 295

1 761

413

229

1997‑1998

3 861

2 456

2 861

1 821

1 000

635

1998‑1999

3 997

2 612

2 953

1 991

1 044

621

Graduated students by faculties 1996‑1997

Faculty

Total

Female

Female %

Faculty of Mechanical Enginery

89

18

20.2

Faculty of Electric Enginery

84

18

21.4

Faculty of Building Enginery

85

18

21.1

Faculty of Geology and Mines Enginery

1

0

0

Faculty of Economic

481

238

49.4

Faculty of History and Philology

164

115

70.1

Faculty of Foreign Languages

207

144

69.5

Faculty of Medicine

432

207

47.9

Faculty of Social Sciences

50

40

80

Faculty of Law Sciences

299

127

42.4

Faculty of Nature Sciences

708

439

62

Faculty of Agriculture

164

59

35.9

Faculty of Forest Sciences

65

10

15.3

Faculty of Veterinary

88

16

18.1

Faculty of Social Sciences

493

313

63.4

Faculty of Pedagogical

240

215

89.5

Faculty of Music

61

22

36

Faculty of Figurative Art

27

7

25.9

Faculty of Scene of Art

26

8

30.7

Institute of Gymnastics

81

14

17.2

Registered students in the first level by faculty, school year 1999‑2000

Faculty

Total

Female

% Female

Faculty of Mechanical Enginery

145

53

36.5

Faculty of Electric Enginery

223

37

16.6

Faculty of Building Enginery

274

92

33.5

Faculty of Geology and Mines Enginery

91

22

24.17

Faculty of Economic

1 084

647

59.6

Faculty of History and Philology

332

277

83.4

Faculty of Foreign Languages

429

350

81.5

Faculty of Medicine

299

201

67.2

Faculty of Social Sciences

149

122

81.8

Faculty of Law Sciences

206

104

50.4

Faculty of Nature Sciences

776

511

65.8

Faculty of Agriculture

528

233

44.1

Faculty of Forest Sciences

73

17

23.28

Faculty of Veterinary

44

12

27.27

Faculty of Social Sciences

917

654

71.3

Faculty of Pedagogical

851

791

92.9

Faculty of Music

54

25

46.3

Faculty of Figurative Art

51

19

37.2

Faculty of Scene of Art

25

14

56

Institute of Gymnastics

82

20

24.4

Faculty of Commerce

141

93

65.9

Faculty of Navy

48

2

4.16

Institute of Nurses

337

276

81.9

Source: INSTAT 2000.

Education indicators 2001‑2003

Institutions of public education

School year

2000‑2001

2001‑2002

2002‑2003

Kindergartens

2 002

1 881

1 690

Elementary schools

1 820

1 798

1 744

High schools

375

372

366

Universities

11

11

11

Pupils and students enrolled

School year

2000‑2001

2001‑2002

2002‑2003

Children in Pre‑primary education

80 443

78 473

76 165

Pupils and students enrolled

684 270

683 990

674 244

of which:

Primary education

535 238

523 253

503 992

Secondary education

108 173

118 577

126 652

‑ general

91 786

100 082

106 361

‑ vocational

16 387

18 492

20 291

Higher school and universities

40 859

42 160

43 600

‑ full time

23 704

25 929

30 132

‑ correspondence

17 155

16 231

13 468

First time registration in first year

School year

2000‑2001

2001‑2002

2002‑2003

Primary education

64 104

63 737

60 018

Secondary education

34 058

38 173

38 228

‑ general

28 334

31 811

32 074

‑ vocational

5 724

6 362

6 154

High school and university

7 636

7 389

9 972

‑ full time

6 537

7 389

9 642

‑ correspondence

1 099

0

330

Graduated studies and receiving diploma

School year

1999‑2000

2000‑2001

2001‑2002

Primary education

48 395

53 774

55 935

Secondary education

15 609

18 843

20 069

‑ general

14 400

16 733

16 997

‑ vocational

1 209

2 110

3 072

High civil school

4 735

4 618

5 016

‑ full time

3 545

3 442

3 734

‑ correspondence

1 190

1 176

1 282

Kindergarten nurses, teachers and lectors

School year

2000‑2001

2001‑2002

2002‑2003

Pre‑Primary education

3 749

3 570

3 545

Primary education

28 293

27 672

26 850

Secondary education

5 760

5 720

5 857

Higher school

1 683

1 716

1 699

Some education indicators

School year

2000‑2001

2001‑2002

2002‑2003

Pupils per classroom

Primary education

28

30

29

Secondary education

35

35

38

Pupils per teacher

Primary education

19

19

19

Secondary education

19

21

22

Private (non‑public) education in school‑year 2002‑2003

Level

Schools

Pupils

Teaching staff

Total

165

18 170

1 575

of which:

1. Pre‑Primary

61

3 581

206

2. Primary Education

65

9 649

825

3. Secondary Education

38

4 830

539

a. General

33

4 207

466

b. Vocational

5

623

73

4. Tertiary Education

1

110

5

Education in corresponding population groups(In percentage)

School year

2000‑2001

2001‑2002

2002‑2003

Pre‑primary education

38

45

42

Primary education

89

103

97

Secondary education

43

47

49

Higher education and universities

15

16

17

Article 4

Derogation of rights

266.According to article 170 of the Constitution, extraordinary measures can be taken due to a state of war, state of emergency, or natural disaster and last for as long as these states continue. Law defines the principles for actions of public organs, as well as the extent of limitations on human rights and freedoms during the existence of such situations that require extraordinary measures.

267.The law must define the principles, the areas, and the manner of compensation for losses caused as a result of the limitation of human rights and freedoms during the period in which extraordinary measures are taken. Acts taken as a result of extraordinary measures must be in proportion with the level of risk and must aim to re‑establish the conditions for the normal functioning of the state, as soon as possible.

268.During the state of war or the state of emergency cannot be limited the right and freedoms provided and guaranteed by the following articles of the constitution:

Article 15 ‑ indivisible, inalienable, and inviolable nature of human rights;

Article 18 ‑ right to non‑discrimination;

Article 19 ‑ right to citizenship;

Article 20 ‑ rights of minorities;

Article 21 ‑ right to life;

Article 24 ‑ right to conscience and religion and the right to change it;

Article 25 ‑ right not to be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments;

Articles 29 and 30 ‑ prohibition of retroactive action of penal provisions right to be presumed not guilty;

Articles 31 and 32 ‑ rights during the penal proceeding;

Article 34 ‑ right to be punished only once for the same criminal offence;

Article 39 ‑ right of Albanian citizens not to be expelled from the territory of the country;

Article 41 ‑ right to private property and legal means for its protection;

Articles 42 and 43 ‑ right to appeal a judicial decision to a higher court;

Article 48 ‑ direct requests, complaints or comments to the public organs, which are obliged to answer in the time periods and conditions set by law;

Article 54 ‑ right to special protection by the state for children, the young, pregnant women and new mothers, as well as children born out of wedlock;

Article 55 ‑ right to wealth care and non‑discrimination in its receiving.

269.During the duration of natural disasters can be limited the rights and freedoms provided by articles 37, 38, 41 paragraph 4, 49 and 51 of the constitution:

Right to the inviolability of the residence;

Right to choose freely the place of residence;

Right to move freely to any part of the territory of the state and abroad;

Right to fair compensation for the limitation of the right to property;

Right to freely choose the profession, place of work, as well as the system of professional qualification;

Right to social protection at work;

Workers right to strike.

270.In the same manner the law, with the intention of assuring to the society the necessary services, can provide limitations for specific categories of workers. Procedural acts for the declaration of the state of war; state of emergency, or the state of natural disaster has to specify the abovementioned rights and freedoms, which are limited.

271.As for the issuing of administrative acts in the conditions of the state of emergency the law no. 8485 dated 12.05.1999 “The Code of Administrative Procedures of the Republic of Albania” article 9/2 provides that administrative acts issued in the conditions of the state of emergency contrary to the provisions of this Code are valid in view ofproviding the result required in the conditions of the state of emergency, which cannot be attained through other means. The parties inflicted by the abovementioned acts have the right to be compensated for the eventual losses pursuant to the legal provisions regulating the responsibility of the public administration.

272.Law no. 8194, of 2 March 1997 “On the State of Emergency in cases of heavy violations of the constitutional and public order”, defines that, the state of emergency in cases of heavy violations of the constitutional and public order (state of emergency) is considered the situation when in the Republic of Albania, or in part of it are in place violent attempts to overthrow the constitutional order or the functioning of the governmental structures is interrupted by force, as well as when the weapon depots of the Armed Forces, fabrics for the production of the same, and central and local state institutions come under attack. The state of emergency is considered also the situation when the economic life or the freedom of individuals is threatened seriously due to commission of various criminal offences against the order and the public security.

273.The state of emergency is declared with a decision of the Kuvendi (the Parliament). When the Kuvendi is not assembled, the President of the Republic declares the state of emergency.

274.The state of emergency is partial or general. It has temporary character and lasts until the re‑establishment of the order and public conciliation. In cases when the termination of the state of emergency was defined by the administrative act, the prolongation of its term can be made only by a special resolution of Kuvendi.

275.When the state of emergency is declared, according to the constitutional provisions mentioned above, the resolution clearly defines the rights and freedoms, which are limited during that period. When the organs of public order exercising their normal capacities and measures are enabled to cope with, neutralize and eliminate the illegal activities threatening the constitutional and public order, the armed forces may be engaged to assist the police forces.

276.During the state of emergency the public order organs are entitled to detain within the legal terms, all the individuals against which exist enough indications of preparing outrages concerning the public order and calm, contrary to the rules set out by competent authorities intending the safeguard of the constitutional and public order for the implementation of measures during the state of emergency.

277.In case of declaration of the state of emergency all gatherings in public places, as well as the activities of political, sportive, cultural and trade union character are prohibited. With the intention of dispersing the gatherings in public places, when the same cannot be attained through other means, the public order organs are entitled to use the lachrymatory gas and firearms necessary to fulfil the duty according to legal provisions regulating this matter.

278.The activities for facing the state of emergency are managed by the Defence Council. In implementing the provisions of the abovementioned law, the Defence Council analyses and adopts all the necessary measures for the safeguard and protection of the public order. The Defence Council takes measures for the coordination of the activity of the central and local authorities, with the purpose of guaranteeing the economic activities and vital needs of the citizens.

279.For the implementation of the emergency measures in every district (prefecture) are established defence headquarters. The capacity of the chairman of the headquarter is exercised by the prefect, and members of the headquarter are nominated the mayor, the commandant of the greatest military unit operating in the area, the heads of police establishment and the State Informative Service.

280.The same day of the adoption of the abovementioned law (02.03.1997) Kuvendi, the Parliament of the Republic of Albania through the resolution no. 297, declared the state of emergency in the Republic of Albania. Pursuant to the resolution the state of emergency would continue until the restoration of the constitutional and public order in the territory of the Republic. The resolution entered into force in the 2nd of March 1997, 17:35 local time (CET).

281.In response to the crisis, The United Nations Security Council authorized the deployment in Albania of an international force leaded by Italy. The international military force was deployed in the country from April to August 1997.

282.The resolution of the Kuvendi, no. 319 of 5th of August 1997, set out the composition of the Defence Council of the Republic of Albania as follows:

Chairman ‑ The President of the Republic and members,

The chairman of Kuvendi;

Chairman of the Council of Ministers;

Minister of Defence;

Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Minister of Public Order;

Minister of Finances;

Minister of Public Affairs and Transport;

Minister of Public Economy and Privatisation;

Chairman of the State Informative Service;

Chief of the General Headquarters of the Army.

283.The state of emergency was formally abolished in July 1997.

Article 5

Restriction of rights

284.Pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution (article 17), the limitation of rights and freedoms provided for in the Constitution may be established only by law for a public interest or for the protection of the rights of others. A limitation shall be in proportion with the situation that has dictated it. These limitations may not infringe the essence of the rights and freedoms and in no case may exceed the limitations provided for in the European Convention on Human Rights.

285.According to article 11 of the Constitution, the economic system of the Republic of Albania is based on private and public property, as well as on a market economy and on freedom of economic activity. Law equally protects private and public property. Limitations on the freedom of economic activity may be established only by law and for important public reasons.

286.Article 41, the right of private property is guaranteed. The law may provide for expropriations or limitations in the exercise of a property right only for public interests. The expropriations or limitations of a property right that are equivalent to expropriation are permitted only against fair compensation. For disagreements connected with the extent of the compensation, a complaint may be filed in court.

287.Article 51, the right of an employee to strike in connection with work relations is guaranteed. Limitations on particular categories of employees may be established by law to assure essential social services.

288.Article 151/2, issues related to the territorial integrity of the Republic of Albania, limitations of fundamental human rights and freedoms, budget, taxes, financial obligations of the state, declaration and abrogation of the state of emergency, declaration of war and peace, as well as amnesty, cannot be voted upon in a referendum.

289.Article 170/2, the principles for actions of public organs, as well as the extent of limitations on human rights and freedoms during the existence of such situations that require extraordinary measures, are defined by law.

290.Pursuant to article 4 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Albania, civil rights of a physical person cannot be limited, except exclusions provided by law. The juridical action that places limits to the legal capacity of a physical person is invalid.

291.Pursuant to article 56 of the Code of Administrative Procedures, the interested parties have to be notified on the content of all administrative acts wherewith:

Are taken decisions related to their claims;

Are imposed obligations, punishments or caused damages;

Are established, abolished extended or limited the legitimate interests or rights of the parties, or in other manner the conditions for their exercise are affected.

292.According to article 132 of the Code, the organs of the Public Administration cannot undertake any action that in a way or another limits the legal rights of the individuals, without issuing in advance an administrative act, which could legalize these actions. Exception of this rule can be made only during the cases of emergency.

293.Article 5/1 of the Criminal Procedural Code provides that, the liberty of an individual may be restricted by means of precautionary measures only in cases and forms provided by law.

294.Law no. 8328 of 16.04.1998 “On the rights treatment of inmates”, article 6 provides that, the rights of the individuals sentenced, in conformity with this law, can be restricted or abolished in cases of violating this law or internal rules, only in instances and according to criteria prescribed by this law.

295.Article 7, the rights of prisoners could be restricted and abolished temporarily in‑group, upon the order of the Minister of Justice only in cases of state of emergency imposed, force major, significant construction work being underway in the establishments as well as the prisoner’s life and health are endangered to the extent and duration determined in the order. The head of the institution, his deputy in his absence, in cases of state of emergency could impose restrictions prescribed above, consequently no later than 24 hours should be provided the respective approval issued by the Minister of justice. In the institutions of high security could be imposed restrictions to the rights of the inmates, only in instances and according to criteria prescribed by the law.

296.Article 44 of the law provides that, the regulation of prisons and the regulation of each institution set out rules related to the treatment, regime and the behaviour of the inmates, thus setting out necessary restrictions in the framework of the provisions of the law, without effecting the objective for the re‑education of inmates.

297.During the acceptance in the institution and serving the sentence, the inmates are obliged to know and respect the internal regulations, provisions related to their rights and duties, their treatment and discipline. To the inmates cannot be assigned duties in the services of the institution that award them prevailing or favourable position in relation to other inmates.

298.Pursuant to article 56, of law no. 8328 of 16.04.1998 “On the rights treatment of inmates”, the special supervision contains the necessary restrictions for the maintenance of order and security for the exercise of the rights of the inmates and for the treatment rules provided by the prison regulation. In any case the restrictions do not affect the hygiene, health, clothing, nutrition, equipment, keeping, purchase and taking of food and other objects foreseeable from the regulation of the institution, as well as reading of books, religious practice, usage of permitted radio receivers, ventilation, communication with the advocate, spouse, children and children inmates with their parents.

299.Pursuant to article 15 of law no. 8092 of 21.03.1996 “On Mental Health”, the limitation or deprivation of the physical capacity of mentally disordered persons may be proposed by legal‑psychiatric commission, which have to be composed by not less than 3 members. In compliance with the provisions of the Civil Procedural Code, the court is entitled to take the final decision. The decision must also provide his legal tutor.

300.Pursuant to articles 19 and 20 of the abovementioned law, the physical restriction of the mentally disordered person comprises forcible retention, compulsory usage of medicaments, immobilisation and isolation.

301.For the materialisation of the obligations under the law “On Mental Health”, the physical restriction of the mentally disordered individual may be considered for use only when this person represents risk for his health and/or his life or the health or life of other persons; when he acts against public safety; damages or destroys items in the surrounding area; and also in all the cases provided for by the regulations of psychiatric service.

302.In addition articles 25 and 27 of the law provide that the person who due to the mental disorders represents risk for his own life or health, as well as for others life and health, or is unable to fulfil its vital necessities, can be object to a psychiatric examination without its own consent, or the consent of the legal representative. The compulsory examination proceeds only by decision of the specialist physician. If deemed necessary the psychiatrist may order the immediate transfer of the examined in hospital.

303.In cases of implementation of physical limitation measures, the specialist physician or persons in charge should accompany the person concerned to the hospital. The actions of the physician and the decisions taken by him have to be recorded in the relevant documentation, explaining at the same time the reasons for undertaking limitation measures.

304.A mentally disordered person may be treated in a psychiatric institution without his or his tutor’s prior consent, only if he represents an obvious menace for his life or health, or the life or health of other persons. The decision to hospitalise a person has to be taken by a specialized physician, only after he has personally conducted the examination. The mentally disordered person, his parents or his legal tutor are entitled to be informed on the grounds of taking such decision. The procedures of the hospitalisation in the institution have to be recorded in the clinic registers.

305.The physician that takes a decision to hospitalise a mentally disordered person without his or his tutor’s prior consent, has to notify within 24 hours the head of the clinic, which can approve or reject the decision. Within 48 hours of the approval, the head of the clinic has to present the case to the single judge of the court of first instance, which is competent for examining these cases.

306.The single judge, who examines the case not later than 3 days from the request, interrogates the hospitalised person without his or his legal tutor’s consent, the doctor that has recovered the person, the head of the clinic who approved the hospitalisation and also the relatives or any interested person for explanations on the case. The decision of the single judge to keep the disordered person hospitalised or to release him of the psychiatric institution has immediate effect.

307.The family or the legal tutors of mentally disordered person have the right to request that the hospitalised leave the hospital at any time. The request may be also informal and has to be registered in the clinic register. If the request is refused, the abovementioned individuals are entitled to appeal before the court of first instance under which competency falls the psychiatric institution, within 7 days from the date of having notice and the case is examined by the only judge whose decision is final.

International instruments

308.With the intention of protecting and further improvement of the human rights and freedoms in the Republic of Albania, during the reporting period Albania became party to the following most important international instruments on human rights:

International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, entered into force in Republic of Albania in May 11, 1994;

Convention against Torture Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, entered into force in May 11, 1994;

Statute of the International Criminal Court, (Rome statute ‑ 18th July 1998), ratified by Kuvendi on December 23rd, 2002;

UN Convention against the international organized crime, ratified on 12th December 2000.

309.Besides the ratification of the European Convention “On the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” and its additional protocols no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 of the Convention, Albania has ratified major part of the Conventions of the Council of Europe as follows:

The European Convention On Extradition, signed and ratified in May 19, 1998, and entered into force in August 17, 1998;

The Optional Protocol of the European Convention On Extradition, signed and ratified in May 19, 1998 and entered into force in August 17, 1998;

The European Convention On Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed in May 19, 1998, ratified in April 4, 2000 and entered into force in July 3, 2000;

The European Convention On the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatments or Punishment, signed in October 2, 1996, ratified in October 2, 1996 and entered into force in January 1, 1997;

The Protocol no. 1 of the European Convention On the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatments or Punishment, signed, ratified and entered into force in October 2, 1996;

The Protocol no. 2 of the European Convention On the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatments or Punishment, signed, ratified and entered into force in October 2, 1996;

The Convention On the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, signed in May 19, 1998, ratified in April 4, 2000 and entered into force in August 1, 2000;

The European Convention On Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime, signed in April 4, 2000, ratified in July 20, 2000 and entered into force in February 1, 2002;

The European Convention On the International Validity of Criminal Judgments, signed in June 8, 2000;

The European Agreement On the Transmission of Applications for Legal Aid, signed in June 8, 2000, ratified in April 4, 2000 and entered into force in July 3, 2000;

The Optional Protocol of the European Convention On Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed in May 19, 1998, ratified in June 10, 1999 and entered into force in July 3, 2000;

The European Convention on Terrorism Prevention signed in April 4, 2000, ratified in September 21, 2000 and entered into force in December 22, 2000;

The European Convention On the Transmission of Procedures in Criminal Matters signed in May 19, 1998, ratified in April 4, 2000 and entered into force in July 5, 2000;

The European Convention On the Supervision of Conditionally Sentenced or Conditionally Released Offenders signed in June 8, 2000, ratified in May 17, 2001 and entered into force in August 18, 2001;

The European Agreement relating to Persons participating in Proceedings of the European Court on Human Rights signed in September 21, 2000;

The Second Additional Protocol of European Convention On Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed in November 12, 2001, ratified by the Parliament, and deposited the instrument of ratification;

The Additional Protocol of European Convention On the Transmission of Applications for Legal Aid, signed in November 12, 2001, ratified by the Parliament, and deposited the instrument of ratification;

Framework Agreement on the protection of national minorities (1999).

Article 6

Right to life

310.From the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1991, the Republic of Albania has undertaken important steps towards the abolition of death penalty, and its transformation to life imprisonment. The right to life is provided also by some international instruments ratified by the Republic of Albania, such as the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms.

311.The Statute of Council of Europe was ratified and entered into force in the Republic of Albania in July 13, 1995. The Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in July 13, 1995, and ratified in October 2, 1996.

312.Albania has also ratified Optional Protocols no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8, of this Convention signed, ratified and entered into force in October 2, 1996. Protocol 11 of European Convention On the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in July 13, 1995, ratified in October 2, 1996 and entered into force in November 1, 1998.

313.As for the sixth Optional Protocol of European Convention On the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms regarding the abolition of death penalty, signed in April 4, 2000, ratified in September 21, 2000 and entered into force in October 1, 2000.

314.Since 1992, when the last death penalty was executed, the death penalty was foreseen in the Criminal Code, but the implementation of the same sentence was suspended. After the ratification of the sixth Optional Protocol of European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms this punishment was replaced by life imprisonment. The twelfth and thirteenth Optional Protocols of European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms are in the process of ratification.

315.Article 21 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania provides that life of a person is protected by law.

316.Due to the dangerousness of criminal actions against the person, The Albanian Criminal Code has provided severe sanctions for these actions at the beginning of its special part.

317.Viewed in that light the Criminal Code provides for as follows:

(a)Article 73, the execution of a premeditated plan aiming at the total or partial destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group directed towards its members, and combined with the following acts, such as: intentionally killing a group’s members, serious physical and psychological harm, placement in difficult living conditions which cause physical destruction, applying birth preventing measures, as well as the obligatory transfer of children from one group to another, is sentenced with no less than ten years of imprisonment, or with life imprisonment.

(b)Article 74, killing, massacres, slavery, internal exile and deportation, as well as every act of torture or other inhuman violence committed for political, ideological, racial, ethnic and religious reasons, are sentenced with no less than fifteen years of imprisonment, or with life imprisonment.

(c)Article 75, acts committed by different people in war time such as murder, maltreatment or deportation for slavery labour, as well as any other inhuman exploitation to the detriment of civil population or in occupied territory, the killing or maltreatment of war prisoners, the killing of hostages, destruction of private or public property, destruction of towns, commons or villages, which are not ordained from military necessity, are sentenced with no less than fifteen years of imprisonment, or life imprisonment.

(d)Article 76, the person convicted of murder shall be sentenced to a term of ten to twenty years of imprisonment.

(e)Article 77, the act of murder, which is committed before, along, or after another crime, shall be sentenced to life imprisonment.

(f)Article 78, the person convicted of premeditated homicide shall be sentenced to a term of fifteen to twenty‑five years of imprisonment and, when aggravating circumstances occur, to life imprisonment.

(g)Article 79, shall be sentenced to life imprisonment the murder committed against:

a minor under sixteen years old;

a person with physical or psychiatric handicaps, gravely sick people or pregnant woman, provided that these qualities are obvious or known;

a deputy, judge, prosecutor, lawyer, policeman, military officer, state employee, during work period or because of the work, provided that the qualities of the victim are obvious or known;

the person who reported the criminal act, the witness, the damaged person or other parties in the trial;

Article 80, providing the [necessary] conditions and material means for committing the murder shall be sentenced to an imprisonment term of up to five years.

Article 81, the infanticide voluntarily committed by a mother right after birth is considered criminal contravention and shall be sentenced to a fine or up to two years of imprisonment.

Article 82, homicide committed intentionally in a sudden state of profound psychiatric distress caused by violence or serious offence to the victim is sentenced up to eight years of imprisonment.

Article 83, homicide committed through the use of excessive force for self‑defence is sentenced up to seven years of imprisonment.

Article 84, serious threat to cause death or grave personal harm to someone constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to one year of imprisonment.

Article 87, torture, like any other degrading or inhuman treatment, when it has inflicted handicap, mutilation or any permanent harm to the well being of a person, or death, is sentenced from ten to twenty years of imprisonment.

Article 88, serious intentional injury inflicting handicap, mutilation or any other permanent detriment to the health, or inflicting interruption of pregnancy, or which has been dangerous to the life at the moment of its inducement, is sentenced from three to ten years of imprisonment. When the same act is committed against a group of people, or causes death, it is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment.

Article 93, interruption of pregnancy without the woman’s consent, unless those cases when interruption is imposed because of a justified health‑related cause, is sentenced to a fine or up to five years of imprisonment.

Article 94, interruption of pregnancy which is not conducted in public hospitals or specifically licensed private clinics, or by a person who is not doctor, or after the time allowed for the interruption unless in the case when this is imposed because of a justified health‑related cause, has caused [serious] danger to the life or resulted to death, it is sentenced to a fine or up to five years of imprisonment.

Article 95, providing the utensils, which serve, for interruption of pregnancy of a woman in order to have either her or somebody else interrupt the pregnancy, constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to one year of imprisonment.

Article 96, incorrect medication of patients from the doctor or other medical staff, as well as non‑implementation of the therapy or the orders of the doctor from the medical staff or pharmacist, when it has caused serious harm to the health, has endangered the life of the person or has caused his death, is sentenced to a fine or up to five years of imprisonment.

Article 97, refraining from providing help without reasonable cause by the person who either legally or because of his capacity was obliged to provide, is considered criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or to up to two years of imprisonment when, as its consequence, serious harm to the health, endangerment to life or death resulted.

Article 98, refraining from providing help by the captain of a ship to the people who are drawing in the sea or in other waters, when this help could have been provided without causing serious danger to the ship, crew and passengers, is sentenced to a fine or up to four years of imprisonment.

Article 99, causing suicide or a suicide attempt to a person because of the systematic maltreatment or other systematic misbehaviours which seriously affect the dignity [of the person], committed by another person under whose material dependence or any other dependence the former person is subject, is sentenced to a fine or up to five years of imprisonment.

Article 100, when sexual intercourse with a minor has resulted into death or suicide of the minor, it is sentenced to no less than twenty years of imprisonment.

Article 101, when the violent sexual intercourse with a minor between fourteen to eighteen years has lead to the death or suicide of the minor, it is sentenced no less than fifteen years of imprisonment.

Article 102, if the sexual intercourse through violence with matures women has lead to the death or suicide of the victim, is sentenced from ten to twenty years of imprisonment.

Article 103, sexual intercourse with an either physically or mentally handicapped victim who has reached the age of fourteen and is sexually mature or, when it is had while the victim has lost consciousness, is sentenced from five to twenty years of imprisonment if the act has lead to the death or suicide of the victim.

Article 110, when the unlawful detention of a person has endangered the life or is accompanied with serious physical hardship, is sentenced up to five years of imprisonment.

Article 124, when abandonment of a child under fourteen by a parent or by a person compelled to guard over him, has resulted in serious harm to the health or death of the child is sentenced to three up to ten years of imprisonment.

Article 141, theft of property, when accompanied with such actions as resulting in the death of the person, is sentenced from fifteen to twenty years of imprisonment, or to life imprisonment.

Article 151, when due to intentionally destroying or damaging property by fire has resulted in serious consequences to the life and health of people, is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment.

Article 152, when intentionally destroying or damaging property by explosives has resulted in serious consequences to the life and health of people, is sentenced from ten to twenty years of imprisonment.

Article 153, when intentionally destroying or damaging property by flooding has resulted in serious consequences to the life and health of people, is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment.

Article 154, when intentionally destroying or damaging property with other means, which constitute danger to the environment and the health of people, has resulted in serious consequences to the life and health of people, is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment.

Article 155, when intentionally destroying or damaging automobile roads, railways and works related to them has resulted in serious consequences to the life and health of people, is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment.

Article 203, when polluting the waters of the seas, rivers, lakes or the springs of water supply system with waste either toxic or radioactive or other substances, which break the ecological balance has resulted in serious consequences to the life and health of people is sentenced from five to ten years of imprisonment.

Article 204, fishing undertaken through means of public danger like explosives, poisonous substances, etc, constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to two years of imprisonment.

Article 207, breach of rules of quarantine for plants or animals, when it has led to serious consequences which are either materialor which bring serious danger to the life and health of people, constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine.

Article 219, assassination, kidnapping, torturing or other acts of violence [committed] against highest representatives of the state, with the intent of overturning constitutional order, is sentenced to no less than fifteen years of imprisonment or to life imprisonment.

Article 232, delivery in the air, land or water of substances that constitute danger to the life and health of people and animals, with the intent of seriously disturbing public order and instilling uncertainty to the public, is sentenced from ten to twenty years of imprisonment.

Article 233, creating armed gangs to oppose on the public order through violent acts against life, health, personal freedom of the individual, property, with the intent of instilling fear and uncertainty to the public, is sentenced up to ten years of imprisonment.

Article 234, producing, storing, transporting of military, chemical, biological, nuclear weapons which have poisonous or explosive base, with the intent of committing acts of terrorism, is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment.

Article 278, manufacturing military weapons and ammunition, bombs and mines, without the permission of competent state bodies, is sentenced from five to ten years of imprisonment. Holding, buying or selling weapons, bombs or mines without the authorization of state competent bodies, is sentenced to a fine or up to seven years of imprisonment. Holding bullets of light military weapons without the authorization of state competent bodies constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to one year of imprisonment.

Article 279, manufacturing, keeping, buying or selling cold weapons, such as swords, bayonets, knives and other means prepared and intended specifically for assaulting people or for self‑defence, without the authorization of state competent bodies, is sentenced to a fine or up to five years of imprisonment.

Article 280, manufacturing, keeping, buying or selling hunting or sporting rifles, as well as their ammunition, without the authorization of state competent bodies, constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to two years of imprisonment.

Article 281, breaching stipulated rules for keeping, manufacturing, using, storing, transporting and selling poisonous substances with strong effect, constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to two years of imprisonment. When the criminal act has led to death, serious harm to the health of people or other serious material consequences, it is sentenced to a fine or up to ten years of imprisonment.

Article 282, breach of stipulated rules for keeping, manufacturing, use, storing, transporting and sale of explosive, firing or radioactive substances, constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to two years of imprisonment. When the criminal act has lead to death or has caused serious harm to the health of people or other serious material consequences have resulted, is sentenced to a fine or up to ten years of imprisonment.

Article 289, causing death or serious harm to the health of an individual because of intentional disregard of rules related to work, production, service, provided for by laws, acts of the Council of the Ministers or in the pertinent regulations of technical safety, technical discipline, work‑related protection, hygiene and fire safety by an individual designated to respect those rules and to implement them, is sentenced to a fine or up to ten years of imprisonment. When the criminal act has caused death or serious harm to the health of more than one person, it is sentenced to no less than five years of imprisonment.

Article 290, breach of traffic regulations, when it has caused the death, serious injury to a person or injuries to more than one person, is sentenced to a fine or up to ten years of imprisonment. When the criminal act has caused the death or serious injury to more than one person, it is sentenced to no less than five years of imprisonment.

Article 292, breach of working‑standards in railway, water, or air transportation by their employees, which has caused death or serious harm to the health of an individual, is sentenced to a fine or up to ten years of imprisonment. When the criminal act has caused death or serious injury to more than one person, it is sentenced to no less than five years of imprisonment.

Article 334 of the Criminal Code provides more severe punishments on the following cases:

Committing crimes by an armed gang or criminal organization shall be sentenced according to respective criminal provisions adding five more years to the sentence given for the crime committed, when the referring provision contains imprisonment and another lighter punishment, but without exceeding the maximum term of imprisonment.

When the respective criminal provision contains imprisonment or life imprisonment or the death penalty, it is sentenced to twenty‑five years of imprisonment or to life imprisonment.

When the respective criminal provision contains life imprisonment or the death penalty, it is sentenced to life imprisonment.

318.The Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania is one of the most important laws of the Albanian legal system. Kuvendi adopted the Code on the 27th of January 1995, as part of the overall reform of the Albanian legal system. The code has been subject to important changes by law no. 8175, of 23.12.1996, law no. 8204 of 10.04.1997 and law no. 24.01.2001, with the intention of adapting its provisions with the new social challenges of life in Albania.

Disappearance of individuals

319.As mentioned above, article 21 of the Constitution provides that life of a person in protected by law.

320.The Criminal Police announces the search for the persons declared disappeared, (according articles 15‑23 of the Civil Code of Albania) for all kidnapped, not founded or runaway persons. In case of the runaway persons towards unknown direction, for minors, or persons with no capacity to act the police announce the search before the court takes a decision on the “disappearance of a person”. Prior to that the police conducts all the preliminary verifications for the possible location of the disappeared persons period, which cannot be longer than one month.

Articles 15‑23 of the Civil Code provide also that:

321.The person who has disappeared from his residence or his last residing place and for whom there is no news for more than two years, then by the demand of any interested person he can be declared a disappeared person by the decision of the court. When the date of the last news can not be decided, the above mentioned term starts from the date of successor month during which is informed for the last time. When the month can be not decided, then the term begins from January 1 of the following year.

322.With the announcement of disappearance of a person there is appointed a tutor for the administration of the property. The decision of the court by which a person is declared disappeared is published in the Official Gazette and is sent for registration to the respective registry office.

323.The person who is declared disappeared, with the demand of every interested person can be declared a dead person by the decision of the court when four years have passed without news from the date when he is declared disappeared.

324.The person missing in military action and this missing is verified by the competent military organs, in case when there have passed two years without news from the date when the agreement of peace has entered into force or three years from the end of military actions, then he can be declared dead by the decision of the court, without declaring him disappeared in advance.

325.The person missing during a natural disaster or in circumstances which make believe he is dead can be declared dead by the decision of court when there have passed two years without news from the date of disaster, without declaring him disappeared in advance. When the date of disaster has not been decided, the two year term starts from date 1 of the month which comes after the one when disaster has taken place, and when even the month can not be decided, then the term starts from date 1 January of following year.

326.When two or more persons have died and it can be not proved as to who died first, then 9 for legal effect they are considered to have died at the same time.

327.When the death of a disappeared person is declare, there is decided the date when it happened. When this date cannot be exactly verified, the court decides it according to the rules provided by the articles of this code. Upon the demand of every interested person, the court, which has given the decision, can change the date of death when there is verified that the person has died in another date.

328.The death announced by the decision of the court is equal to all legal consequences of the real death. The decision of the court in which a person is declared dead is published in the Official Book and is sent for registration to the respective registry office.

329.When the person declared dead happens to be alive, by his or every interested person demand, the decision is renounced by the court that has issued it. The person who is alive has the right to demand his property and the property gained by its means, even from third persons to whom this property has passed because of the death announcement, within the limits and conditions provided by this code or family code.

330.Until June 2003, in the archives of the searching division, at the Ministry of Public Order 91 persons result runaways to unknown direction. This number comprises also the disappeared persons, but emphasizing that the initiative before the court for declaring a person disappeared should be taken by the relatives or other interested individuals (which is rarely the case), there is no precise figure on the number of disappeared persons.

Children

331.Under article 21 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, the law protects the life of a person (including children).

332.Abortion is a debatable issue relating to the child’s undeniable right to life. Until 1995, deliberate abortion was legally forbidden in Albania. On 7 December 1995, the People’s Assembly passed the Law no. 8045, “For the Interruption of Pregnancy”. Although article 1 of the present law states that respect for each and every human being right from the beginning of his life is guaranteed under law, it also underlines that this principle may be violated when it is indispensable and under the conditions provided for by the said law.

333.The Law “For the Interruption of Pregnancy” guarantees respect for each and every human being right from the beginning of his life, hence, after he is conceived. Interruption of pregnancy is permitted for health‑related reasons only (concerning both mother and child), and for psychosocial reasons. In cases where girls below the age of sixteen years conceive pregnancy out of wedlock, the interruption of pregnancy is carried out with the consent of the parent or legal guardian. Besides the interruption of pregnancy for health‑related reasons, deliberate interruption of pregnancy at the mother’s request is also allowed.

334.Under Section V of the Criminal Code “Criminal Acts Endangering the Life and Health because of Interruption of Pregnancy or Refraining from Providing Help”, article 93 “Interruption of pregnancy without the woman’s consent, except for the cases where interruption is imposed because of a justified health‑related cause, this act is punishable by fine or imprisonment up to five years.

335.The Criminal Code contains special provisions aiming at protection of the right of the child to life. Article 81, of the Criminal Code deals the infanticide voluntarily committed by a mother right after birth. In this case we have to do with a criminal contravention, and the offender ‑ the mother, is liable to punishment by fine or imprisonment up to two years.

336.Under Chapter II “Crimes against Life” of the Criminal Code, letter a) of article 79 “Murder for reasons of special qualities of the victim”, commission of murder against a minor below the age of sixteen years is punishable by life imprisonment.

337.In Albania, there is a difference in terms of the feeding of children between the urban and rural areas. Stark differences, however, exist between the mountainous and plain areas. In the mountainous areas the families live under dire economic conditions also due to the difficult terrain, so the children in those areas receive less qualitative feeding. This leads to higher mortality rates among children as compared to other areas.

Infant mortality

Years

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

Infant mortality

28.3

1.2

2.8

3.4

35.7

30

25.8

22.5

20.5

17.5

16

17.5

Malnutrition

Prevalence of malnutrition of children from 0‑3 years old (in %)

Years

1991*

1992**

1994***

1996***

1997***

%

28

28

18.4

14.6

7.4&

* Study of the Paediatric Institute, 1991.

** Red Cross Study.

*** Italian NGO (S Eugidi) study UNICEF & Data grounded on the acute malnutritionindicator (wasting).

Life expectancy

Expectation of life at birth(1950‑1999)

Year

Total

Male

Female

1950‑1951

53.5

52.6

54.4

1951‑1956

57.8

57.2

58.6

1960‑1961

64.9

63.7

66.0

1979‑1980

69.5

67.0

72.3

1980‑1981

70.2

67.7

72.2

1984‑1985

71.5

68.7

74.4

1985‑1986

71.9

68.7

75.5

1986‑1987

72.0

68.8

75.5

1987‑1988

72.2

69.4

75.5

1988‑1989

72.4

69.6

75.5

1989‑1990

72.2

69.3

75.4

1990‑1995*

71.4

68.5

74.3

1999*

74.0

71.7

76.4

* Calculated based upon population projections by INSTAT.

Medium longevity

Years

1950

1955

1960

1965

1969

1975

1979

1985

1990

1995

2002 ‑2001

Medium life duration

51.6

55.0

62.0

64.1

66.5

67.0

68.0

70.2

70.7

73.1

74.6

Abortion

Pregnancies, births, abortions(1999‑2001)

Years

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

No. of pregnancies

108 237

107 769

103 562

104 520

103 471

104 349

No. of births

82 125

77 361

75 425

71 079

72 179

72 081

No. of reported abortions

26 112

30 408

27 745

33 441

31 292

32 268

Years

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

No. of pregnancies

96 092

83 872

78 355

70 969

71 081

68 616

No. of births

68 358

61 739

60 139

57 948

53 833

52 888

No. of reported abortions

27 734

22 133

18 948

16 360

17 120

15 728

Abortion by age groups (1994‑1997)

Age groups

1994

1995

1996

1997

13‑19

3.5

4.9

2.7

3.6

20‑34

67

63.2

58

64.4

35+

27.7

19.5

26.4

32

Abortion by education level (1994‑1997)

Education level

1994

1995

1996

1997

Primary

2.5

2.5

1.8

0.7

8‑years

47.6

47.1

47.9

32.9

Secondary

44.3

47.1

45.1

62.7

High

4.7

3.3

3.2

3.4

Abortion by kind and place

Year

Total

Kind of abortion

Place

Provoked

Spontaneous

Urban

Rural

1994

18 361

14 456

3 905

10 455

7 906

1995

17 504

13 615

3 889

9 057

8 447

1996

10 310

8 435

1 875

5 738

4 572

1997

10 564

8 979

1 585

6 312

4 252

BIRTHS AND ABORTIONS

Years 1994‑2000

Years

Abortions

1994

31 622

1995

31 874

1996

32 538

1997

22 103

1998

18 944

1999

19 930

2000

21 004

Source: INSTAT.

338.In 1990 the births in urban areas comprised 32% of total births, in rural areas 68.8%, whereas in 1999 this figure was 44.6% in urban areas and 55.4 in rural areas. The total fertility rate lowered from 7 children per women in 1960 to less than 2.6 children per women in 1995 and 2.5 in 1997. Infant mortality rate (per 1 000 births) has decreased in 1998 (20.5/1,000 live births) as compared to the period 1987‑ 1997. In 1996 the number of male live births was 35 thousand or 51.4% of total live births, while female live birth was 33 thousand or 48.6% of total live births. Fertility is about 25% higher in rural than in urban areas.

Live births by sex(1990‑1999)

Year

Total

Male

Female

Sex ratio

1990

82 125

42 564

39 561

1.08

1991

77 361

40 748

36 613

1.11

1992

75 425

39 505

35 920

1.10

1993

67 730

35 570

32 160

1.11

1994

72 179

38 022

34 157

1.11

1995

72 081

38 085

33 996

1.12

1996

68 358

35 519

32 818

1.08

1997

61 739

32 178

29 561

1.09

1998

60 139

31 556

28 583

1.10

1999

57 948

30 308

27 640

1.10

Live births by urban and rural residence (1990‑1999)

Year

Total

Urban

Rural

1990

82 125

25 642

56 483

1991

77 361

22 550

54 811

1992

75 425

22 530

52 895

1993

67 730

22 350

45 380

1994

72 179

26 809

45 370

1995

72 081

27 379

44 702

1996

68 358

29 016

39 342

1997

61 739

26 295

35 444

1998

60 139

25 758

34 381

1999

57 948

25 836

32 112

Deaths by sex(1990‑1999)

Year

Total

Male

Female

1990

18 193

10 311

7 882

1991

17 743

10 296

7 447

1992

17 743

10 408

7 618

1993

18 026

10 438

7 482

1994

17 920

10 788

7 554

1995

18 060

10 447

7 613

1996

17 600

10 294

7 306

1997

18 237

11 121

7 116

1998

18 250

10 808

7 442

1999

16 720

9 695

7 025

Deaths by urban and rural residence (1990‑1999)

Year

Total

Urban

Rural

1990

18 193

6 190

12 003

1991

17 743

6 546

11 197

1992

18 026

6 572

11 454

1993

17 920

6 820

11 100

1994

18 342

7 605

10 737

1995

18 060

7 312

10 748

1996

17 600

7 459

10 141

1997

18 237

8 695

9 542

1998

18 250

8 891

9 359

1999

16 720

7 837

8 883

Live births, deaths and natural increase(1990‑1999)

Year

Population

Live births

Deaths

Natural increase

Crude birth rate

Crude death rate

1990

3 255 891

82 125

18 193

63 932

25.2

5.6

1991

3 259 814

77 361

17 743

59 618

23.7

5.4

1992

3 190 103

75 425

18 026

57 399

23.6

5.7

1993

3 167 478

67 730

17 920

49 810

21.4

5.7

1994

3 202 031

72 179

18 342

53 837

22.5

5.7

1995

3 248 836

72 081

18 060

54 021

22.2

5.6

1996

3 283 000

68 358

17 600

50 758

20.8

5.4

1997

3 324 317

61 739

18 237

43 502

18.6

5.5

1998

3 354 336

60 139

18 250

41 889

17.9

5.4

1999

3 373 445

57 948

16 720

41 228

17.2

5.0

Use of firearms by the police

339.Cases of use of firearms by police forces are provided by law no. 8290 of 24.02.1998, “On use of firearms”, and regulation no. 721 of 25.06.1998 “On the use of firearms by the Public Order Police and other armed persons in compliance with law.

340.Pursuant to article 1 of law no. 8290 of 24.02.1998, “On use of firearms”, the fire arms are used as an extreme final mean to stop or paralyse the contravention actions of persons, when other means has given no result, or when obviously their use will not give any effect.

341.Article 2 of law provides that, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Albania, police and other police formations established by law which are not part of Armed Forces, as well as armed guards are entitled to use the firearms to protect their or somebody else’s life, health, rights or interests from an unfair, real and accidental attack, provided that the defence was proportionate to the dangerousness of the attack (in cases of necessary defence), and also in cases when they are asked to confront a real and accidental danger which threatens him, another person or property from a serious damage, provided that the danger has not been instigated by him and the damage incurred is greater than the damage avoided (in cases of extreme necessity).

342.Article 5 of law provide that the firearms cannot be used:

Against persons who are obviously minors (children), women and elderly;

In public places, during meetings or gatherings, thus risking somebody else’s life.

343.In such cases the firearms can be used only against particular individuals, who are committing obvious violent penal offences against person or property and when the use of other coercive measures has not given any effect.

344.Articles 6 and 7 of law provide that the use of firearms should be interrupted when the attack has been interrupted, stopped, ended, or if the attacker surrenders.

345.Prior to using the firearms, persons subject to use of firearms should be warned loudly and clearly. When the person does not obey to the order, and instead tries to escape or react, the police shoot without warning, intending to paralyse its movements by shooting him at the lower parts of body. When the compliance with the above rules is impossible because of circumstances, the firearms are used without warning.

346.In compliance and implementing the provisions of law no. 8290 of 24.02.1998, “On use of firearms”, the Ministry of Public Order, Ministry of Defence and the State Informative Service have adopted their own internal regulations on the use of firearms by their employees.

347.In compliance with the abovementioned law, the Public Order Police adopted the regulation no. 721, of 25.06.1998, that provides for the extent of firearms use by public order police.

348.According to the general principles of the regulation, the persons in charge and entitled to hold and use the firearms are:

Police officers belonging to the Public Order Police, Criminal Police, Order Police, Border Police, Special Forces and Rapid Intervention, Road Police, other structures empowered by law to carry and use the firearms as the police forces;

Physical persons defined by law no. 7996 of 07.04.1993 “On the Civil Guard Services”. These persons are authorised by special commissions established in the police stations;

Physical persons defined by law “On Arms”. These persons obtain the authorisation by the Ministry of Public Order.

349.In carrying and using the firearms, the persons authorised to use them are always guided by the principles of legality, proportionality, necessity and humanism.

350.General rules in using the firearms

In cases of using the arms with prior warning, the loud warning shall contain the words “stop”, “stop the assault”, “stop police”;

In cases of attempt to escape from the detention or prison premises, or from the place the detainee or the inmate is at the moment, the warning shall be considered the exit of the enwall (prisons) and the detention rooms, temporary isolation place (hall, room, etc);

The heads of various structures of police must implement special programmes of training for the techniques and dealing with weapons, combining the training to the conditions and features of service;

The General Directorate of Police forces, having regard to the experience and services offered, defines the basic and most effective armament for each police structure;

Managers of Civil Guard Companies must also implement programmes of training for techniques and dealing with firearms, engaging for this purpose specialists of respective areas.

351.The regulation no. 721 of 25.06.1998 of the Public Order Police, provides the following cases when police officers can use the firearms:

When the firearms are used for the prevention or interruption of a criminal act;

When after committing the criminal offence, the responsible persons try to escape, or violently react to the attempts for their capture;

To prevent the runaway of a person or persons who are or previously were under police surveillance;

Against the person, or persons who try to free the detainees, the inmates, or try to eliminate them;

Against persons that using firearms or other dangerous means try to damage, destroy, set on fire, steal, rob, or use objects under police protection;

In all the cases mentioned above, the regulation in details defines when warning will precede the use of firearms;

The regulation also defines the cases and rules for use of firearms from the border police, and cases when their use is prohibited.

352.Pursuant to the regulation the firearms are not permitted for use in the following cases:

When illegal crossing of borderline has been forced by force major, technical defects, non‑reconnaissance of the terrain and in cases when foreign citizens seek shelter in the Republic of Albania;

Against persons who are obviously minors, women, elderly, and at the same time they are not undertaking dangerous actions against borderline police or other individuals;

When the police forces consider that the use of firearms would hurt innocent foreign citizens in the neighbouring country, or Albanian citizens in the Republic of Albania or their use would damage the properties;

When there are massive group crossing of the state borderline.

353.The civil guards and physical persons entitled by law to use the firearms, have the right to use them when:

They are subjected to an armed attack, explosive or other dangerous means which threatens their life and when other means has given no result, or when obviously their use will not give any concrete result (in this case the firearms are used without prior warning ‑ necessary defence);

Against persons or group of persons who commit an armed assault towards the object secured with civil guards (only after prior warning);

When themselves or persons subject to protection, come under an assault using firearms or other dangerous means for life, from individuals or groups of individuals (only after prior warning).

354.Chapter 4 of the regulation provides for the actions that have to be undertaken after the use of firearms. Pursuant to provisions contained in this chapter, after using the firearms the following actions have to take place:

Give the necessary assistance to persons wounded by using the firearms;

Inform the superior instances on the consequences of using the firearms (superiors, police stations, respective directories in the prefecture, Ministry of Public Order and for incidents at the border, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs);

Inform the relatives of the victim (for incidents at the border and when the victim is foreign citizen, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs);

Safeguard the place of the incident;

Examination of the place of the incident by the following persons:

The competent prosecutor, officer of the judicial police, respective criminology experts;

For incidents at the borderline, the group of experts is composed by members of both neighbouring states (according to the respective agreement);

Examination group should have all the necessary assistance, both for the safeguard of the place of incident, and for the collection of used armaments and ammunition;

Persons that have used the firearms must give all the necessary explanations for their use and must prepare the respective reports on the factual situation and circumstances that influenced the use of firearms;

Always when a consequence has followed the use of firearms, the superior commands must analyse it and send information to the Ministry of Public Order;

Always when a consequence has followed the use of firearms the commencement of criminal proceeding is obligatory.

Article 7

Prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment

355.The main provisions regarding torture are provided in article 25 of the Constitution: “No one may be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment”. In continuation article 26 of the Constitution provides that, no one may be required to perform forced labour, except in cases of the execution of a judicial decision, the performance of military service, or for a service that results from a state of emergency, war or natural disaster that threatens human life or health.

356.According to articles 28 of the Constitution, everyone whose liberty has been taken away has the right to be notified immediately, in a language that he understands, of the reasons for this measure, as well as the accusation made against him. The person whose liberty has been taken away shall be informed that he has no obligation to make a declaration and has the right to communicate immediately with a lawyer, and he shall also be given the possibility to realize his rights. The person whose liberty has been taken away, according to article 27, paragraph 2, subparagraph c), must be sent within 48 hours before a judge, who shall decide upon his pre‑trial detention or release not later than 48 hours from the moment he receives the documents for review.

357.A person in pre‑trial detention has the right to appeal the judge’s decision. He has the right to be tried within a reasonable period of time or to be released on bail pursuant to law. In all other cases, the person whose liberty is taken away extra judicially may address a judge at anytime, who shall decide within 48 hours regarding the legality of this action. Every person, whose liberty was taken away pursuant to article 27, has the right to humane treatment and respect for his dignity.

358.Pursuant to article 43, everyone has the right to appeal a judicial decision to a higher court, except when the Constitution provides otherwise.

359.Everyone, by himself or together with others, may direct requests, complaints or comments to the public organs, which are obliged to answer in the time periods and conditions set by law (article 48 of the Constitution).

360.The Republic of Albania adhered to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, with law no. 7727, of June 30, 1993, proclaimed by decree no. 592, of July 6, 1993 of the President of the Republic. The Convention entered into force with respect to Albania on May 11, 1994. The Republic of Albania has already presented before the Committee against Torture, its first initial and second periodic report.

361.In the framework of fight against torture, the Republic of Albania has also ratified the European Convention On the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatments or Punishment, signed in October 2, 1996, ratified in October 2, 1996 and entered into force in January 1, 1997, as well as its two optional protocols of the convention.

362.Article 50 of the Criminal Code provides also that, when the criminal act is committed savagely and ruthlessly, this circumstance aggravates the punishment. According to the article 75 of the Code, acts committed by different people in war time such as murder, maltreatment or deportation for slavery labour, as well as any other inhuman exploitation to the detriment of civil population or in occupied territory, the killing or maltreatment of war prisoners, the killing of hostages, destruction of private or public property, destruction of towns, commons or villages, which are not ordained from military necessity, are sentenced with no less than fifteen years of imprisonment, or life imprisonment.

363.Article 73 of the Criminal Code provides that, the execution of a premeditated plan aiming at the total or partial destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group directed towards its members, and combined with the following acts, such as: intentionally killing a group’s members, serious physical and psychological harm, placement in difficult living conditions which cause physical destruction, applying birth preventing measures, as well as the obligatory transfer of children from one group to another, is sentenced with no less than ten years of imprisonment, or with life imprisonment.

364.Killing, massacres, slavery, internal exile and deportation, as well as every act of torture or other inhuman violence committed for political, ideological, racial, ethnic and religious reasons, are sentenced with no less than fifteen years of imprisonment, or with life imprisonment (article 74 of Criminal Code).

365.Acts committed by different people in war time such as murder, maltreatment or deportation for slavery labour, as well as any other inhuman exploitation to the detriment of civil population or in occupied territory, the killing or maltreatment of war prisoners, the killing of hostages, destruction of private or public property, destruction of towns, commons or villages, which are not ordained from military necessity, are sentenced with no less than fifteen years of imprisonment, or life imprisonment, or death penalty.

366.Articles 86 and 87 of the Criminal Code provide that torture, as well as any other degrading or inhuman treatment, is sentenced from five to ten years of imprisonment. Torture, like any other degrading or inhuman treatment, when it has inflicted handicap, mutilation or any permanent harm to the well being of a person, or death, is sentenced from ten to twenty years of imprisonment.

367.Serious intentional injury inflicting handicap, mutilation or any other permanent detriment to the health, or inflicting interruption of pregnancy, or which has been dangerous to the life at the moment of its inducement, is sentenced from three to ten years of imprisonment. When the same act is committed against a group of people, or causes death, it is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment (article 88).

368.Causing suicide or a suicide attempt to a person because of the systematic maltreatment or other systematic misbehaviours which seriously affect the dignity [of the person], committed by another person under whose material dependence or any other dependence the former person is subject, is sentenced to a fine or up to five years of imprisonment (article 99).

369.Intercourse with a minor girl who has not reached the age of thirteen years, or has not reached sexual maturity, is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment. When sexual intercourse was had without consent, or serious harm to the health of the victim has been caused, it is sentenced from ten twenty years of imprisonment. When the act has resulted into death or suicide of the girl, it is sentenced to no less than twenty years of imprisonment (article 100).

370.Violent sexual intercourse with a minor girl between fourteen to eighteen years and who has reached sexual maturity is sentenced from five to ten years of imprisonment. When serious consequences result for the minor girl’s health, it is sentenced from ten to fifteen years of imprisonment. When the act leads to the death or suicide of the minor girl, it is sentenced no less than fifteen years of imprisonment (article 101).

371.Violent sexual intercourse with mature women is sentenced from three to ten years of imprisonment. When serious consequences are caused to the health of the victim, it is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment. When the act lead to the death or suicide of the victim, it is sentenced from ten to twenty years of imprisonment (article 102).

372.Article 103, sexual intercourse with an either physically or mentally handicapped victim who has reached the age of fourteen and is sexually mature or, when it is had while the victim has lost consciousness, is sentenced from five to ten years of imprisonment. When serious consequences are caused to the health of the victim, it is sentenced from five to fifteen years of imprisonment. When the act has lead to the death or suicide of the victim, it is sentenced from ten to twenty years of imprisonment.

373.Article 104, sexual intercourse that leaded to the death or suicide of the damaged person is sentenced to life imprisonment. Violent sexual intercourse, which is preceded, accompanied or followed by torture, is sentenced to twenty years of imprisonment.

374.Article 109, kidnapping with the intention of enrichment or of insuring any other kind of benefit is sentenced from ten to twenty years of imprisonment. Kidnapping a child under fourteen, the act of hiding or substituting him with another, is sentenced to no less than twenty years of imprisonment or to life imprisonment.

375.Article 109/a provides that, kidnapping and holding hostage a person is sentenced to twenty‑five years of imprisonment when the victim has been subject to heavy and permanent physical premeditated injuries as result of privation from basic life necessities, or when it is committed against more persons. Kidnapping or holding hostage of person is sentenced to life imprisonment when preceded or accompanied by torture, when the victim is minor, or when the act is committed by a criminal organization. When the minor, or other persons are voluntarily freed before 7 days of their kidnapping and they are not subjected to torture, and they have not had any heavy and permanent health injuries, the punishment is 10 years of imprisonment.

376.Kidnapping or holding hostage a person or a minor under the age of 14, preceded or accompanied by physical or psychical torture, when committed against more persons or more than once, it is sentenced not less than twenty years of imprisonment and with life imprisonment if death has resulted. When the person subject to kidnapping or hostage is voluntarily freed within 7 days as from his kidnapping or holding as a hostage, without reaching the aim of the crime as well as when the person was not subject to torture or permanent health injuries, it is sentenced from three to five years of imprisonment.

377.Unlawful detention of a person constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to one year of imprisonment. When this act has endangered the life or is accompanied with serious physical hardship, it is sentenced up to five years of imprisonment (article 110).

378.Hijacking planes, ships and other means of transportation, which carry people, using violence and intimidation by arms or other means is sentenced from ten to twenty years of imprisonment (article 111).

379.Breaking and entering into someone’s house without his consent constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to three months of imprisonment. Committing the act forcefully or by threat of gunpoint constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to one year of imprisonment (article 112).

380.Abandonment of a child under fourteen by a parent or by a person compelled to guard over him, is sentenced to a fine or up to three years of imprisonment. When serious harm to the health or death of the child has resulted, it is sentenced to three up to ten years of imprisonment (article 124).

381.Theft of property, when accompanied with such actions as resulting in the death of the person, is sentenced from fifteen to twenty years of imprisonment, or to life imprisonment or death (article 141).

382.Committing violent acts against the life, health of people, personal freedom through kidnapping of people or hijacking public transportation, with the intent to seriously disturb public order and instilling fear and uncertainty in the public is sentenced to no less than fifteen years of imprisonment or to life imprisonment or death (article 230).

383.Serious threat for assassination or critical injury toward an official acting in the execution of a state duty or public service, because of his state activity or service, constitutes criminal contravention and is sentenced to a fine or up to two years of imprisonment (article 238).

384.Articles 92, 93 and 94 of law no. 8003 of September 28, 1995 “Criminal Military Code” provide heavy punishments for cruel manners and carelessness towards sick or injured prisoners of war by the individuals appointed for their treatment, abandonment of war prisoners in the battlefield and their killing or injury. Furthermore, punishments are provided for those who kill or injure the surrendered enemy. Desecration of enemy’s body is also considered as a contravention.

Right of detainees

385.Law no. 8291 of February 25, 1998, “Code of Police Ethics” articles 6/2 provides that, during accompanying, detaining, and arresting the person involved in crimes, police employees exercise strictly the legal norms and are categorically prohibited any acts of torture or any other act that damages the personality and dignity of those persons.

386.Article 8 of the law provides that, police employees are responsible in a penal, administrative or civil form, according to the regulation of discipline for the acts, or non acts performed with initiative or against the order, or for performing the given orders not in the form given by the law or the regulation, or for performing orders given by persons or organs not competent. Police employee is responsible in case he executes orders that are clearly against the law. When the order is given formally according to the rules but it is against the law, the police employee is responsible in case that before performing the action he had the possibilities to notify the superior organs, or if after performing that order he hadn’t notified these organs.

387.Article 10 of the law provides that, police employees never use force against the law requests. They take and give clear‑cut instructions for the way and circumstances when they use firearms and force.

388.In compliance to the above, articles 6 and 7 of law no. 8321, of April 2, 1998 “On Prison Police” provide that, the employees of the prison police are obliged to execute the orders conveyed by their superiors, according to the functional position, in accordance with the hierarchy of grade.

389.Orders must be given in compliance with the functional position, through its fulfilment, in respect of the law and the dignity of the individual they are designated for. In absence of direct superiors, cases of emergency, or impossibility of communication with higher superiors, the person bearer of the highest grade is entitled to give orders to other employees with the same grade, or lower‑grade police officers.

390.Pursuant to article 9 of law no. 8328 of April 16, 1998 “On the Rights and Treatment of the Prisoners” the prisoners should be subjects to treatment intending re‑education for their integration in social life.

391.The treatment of the inmates should be done according to the criterion of individualisation and the state and individual characteristics of each inmate. The individualisation is done through verifying individual needs and taking into account the circumstances and the environment where the inmate has previously lived, education and social reasons that have moved him away from a normal life. The observation is done at the beginning of the treatment and its results are continuously verified during the execution, making the right adjustments.

392.The prison administration personnel, in collaboration with the relevant organs and state institutions, conduct the observation, programming and realization of the treatment. The contribution of NGO‑s and special individuals is encouraged and supported by the prisons administration fulfilling of the treatment program. Pursuant to article 48 of Prisons General Regulation and the provisions foreseen in the regulations of the special institutions, “The prison staffs is forbidden to perform actions against inmates, cruel or degrading punishment or treatment, as well as any kind of torture, that are not based on law”.

393.The legal provisions of the Republic of Albania provide protection from torture and other cruel or degrading punishment or treatment, not only for Albanian citizens but also for persons (foreigners or stateless persons) persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality or membership to a political or social group, are not at the country of their nationality and have no possibility of protection in this country, or those who have no nationality out of their formal and regular residence and have no possibility of returning there.

394.Pursuant to article 27 of law no. 7939 of 25.05.1995 “On Migration”, it is prohibited the return and expulsion of aliens to the frontiers of territories where there is a grounded fear that they may be subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or the death penalty.

Education and information regarding the prohibition of torture

Within the education system in Albania measures for education, information and training of specialized personnel regarding the prohibition of torture, aim at:

Acquaintance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the respective penal and administrative legislation;

Prevention of the use of any forms of torture through implementation of provisions of the Convention and the respective legislation;

Evidence and control of different phenomenon and manifestation, containing direct or indirect elements of torture;

Use of suitable forms and ways of awareness of different social categories regarding the prohibition of torture, etc.

The extent of measures for education, information and training of specialized personnel regarding the prohibition of torture

395.The overall knowledge of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the respective penal and administrative legislation is realized in the Universities, in those faculties, branches and profiles that prepare personnel in which future activity exist circumstances of manifestation of different forms of torture.

Those institutions or branches are:

Faculty of Law (University of Tirana and Shkodra);

Post‑university studies for prosecutor and judge in the High School of Magistrate in Tirana;

Master degree for jurists and psychiatric physicians in Tirana University;

Higher Military Schools, such as Police Academy “Arben Zylyftari” in Tirana;

Military Academy “Skenderbej” in Tirana;

Marine and Aviation Academy in Vlora;

Higher Academy of Defence attached to the Army General Staff in Tirana;

Different training courses for police, law, officers, etc.

396.Parts or elements of the Convention and the respective penal and administrative legislation regarding the prohibition of torture have been transmitted to the students of obligatory school, high school, through programs of different subjects, such as civil and moral education, sociologic and philosophic knowledge, history, literature, etc.

397.Teachers and parents of children of obligatory and high school are also informed and trained systematically about the problems regarding prohibition of torture. Their information and training are performed through forms of qualification, short socio‑pedagogical courses, pedagogical propaganda and press, etc.

398.In many cases a good cooperation exists between school structures and civil society, dealing with human rights, such as the Albanian Centre for Human Rights and Albanian Helsinki Committee.

Evidence and control of different phenomenon and manifestation, containing direct or indirect elements of torture

399.In order to realize effectively the forms of education, information and training of specialized personnel regarding prohibition of torture, examples of evidence and control of phenomenon and manifestation, containing direct or indirect elements of torture are used.

400.In this context elements of torture of psychological nature, such as specific cases of insult or pressure by teachers towards students through marks, insult and beating among children, manifestation of violence and maltreatment in family of husband and wife, parents or adults towards children and minors, etc have been evidenced.

401.More problematic cases are those of violent compulsion of children to go to the street to earn money, and especially bolted children for blood feud in some areas of Northern Albania.

Forms and ways of information and training for the awareness of different social categories regarding the prohibition of torture

402.Different forms and ways of information and training for the awareness of the specialized personnel and different social categories regarding the prohibition of torture are used, such as:

Lectures and conversation to clarify and specify the Convection and the respective penal and administrative legislation regarding the prohibition of torture;

Special activities in school about human rights, emphasizing the right of children not to be forced to heavy and harmful labour, not to be disparaged because of race, colour, sex, language, etc;

Discussions about concrete cases of violence in public or family environment, directly observed or evidenced by interviews or surveys by the written and electronic media, etc;

Comments and discussions about historic, fiction and artistic performances (films, pictures, etc.) themes connected with different forms of torture;

Initiatives and actions to save children from situation of torture suffering, such as measures and programmers of returning to school of those children violently forced to go to the street or to traffic light and especially bolted children because of blood feud. Activists of local government, NGO‑s, religious communities, teachers and students of some areas of Northern Albania have undertaken an important awareness campaign of blood feud reconciliation and taking the children out of closing and returning them to school. The drop out rate is reduced from 6.4% in 1992 to 3.1% in 1997 and 2% in 2002;

Criminal punishment of flagrant cases of behaviour, causing manifestations of elements of torture. In 2002 a school director in the district of Fieri was sentenced with imprisonment because of children sexual abuse.

Situation in prisons

403.Along with the recruitment of the professional staff, the School of Prison Police has played an important role in the formation of the prison personnel, which is foreseen by the law “On Prison Police”. The aims of the school are:

Basic training of new recruited prison personnel;

Carrier motivation of existing personnel;

Training of senior staff of prisons.

404.This school is functioning since three years and it is training all the basic personnel through 15 days to 3 months courses. The school also organizes training courses for medium level personnel. During 2002, 358 basic personnel and 11 medium level personnel were trained. One to two days’ courses are organized for prison senior staff. There are also training seminars for prison civilian staff, including the education sector.

405.Article 8 of the law “On Prison Police” provides that, “it is forbidden to keep the ammunition inside the prison, which is only intended for prisoners. The ammunition can be only kept outside, or in the escort service out of the institution. Law “On Public Order Police” foresees types, norms, cases and ways of the use of personal ammunition. The other means of force are used only by order of the Police Director in the General Prison Directorate or in emergency cases by order of the Head of Police of the institution”.

406.In the educational plan of the Police Academy “Arben Zylyftari” the program on human rights is not treated as a separate subject, but it is included in the programs of many subjects, alternating their theoretical with the applicable aspect.

407.The subjects “Constitutional Law”, “Criminal Code”, “Professional Etiquette” and “Penal Procedure Law” deal with the theoretical aspect of respecting of individual rights in the criminal proceedings, as well as the meaning and the elements of the criminal offence of torture.

408.A separate chapter of the subject “The Police Law” is dealing with respecting of human rights and freedoms during police escorting, and in particular the rights and restrictions of use of force by the police are specified.

409.The subject “Techniques of Public Security” deals with applying aspect of the human rights by the police, focusing on prohibition of maltreatment and torture in the police actions.

410.The respect of human rights and personal freedoms, including the prohibition of torture are given priority in different training programs of the police staff of the Academy of Public Order “Arben Zylyftari”.

411.As mentioned above, the prison administration encourages and supports the contribution of NGOs and individuals during the implementation of training programmes.

Prohibition of scientific experimentation without the consent of the individual

412.Law no. 8092 of March 21, 1996 “On Mental Health” provides the procedure on the conditions for allocation of psychiatric care and at the same time lays down the obligations of central and local authorities in organising the care with respect to mentally disordered persons.

413.Article 3 of the law provides that the preventive policies for the protection of mental health are based on:

The application of principles on the protection the mental health in the educational and health institutions, working centres and military units.

The establishment of preventive and consultative institutions.

Supporting the organizations and initiatives that operate in the area of mental health care.

Participation of elements of health care in the formation programs for employees of the educational sectors, social care, health, administration, organization of leisure activities.

Conducting of searches for the improvement of health care and the prevention of mental disordered illnesses.

Mental health recuperation of mentally disordered persons.

414.The late mental‑developed persons and mentally disordered are treated free of charge in the public institutions, which provide them care, rehabilitation and education. When treated in private institutions, the state covers the expenses up to the cost of treatment in public institutions, for individuals less than 18 years of age.

415.Furthermore, article 8 of law provides that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has to appoint social assistants in all public psychiatric and rehabilitation institutions, which task comprises care for the patients and the protection of their human and social rights.

416.The limitation or deprivation of the physical capacity of mentally disordered persons may be proposed by legal‑psychiatric commission, which have to be composed by not less than 3 members. In compliance with the provisions of the Civil Procedural Code, the court is entitled to take the final decision. The decision must also provide his legal tutor.

417.The head of the psychiatric and rehabilitation institution, where the mentally disordered person is situated, has to notify the court of first instance, if there is any verified evidence that the legal tutor of this person doesn’t comply his duties. In such circumstances, the court may take the decision to revoke the tutor and to assign a new one.

418.The mentally disordered person, his legal tutor and his relatives have the right to be informed about his health situation and the examination and care methods that are going to be utilized with respect to the mentally disordered person. His medical or social employee, according to the patient’s health situation and the principles of medical ethics, provides the relevant information.

419.Carrying out the obligations of the law, the physical restriction of mentally disordered persons may be considered for use only when this person represents risk for his health and/or his life or the health or life of other persons; when he acts against public safety; damages or destroys items in the surrounding area; and also in all the cases provided for by the regulations of psychiatric service.

420.The physician is entitled to take the decision on the physical restriction of the person and to define the manners of the restriction. He is also personally engaged for carrying out these restrictions. In those psychiatric and rehabilitation institutions when it’s impossible to have the immediate decision of the doctor, the nurse who informs immediately the doctor can take the decision on the application of the physical restrictions. When the decision is inaccurate, the physician may revoke the decision of the nurse. The actions of the physician and the decisions taken by him have to be recorded in the relevant documentation.

421.Before applying the physical restrictions, the interested person has to be notified. During the application of physical restrictions, the person has to be treated in a very careful manner, which is the most convenient for him and his welfare.

422.The decision on the physical restriction has to be legitimated within 24 hours from the moment of its deliberation by the permanent commission established within the rehabilitation and psychiatric institution. The composition of the commission, its rights, duties, and the manner of its work has to be defined by a regulation issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment.

423.A mentally disordered person may be treated in a psychiatric institution without his or his tutor’s prior consent, only if he represents an obvious risk for his life or health, or the life or health of other persons. The decision to hospitalise a person has to be taken by a specialized physician, only after he has personally conducted the examination. The mentally disordered person, his parents or his legal tutor are entitled to be informed on the grounds of taking such decision. The procedures of the hospitalisation in the institution have to be recorded in the clinic registers.

424.The physician that takes a decision to hospitalise a mentally disordered person without his or his tutor’s prior consent, has to notify within 24 hours the head of the clinic, which can approve or reject the decision. Within 48 hours of the approval, the head of the clinic has to present the case to the single judge of the court of first instance, which is competent for examining these cases.

425.The single judge, who examines the case not later than 3 days from the request, interrogates the hospitalised person without his or his legal tutor’s consent, the doctor that has recovered the person, the head of the clinic who approved the hospitalisation and also the relatives or any interested person for explanations on the case. The decision of the single judge to keep the disordered person hospitalised or to release him of the psychiatric institution has immediate effect.

426.The family or the legal tutors of mentally disordered person have the right to request that the hospitalised leave the hospital at any time. The request may be also informal and has to be registered in the clinic register. If the request is refused, the abovementioned individuals are entitled to appeal before the court of first instance under which competency falls the psychiatric institution, within 7 days from the date of having notice and the case is examined by the only judge whose decision is final.

427.The psychiatric institutions are required to examine all the requests, complaints and proposals made by the associations or other voluntary groups of patients, their family members or interested persons intended for the protection of the interests of mentally disordered persons.

428.Pursuant to article 46 of the Criminal Procedural Code, in any case that the mental condition of the defendant indicates that he must treated, the court decides, even ex‑officio, the hospitalisation of the defendant in a psychiatric institution. When it is decided or it must be decided the compulsory medical measure for the defendant, the court orders that the defendant is preserved in the psychiatric institution. During the preliminary investigation the prosecutor asks from the court to decide the hospitalisation of the defendant in a psychiatric institution and, when the delay brings danger, orders the temporary hospitalisation until the court renders the decision.

429.Intending to provide sanctions on crimes that for a long time were unknown for the Albanian society, by the law no. 8204 of 10 April 1997, Kuvendi adopted some additions to the Criminal Code of the Republic as follows:

Transplants transactions, as well as any activity related to the illegal removal or implantation of organs is sentenced from 3 to 5 years of imprisonment. When the same act is committed for lucrative purposes, it is sentenced from 10 to 20 years of imprisonment.

Interrogation rules

430.Article 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania provides that, everyone whose liberty has been taken away has the right to be notified immediately, in a language that he understands, of the reasons for this measure, as well as the accusation made against him. The person whose liberty has been taken away shall be informed that he has no obligation to make a declaration and has the right to communicate immediately with a lawyer, and he shall also be given the possibility to realize his rights.431.The person whose liberty has been taken away must be sent within 48 hours before a judge, who shall decide upon his pre‑trial detention or release not later than 48 hours from the moment he receives the documents for review. A person in pre‑trial detention has the right to appeal the judge’s decision. He has the right to be tried within a reasonable period of time or to be released on bail pursuant to law. In all other cases, the person whose liberty is taken away extra judicially may address a judge at anytime, who shall decide within 48 hours regarding the legality of this action. Every person whose liberty was taken away pursuant to article 27 has the right to human treatment and respect for his dignity.

432.Article 148 of the Constitution provides that, the office of the prosecutor exercises criminal prosecution and represents the accusation in court in the name of the state. The office of the prosecutor also performs other duties set by law. Prosecutors are organized and operate beside the judicial system as a centralized organ. In the exercise of their powers, the prosecutors are subject to the Constitution and the laws. While article 149/4 provides that: “The General Prosecutor informs the Assembly from time to time on the status of criminality”.

433.Article 4 of law no. 8737 of February 12, 2001 “On the Organization and Functioning of Prosecution Offices in the Republic of Albania” provides that, in carrying out their offices, prosecutors are bound by the Constitution and laws. Prosecutors exercise their competences by respecting the principles that assure fair, equal and regular legal proceedings and the protection of human legitimate freedoms, rights and interests.

434.The orders and instructions of a superior prosecutor are compulsory for the inferior prosecutor. Prosecutors undertake measures in conducting the proceedings and implementing the guidelines issued in conformity with the legal provisions, penal decisions and court’s orders, as well as give their assistance in well administration of Justice.

435.According to article 56 of this law, the Minister of Justice controls the legitimacy of the prosecutors’ activity on regular basis or based on the information given by interested bodies, institutions or individuals. This control is focused on the following issues:

Dealing with the continuity of issues included in the annual recommendations given by the Council of Ministers concerning the fight against crime;

Respecting the investigation time limits;

Respecting the detention time limit;

Respecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individuals to whom criminal proceedings are undertaken, and of those under detention and in custody in particular regularity and continuity of investigative actions and the observance by the prosecutor of its legal obligation to initiate the criminal proceedings;

The continuity of penal policy, and of sentence policies followed by prosecutors in particular;

Regularity of data maintenance and administration and registration of penal records;

Observation of fairness, equality and legitimacy principles in the prosecutor’s activity in his relations with other subjects of criminal proceedings.

436.At any case, control should be forewarned and it must be related with cases, to which the preliminary inquiries are closed. The President of the Republic, the General Prosecutor and the prosecutor, whose activity has been monitored, should be informed about the conclusions of the control.

437.Pursuant to article 2 of the Criminal Procedural Code, the procedural provisions define the rules of the carrying on of criminal proceedings, investigations and the trying of criminal offences as well as the execution of the criminal sentences. These rules shall be compulsory for the subjects of the criminal proceedings, state authorities and citizens.

438.The following articles 5 and 38 of the Code provide that the liberty of an individual may be restricted by means of precautionary measures only in cases and forms provided by law. No one may be subjected to torture, punishment or cruel treatment. A person sentenced to imprisonment shall be provided human treatment and moral rehabilitation.

439.Even when isolated by precautionary measures or when deprived from liberty for any other cause, the defendant shall be interrogated in a free state, except when necessary to take measures to prevent the escape or violation. It may not be used, even with the consent of the person under interrogation, methods or techniques to influence upon the free willingness or to modify the capacity of the memory related to the evaluation of the facts. Before the interrogation starts the defendant is explained his right to silence and that even if he fails to speak, and only after that the proceeding shall continue.

440.The proceeding authority explains to the defendant, clearly and in detail, the fact that has been attributed makes him familiar with the evidence against him and, when the investigations are not impaired, indicates their sources. The proceeding authority invites him to explain everything helpful for his defence and interrogates him face to face. When the defendant refuses to respond, this shall be noted in the minutes. In the minutes shall be also noted, when necessary, the physical features and eventual specific marks of defendants (article 39).

441.According to the procedure, the prosecutor verifies the personal identity of the defendant, his age, defendant juvenile’s personality, and defendant’s responsibility. When it results that the mental conditions of the defendant hinders his conscious participation in the proceedings, the proceeding organ decides the suspension of the proceedings, but still when it must not be decided the acquittal or cessation (article 44, paragraph 1).

442.By the decision of the suspension, the proceeding authority appoints a special tutor to the defendant, who is given the rights of a legal attorney. The decision of the suspension is subject to appeal before the Supreme Court by the prosecutor, the defendant or his defence lawyer. The suspension does not hinder the proceeding authority to acquire evidence, which may lead to the acquittal of the defendant, and, when the delay brings danger, any other evidence requested by the parties. In the actions, which must be carried on about the personality of the defendant, and in those that the defendant is entitled to be present his special tutor shall participate (article 44).

443.In any case that the mental condition of the defendant indicates that he must be treated, the court decides, even ex‑officio, the hospitalisation of the defendant in a psychiatric institution. When it is decided or it must be decided the compulsory medical measure for the defendant, the court orders that the defendant is preserved in the psychiatric institution. During the preliminary investigation the prosecutor asks from the court to decide the hospitalisation of the defendant in a psychiatric institution and, when the delay brings danger, orders the temporary hospitalisation until the court renders the decision (article 46).

444.Additionally, pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Procedural Code (article 255), the officers and the agents of the judicial police that have made an arrest or a detention or have held the arrested on delivery, shall immediately inform the prosecutor of the place where the arrest or the detention has taken place. They shall explain to the arrested or the detained that they are not obliged to declare anything and that they have the right to select a defence lawyer and immediately shall notify the selected defence lawyer or the one appointed ex‑officio by the prosecutor.

445.The officers and agents of the judicial police shall, as quickly as possible, make the arrested or detained person available to the prosecutor in the custody, by sending the relevant minutes. When the arrested or the detained is sick or a juvenile, the prosecutor may order that he remains under survey in his dwelling house or in another surveyed place. The judicial police, with the consent of the arrested or the detained must, immediately, notify the family members. When the arrested or the detained is juvenile it shall compulsorily be notified the parent or the tutor.

446.The prosecutor interrogates the arrested or the detained in the presence of the selected or appointed ex‑officio defence lawyer. He shall notify the arrested or the detained the fact for which he is being proceeded and the reasons of the interrogation, making known the information on his charge and, when the investigation are not impaired, even the sources (article 256).

447.The whole staffs of Central Department of Police, and the personnel dealing with detained persons in particular, has been trained through precedents, controls, and letters of application. These trainings have been basically focused on the application of domestic law, CAT and other European conventions.

448.The relevant provisions concerning the internal activity during detention provide disciplinary measures against those persons who violate the internal detention regime. Also, there have been taken strenuous efforts by the police in preventing cases of torture or other inhuman treatment, especially during the detention of persons. In this regard, evidenced cases of use of force beyond the limits set by law have been severely punished.

449.Criminal Police Department and Public Order Police are in the process of drafting a manual to be used by all police forces, which is based on existing laws and regulations and will serve to inform these forces on the rights and obligations of the persons detained by the police. Also, the manual will include also information on the legal time limits of holding in custody of persons at commissariats’ premises, investigation and detention period until the arrest or release moment.

Compensation

450.Article 44 of the Constitution guarantees that everyone has the right to be rehabilitated and/or indemnified in compliance with law if he is damaged because of an unlawful act, action or failure to act of the state organs.

451.According to the Chapter V of Criminal Procedural Code, “The Compensation for Unfair Imprisonment”, articles 268‑269 “The one who is found innocent by final sentence is entitled to compensation for the served detention, except when it is proven that the wrong sentence or failure to discover the unknown fact in due time has been caused entirely or partly by himself. The same right shall have the punished who has been detained, when it is proven by a final decision that the act by which the measure has been imposed is issued when the requirements provided by articles 228 and 229 are inexistent.

452.The above provisions shall also apply to the favour of the person for whom the court or the prosecutor has decided the dismissal of the case. When it is proven by court decision that the fact is not provided as a criminal offence by law, because of abrogation of the relevant, the right to compensation is not recognized for that part of the detention served before the abrogation.

453.The request for compensation must be presented within three years from the date the decision of acquittal or dismissal of the case has become final, otherwise it is not accepted. Special law determines the amount of the compensation and the way of its assessment, as well as cases of compensation for the house arrest.

454.Article 397 of this Code provides that: “Upon decision which accepts the request for the restitution of the object or the compensation for the damage, the court obliges jointly the defendant and the civilly sued to pay the procedural expenses to the favour of the civil plaintiff, except when evaluates that it must decide the entire or partial compensation of them.

455.When the request is rejected or the defendant is found innocent, except when he is irresponsible, the court obliges the civil plaintiff to pay the procedural expenses made by the defendant and the civilly sued in relation to the civil lawsuit, but in any case when there are no reasons for the complete or partial compensation. When it is proved the gross negligence, the court may also charge with the compensation of the damages caused to the defendant or the civilly sued”.

456.The following article 459 provides that, the one who is acquitted during the review, when has not given intentional causes or gross negligence for the wrong decision, is entitled to compensation in proportion with the duration of the sentence and personal and familiar consequences deriving from the sentence. The compensation is made by payment of an amount of money or by providing means.

457.The request for compensation is made, by effect of non‑acceptance within two years from the day that the decision of review has become final and or submitted to the secretary of the court that has rendered the decision. The request is communicated to the prosecutor and to the all of the interested person. The decision of compensation is subject to appeal to the court of appeal.

458.When the sentenced person dies even before the proceedings of review the right to compensation belongs to his heirs. The undeserved heirs shall not have this right (article 460).

459.According to the law “On Innocence, Amnesty and Rehabilitation of Ex‑political Convicted and Persecuted”, amended by law no. 7660 of January 14, 1993 and law of June 29, 1993, persons attaining innocence, amnesty and rehabilitation, are remunerated for suffered damages and also recompensed for normal living conditions, according to rules approved by special provisions, which are in conformity with international criteria. They are entitled to restore or compensate previously confiscated properties.

460.Relatives, or legal inheritors of ex‑persecuted persons that are not alive, as well as relatives of persons executed without court decision, or dead persons not sentenced by court are also entitled for compensation due to suffered damages. Pursuant to provisions on retirement fund, relatives of executed persons and relatives of sentenced persons without court decision, as well as relatives of dead persons in prison or dead persons in prison without court decision, have the right to enjoy retirement allowance (article 5/d, dh, e).

461.Pursuant to article 6 and 7 of the same law, the rights provided by article 5 of this law, are obtainable also by expelled or internees for political reasons, as well as by persons accused for political offences that are still hospitalised inside psychiatric institutions for compulsory treatment. Relatives of persons deceased during the process of investigation or persons executed without court decision enjoy the rights provided by this law.

462.Persons that use to be part of the high nomenclature of the communist regime or part of its dictatorial organs, implicated directly in committing criminal offences, issuing orders for detentions, imprisonments or internments of families because of political convictions, as well as the persons that have been active in using violence against inmates in prisons, camps, detention centres etc, when these acts are judicially ascertained, cannot enjoy the rights provided by the abovementioned law.

463.According to the abovementioned law, ex‑political convicted persons are entitled to recompense and pension from the moment they were entitled of, for the duration of the sentence in prisons or labour camps, pursuant to regulations provided by special provisions in conformity with the international criteria. To this rights are entitled also the children of ex‑political convicted persons, which attend school, regardless of their age.

464.Relatives of ex‑political convicted persons are also entitled to recompense for the entire duration of sentence in prison or in labour camps. When the ex‑convicted persons are dead, their relatives are entitled to receive the rest of the pension. They enjoy the right to be compensated or to restore the confiscated properties pursuant to the relevant legal or by law provisions.

465.Pursuant to law no. 8246 of October 1, 1997, “On the Institution of Integration of Persecuted”, an institution of persecuted persons was established dependent on the Council of Ministers. Pursuant to the article 1 of this law, the Institution is established as a singular state body, which objective consist of taking all necessary measures and to examination of all cases related to the integration of persecuted persons by communism regime in the social Albanian life.

466.Furthermore, this institution is responsible for meeting the continuing needs of the persecuted persons and at the same time make efforts towards reaching an extensive consensus with different associations of sentenced and persecuted persons, in order to improve the conditions and their treatment.

Civil Code

467.Pursuant to the provisions of the Civil Code, article 608, the person who illegally and for his fault, causes damage to another person or to his property, is obliged to recompense the damage caused. The person who has caused the damage is not liable if he proves that he is innocent. The damage is illegal when it results from the violation of the interests and rights of the other person, which are protected by law, judicial order, or custom.

468.The person who suffers damage, different by property damage, has the right to claim compensation if he has suffered injury to his health or harm to his honour; the memory of a dead person is desecrated, and the spouse he lived with until the day of his death, or his relatives up through the second scale, seek compensation, except when the injury has been done when the dead person was alive and he was given the right of compensation for the desecration done. The right foreseen above is not hereditary.

469.The person, who has caused damage to the health of another person, is obliged to compensate for the damage, taking into consideration the loss or the reduction of working capabilities of the damaged person, the expenses of his medical treatment and other expenses that relate to the damage caused.

470.The amount of compensation for the damage might change in the future, depending on the improvement or aggravation of the health, the increase or decrease of his working capabilities, in comparison to the time when the compensation was determined and to the changes the salary of the damaged person might have had.

471.When the death of a person is caused, the damage to be compensation consists of living and nutrition expenses for his minor children, consort and parents unable to work who used to be under the responsibility of the dead person, completely or partially, and of the persons who used to live in the dead person’s family and who had the right to be fed by him; the necessary expenses of funeral, according to the personal and family circumstances of the dead person.

472.The person who has caused damage may claim the same protecting means that he would claim to the dead person. The Court taking into consideration all the circumstances of the question might decide the recompense to be given in nature, or in cash, once altogether or in trances (parts).

473.When the person who has done the illegal action or illegal non action, except from causing damage, has had a significant benefit, under the request of the damaged party and taking into consideration the nature of the damage, the scale of liability and other circumstances of the question, the court may include in the calculation all or part of the profit for damage compensation.

474.When death or injury to health has been caused to a person who profits by the social insurance, the damage is compensated in the way determined by law. If a person has not been employed or has not been insured, the compensation of the damage caused by his death or health injury, is determined by the Court on the basis of the salary of a worker belonging to the same category where the job the dead person had done or could had done, would have been classified.

475.When the damaged minor turns 16 years old and has no salary from his work, he has the right to require compensation for the loss of his working capabilities with the average salary of a worker, under the criteria of article 646 of this Code, instead of his present salary. When he reaches 18 years old, he has the right to require compensation based on the average salary of a worker that belongs to the same category to which he would have belonged if his health had not been injured, instead of his present salary.

Extradition, expulsion and refoulement

476.In the Republic of Albania, extradition of persons who are suspected for committing criminal acts to other countries, has been provided in following articles:

Article 39/2 of the Constitution, “Extradition may be permitted only when it is expressly provided in international agreements, to which the Republic of Albania is a party, and only by judicial decision”.

European Convention “On Extradition” signed and ratified on May 19, 1998 and entered in force on August 17, 1998, its additional protocols 1 and 2 ratified by the Republic of Albania, as well as the bilateral agreements signed with different states.

Article 11 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania and Title X of the Criminal Procedural Code of the Republic of Albania that define the judicial relations with other countries.

477.Pursuant to article 39 of the Constitution, no Albanian citizen may be expelled from the territory of the state. Extradition may be permitted only when it is expressly provided in international agreements, to which the Republic of Albania is a party, and only by judicial decision. The collective expulsion of foreigners is prohibited. The expulsion of individuals is permitted under the conditions specified by law.

478.Since 1992 the Republic of Albania has signed agreements of mutual legal assistance in civil an penal fields with the Republic of Greece ‑ May 17, 1993, the Russian Federation ‑ March 27, 1995, FYROM ‑ January 15, 1998 and the Republic of Turkey ‑ February 20, 1998.

479.Judicial assistance in the penal field with countries with which there are no agreements is regulated on the basis of the principles of the European Convention On Extradition, as well as on the basis of Title X (articles 408‑504) of the Criminal Procedural Code, which covers the international cooperation in the field of judicial assistance.

480.The main organs of extradition, included in the process of accepting and presenting the demands of judicial assistance for and from foreign countries, are:

Ministry of Justice ‑ Department of International Agreements and Juridical Relations;

Ministry of Public Order ‑ National Central Office, Interpol Tirana;

General Prosecution Office ‑ Department of Foreign Relations;

Ministry of Foreign Affairs ‑ Consular Department.

481.The extradition procedure from Albania is foreseen by the provisions of the Criminal Procedural Code, which are fully compatible with article 12 of the European Convention On Extradition. According to the provisions of the Criminal Procedural Code, the extradition is allowed only on the basis of a request to the Ministry of Justice. This request can directly be sent to the Ministry of Justice, or by diplomatic channels through Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

482.The request for extradition should include:

The copy of the sentenced by imprisonment or the act of proceedings;

A report of the criminal offence in charge of the person subject to extradition indicating the time and place of the commission of the offence and its legal qualification;

The text of legal provisions to be applied, indicating whether for the criminal offence subject to extradition the law of the foreign country provides death penalty;

Personal data and any other possible information, which support to define the identity and the citizenship of the person subject to extradition.

483.The Albanian state has expressed no reservation regarding the language that will be used in the extradition procedure, thus the requests can be in Albanian, English or French.

484.When several requests for extradition compete the Minister of Justice sets forth the order of examination. It takes into consideration all of the circumstances of the case and, particularly the date of the reception of the request, the importance and the place where the criminal offence is committed, the citizenship and the residence of the person subject to request, as well as the possibility of a re‑extradition by the requesting country. In case for a sole offence the extradition is requested simultaneously by several countries it shall be provided to the country subject to the criminal offence or to the country within which territory has been committed the criminal offence.

485.With the request of the foreign country, the Ministry of Justice decides whether it will refuse or accept the extradition. In case that it will not refuse the extradition, the documentation is sent to the General Attorney Office, which transfers it to the competent court prosecutor. Within 3 months from the date of receiving the request for extradition the prosecutor should present it to the competent court.

486.The court can decide a contemporary restrictive measure before the request for extradition. This measure can be decided when:

The foreign country has declared that the personal freedom of the person is restricted or a decision of sentence by imprisonment is taken and that state may present a request for extradition.

The foreign country has presented detailed data for the criminal offence and sufficient elements of identification of the person.

When there exist risk of escaping.

487.The coercive measures are revoked if within eighteen days or maximum forty days from the above‑mentioned notice, the Ministry of Justice will not receive the requested extradition and the attached documents.

488.The coercive measures are revoked if the proceeding before the court has not been finished within three months from the beginning of their execution.

489.The competence to decide about the measure belongs accordingly to the district court in the territory of which the person is living or has a house, or to the court of the district where the person resides actually. If the competence cannot be defined as above‑mentioned, the competent court will be the Court of First Instance of Tirana.

490.The court can decide the confiscation of the material proofs and the objects belonging to the criminal offence. On the other hand, the Ministry of Justice informs the foreign country about the temporary implementation of the coercive measure and the eventual confiscation.

491.After receiving the request from the prosecutor, the court fixes the hearing and notifies, at least ten days in advance, the prosecutor, the person subject to request for extradition, his defence lawyer and the eventual representative of the requesting state. The court collects data, makes the necessary verifications, and hears the persons summoned to appear before the trial.

492.The court renders the decision in favour of the extradition when it possesses important data on the guilt or when there is a final decision. In this case, when there is a request of the Minister of Justice, presented through the prosecutor, the court decides the holding into custody of the person who should be extradited and who is in free state, as well as the attachment of the real evidence and objects which belong to the criminal offence.

493.The court decides against the extradition when there are foreseen cases of not accepting the request for extradition. In this case, the extradition cannot be done. Against this decision an appeal can be presented before the competent court, according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedural Code of the Republic of Albania.

494.The extradition may not be provided in the following cases:

For an offence of a political nature or when it results that it is requested for political reasons;

When there are grounds to believe that the person subject to extradition shall be subjected to persecution or discrimination due to race, religion, sex, citizenship, language, political belief, personal or social state or cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment or acts which constitute violation of fundamental human rights;

When the person, subject to the request for extradition, has committed a criminal offence in Albania;

When he is being tried or has been tried in Albania regardless of the criminal offence has been committed abroad;

When the criminal offence is not provided as such by the Albanian legislation;

The Albanian State has provided an amnesty for this offence;

When the requested person is an Albanian citizen and there is no agreement otherwise providing;

When the law of the requesting state does not provide the prosecution or the punishment for the same.

495.Although the Criminal Procedural Code does not provide as a reason for refusal the military and fiscal infringements foreseen by articles 4 and 5 of the European Convention on Extradition, Albania is obliged to implement those provisions being party in this Convention.

496.The decision against the extradition prohibits the rendering of a successive decision in the favour of extradition as a result of a new request presented for the same facts by the same state, except when the request is based on elements that are not taken into consideration by the court. The decision of the court regarding the request for extradition may be appealed to the court of appeal by the interested person, his defence lawyer, the prosecutor and the representative of the requesting state, according to the general rules of appeal.

497.The Minister of Justice decides for the extradition within thirty days from the date the decision of the court has become final. After the expiration of this deadline, even in case the Minister does not render the decision, the person subject to extradition, if imprisoned, shall be released. The person shall be released even in case the request for extradition is rejected.

498.The Minister of Justice communicates the decision to the requesting state and, when appropriate, the place of the surrender and the date by which it is expected to start. The time limit of the surrender is fifteen days from the fixed date and, upon motivated request of the requesting state, it may be also extended to other fifteen days. For reasons that do not depend on the parties it can be set another day for surrender, but always respecting the time limits defined as above. The decision of extradition shall be ineffective and the extradited shall be released if the requesting state does not act, within the fixed time period, to receive the extradited.

499.The execution of extradition is suspended when the extradited should be tried in the Albanian territory and must serve a punishment for criminal offences committed before or after that subject to extradition. But the Minister of Justice, after hearing the competent Albanian proceeding authority or the body dealing with the execution of sentence, might order the temporary surrender in the requesting state of the person subject to extradition, defining the time limits and the way of operation. The Minister may agree the rest of the sentence to be served in the requesting state (article 500 of the Criminal Procedural Code).

500.For the criminal offence of torture, foreseen by article 86 of the Criminal Code, the National Central Office ‑ Interpol Tirana, having the necessary support of the foreign counterparts, has done 5 announcements for international investigation. There are no delays of specific cases in that regard.

501.During 2002 are executed 46 practices of extradition.

Source: Ministry of Justice and National Central Office ‑ Interpol Tirana.

Psychiatric care

502.The psychiatric care in the Republic of Albania is offered and allocated pursuant to law no. 8092 of 21 March 1996, “On Mental Health”.

503.The developments in this area are conducted and implemented in compliance with a political document (On Mental Health), adopted during March 2003. The activity of the psychiatric institutions is based in the regulation of “The Psychiatric institutions with beds”, adopted on the 18th of April 2000.

504.The National Leading Committee on mental health, established in 2000, with the approval of the Minister of Health and the support of WHO, is currently implementing the National Program on mental health.

505.One of the main objectives of the abovementioned program consists in drafting reforming policies on mental health, which will enable transformation of traditional psychiatric services towards mental services within communities.

506.Traditional psychiatric services in Albania currently consist of two mental hospitals in Vlora (280 beds), in Elbasan (400 beds), in Tirana (120 beds) and lastly in Shkodra (110 beds), as part of polyvalent structures, respectively in Tirana (Mother Teresa Hospital Centre) and in Shkodra hospital.

507.Total number of beds is 910, half of which are used by long term patients. The overall opinion is that this contingency is still present in hospitals due to the lack of alternatives for community services.

Statistics on psychiatric services

Average utilisation of beds

Average days of residence

Mental hospital

63.5%

165.5 days

Mental clinics

66.6%

36.3 days

Source: Ministry of Health.

508.Traditionally offered by psychiatric consulting rooms composed of only a physician and a nurse, ambulant mental care is not present in all the territory of the country.

509.Beyond drafting reforming policies, the policy of the National Leading Committee on mental health aimed at implementing community services on mental health in some districts throughout the country. Currently there are 4 Community Centres on Mental Health (Tirana, Elbasan, Peshkopi & Gramsh). Both this processes have been performed in straight cooperation with other structures in the abovementioned districts, such as the local government organs, social services system etc.

510.During this process the WHO has technically supported the National Leading Committee on mental health in drafting mental health policies and on the establishment of local capacities for the implementation of mental health services within communities.

511.With regard to the above, besides training the staff, the WHO consultancy supported by local capacities in Elbasan has been emphasising recently the need of contemplating credible scenarios for de‑hospitalising of those persons that seek hospital shelter, mainly due to the lack of alternative services in communities.

The number of physicians offering this service is:

Psychiatrists 40; a physician for 78,000 inhabitants;

Neurologists 40 (offering partly psychiatrist services to patients);

Number of nurses in psychiatric services consist of 200 persons;

Nursery staff: 62;

Sanitarians 119.

512.Recently there has been a lot of progress for introducing new professionals, psychologists and social workers in the service, with the intention of offering multidisciplinary care for mentally disordered patients.

Visits of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the content of the reports

513.Following the ratification of the European Convention On the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatments or Punishment, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment has organized five visits in Albania between 1997 and 2003. The texts of the reports and the relevant replies of the Albanian Government have been authorized by Albania for publication.

514.Besides other issues, the reports express concern on the congestion of the psychiatric institutions, maltreatment of patients, conditions of residence and food, clothing, hygiene, private life, power supply, heating, lack of medicines, professional formation of nurses and functioning of isolation premises.

Disciplinary measures in armed forces

515.For military personnel who has committed a criminal act the following measures may be adopted:

Imprisonment

Dismissing from the armed forces

Fine

De‑ranking

516.For military personnel who has committed a criminal action, together with the principal condemn, the following accessory sanctions may apply:

Impediment to hold a public office

Confiscation of the materials used in committing the criminal act

Impediment to drive

Remove medals and honorific titles

Dismissal from the armed forces for the military personnel of the permanent active service

Postponement of the ranking period up two three years

517.The Court, in particular cases, when the infliction of the principal measures seems inappropriate and when the law provides for the imprisonment up to three years or other measures of a lesser impact for the criminal act, may opt for the sole infliction of the accessory measure.

518.The military personnel imprisoned for life or for a determined period of time are hosted in separate facilities from the other imprisoned civilians. When the military personnel commit a criminal action non foreseen in the present Code, will be held responsible according to the provisions of the Criminal Code.

Children

519.The third paragraph of article 54 of the Constitution recognizes the right of the children to be protected against the violence, mistreatment, abuse and use as labour force under the minimum age in which children may work (according to our legislation is 16 years of age), which may impair the health, moral or endanger his life or normal development.

520.According to the Family Code, when the Court evidences that the parent abuses with its janitorial rights or demonstrates evident negligence in the exertion of said rights, or with its actions influences in a negative way in the development of the child, with a court decision may be discharged from the janitorial rights (article 76).

521.The Family Code provides for the cases when the parent who has not obtained the custody of the child after the divorce, does not find appropriate the actions or measures adopted by the parent who has obtained the custody of the child. In such cases, said parent may present a petition to the Custody Council for the adoption of the necessary measures (article 68).

522.The Family Code does not specify the actions committed against the child, but from the various authors and court practice it is clear that these actions consist in mistreatment of the child, physical violence, offence and sexual abuse. The issue of the mistreatment and abuse of the children, in special cases, is foreseen also in the Criminal Code where is accompanied with the respective punishing measures.

523.According to the Criminal Code, in case the person who is obliged by a court decision to guarantee the children the necessary means for a decent life, does not comply with said decision, this later commits a criminal action and may be punished with a fine or imprisoned for a term up to one year (article 125).

524.Moreover, the Criminal Code considers a criminal action the abandonment of a child less than 14 years of age by the parent or by the person who is in charge for its custody. In such case the individual held responsible might be punished with a fine or with imprisonment up to three years. If as a consequence of such action, is determined the serious impairment of the health of the child or its death, the punishment vary from three to ten years of imprisonment (article 124).

525.Nevertheless, the Criminal Code does not provide for separate punishment measures in case of insult, disregard, psychological violence against children etc. Such cases are regulated by the provisions of the Criminal Code as per all the other cases.

526.In consideration of amendments of the Criminal Code, it is classified as a criminal actions and is punished with a fine or with imprisonment up to two years the serious threat for revenge or blood retaliation against the self‑restricted individual by impeding his or his children free movement, who as a consequence of such actions are forced to self‑restraint and to school abandonment.

527.Such amendment of the Criminal Code is very important considering the fact that the self‑restrained child may not exercise his right of free movement, of information, right of education and in an indirect way it is exercised psychological violence with consequences for the minor.

528.The mistreatment of the children is today one of the most critical issues with which the Albanian society is dealing. Every day the reality of the mistreatment of the children in different ways, within or outside the family, is becoming more and more evident.

529.One of the critical issues of the last decade is the blood‑retaliation and self‑justice, which influences also the children directly or indirectly, as authors or as injured party. Many children are constrained to abandon school as a consequence of such phenomenon.

530.The children who live in the streets represent the most unprotected category, most exposed to the various risks as mistreatment, insecurity, illiteracy, non‑nutrition etc.

531.Marginalizing of such social category is produced by many factors including economical, social, cultural, educational and familiar. According to some incomplete evidence, in Tirana alone are identified about 800 children who live in the streets, who “work” as beggars, ambulant dealers, shoe‑cleaners etc.

532.The unprotected children, orphans and with divorced parents often are prey of abuse and mistreatment in many different ways. Such facts are presented by the media and TV news and partly have also involved some charitable organizations.

533.The children involved in child labour or other lucrative activities are children who have definitively abandoned school while others attend school and are employed in different jobs, mainly after school, being involved in familiar lucrative activities or other activities outside the family. In the recent court practice are observed cases of court decisions, which do not consider adequately the causes, which have determined the child abuse or surpass, contrary to the interest of the minor, the circumstances created within the family.

534.The Criminal Code considers a criminal act the sexual or homosexual relations with parents or custodians. Based on the above provision, the performance of sexual or homosexual relations and other sexually oriented behaviours between the parent and child, brother and sister, or other persons in custody or adoption, is punished with imprisonment up to five years.

535.With the recent project for amendments of the Criminal Code, it is foreseen that in case of homosexual relations or other sexually oriented acts the punishment is determined up to seven years. With the above amendments it is also aimed to make a more complete definition of the law provision.

536.According to article 54 of the Constitution, the children (including children over and under 14 years of age) have the right of a special protection from the state. The main issue in this concern is not the juridical protection of the children but, the effective realization of such protection especially considering the fact that very often the families are closed units which do not permit the acknowledgement of the real situation and the adoption in time of the necessary protective and preventive measures in the interest of the child.

537.Up to date in Albania there are no specific studies in order to determine the forms of child abuse and the respective statistics. In one of the studies accomplished in this direction it is reached the conclusion that a particular role in the sensibility of the entire society in general, is played by the written and electronic media, which shall assist parents and children especially when dealing with cases of psychological violence, or carelessness, which in most of the cases remain undiscovered.

538.The establishment of special centres for the support of the children who find themselves under the above circumstances would guarantee an emotional comfort and assistance and gradually would lead to the overcome of the consequences of the abuses. With the decision of the Council of Ministers no. 415, dated 01.07.1998 “On the establishment of the Women and Child Committee”, it is provided for the establishment of the said committee as a separate organ depending from the Council of Ministers.

539.Albanian legislation does not have special provisions included in a special law concerning children; victims of child abuse, mistreatment, torture etc., but single provisions are provided in particular laws, depending on the single case.

540.The Albanian Criminal Code provides for the punishment of criminal acts related directly or indirectly with human trafficking. These provisions include the above mentioned criminal acts as well as the possession, exploitation, financing or lease of the premises used for prostitution, kidnapping (general) and the one of children under 14 years of age, the illegal bondage of the individual by risking the life or accompanied by inflicted physical pain, battering, sexual violence, confiscation of the identity documents, threat as well as the commitment of criminal action in collaboration with criminal organizations or armed groups.

Violence against women

541.Domestic violence is still perceived in Albania as a private issue to be dealt with at family level. Thus despite a comprehensive set of rules in the Criminal Code prohibiting violence (being it domestic or non‑domestic) the numbers of women subject to violence is perceived to be high and goes unreported to the police, to health authorities and specific services established for this purpose.

542.The Albanian Criminal Code does not distinguish in wording from acts committed by a stranger and acts committed by a family member. Thus serious threats to cause death or grave personal harm is sentenced with a fine or with up to one year of imprisonment (article 84 Criminal Code), while inhuman treatment of torture leading to a permanent disability is sentenced from 10 to 20 years (article 86 and 87 of the Criminal Code). Serious intentional injury is sentenced from three to ten years (article 88) while non‑serious intentional injury is sentenced with a fine or with up to two years imprisonment.

543.Sexual offences are covered by the Criminal Code (article 100 to 108), and are subject to penal sanctions according to the perceived gravity of the crime and the youth of the victim. Consensual sexual intercourse with a minor girl who has not reached 13 years of age or has not reached sexual maturity is sentenced between 5 and 15 years of imprisonment (statutory rape). If intercourse is not consensual the sentence ranges from 10 to 20 years imprisonment.

544.If the act results in the death or suicide of the victim, the penalty is no less than 20 years. Non‑consensual sexual intercourse with a minor girl (14 to 18 years of age) is sentenced from 5 to 10 years. In case of aggravating circumstances, the sentence is over 10 years imprisonment. Non‑consensual sexual intercourse is punished from 3 to 10 years of imprisonment (aggravating circumstances shall raise the sentence to a maximum of 20 years in case of death).

545.Article 106 deals with incest, punished with a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

546.Domestic violence goes mainly unreported for the following reasons:

Lack of public awareness on the fact that domestic violence represents a crime and as such it should be condemned;

Lack of specific police and health structures to deal with domestic violence;

Lack of awareness of the judicial system on the extent of the phenomenon and how to deal with it;

Lack of countrywide services for domestic violence cases.

547.Criminal acts judged under articles 100‑110 of the Criminal Code:

Year 1996 is decided on 16 administrative violations 17 crimes, total 33 criminal acts

Year 1997 is decided on 3 penal contravention 17 crimes, total 20 criminal acts

Year 1998 is decided on 5 penal contravention 19 crimes, total 24 criminal acts

Year 1999 is decided on 20 penal contravention 39 crimes, total 59 criminal acts

Year 2000 is decided on 7 penal contravention 65 crimes, total 72 criminal acts

Year 2001 is decided on 17 penal contravention 67 crimes, total 84 criminal acts

Year 2002 is decided on 4 penal contravention 77 crimes, total 81 criminal acts

548.The State does not up to now provide assistance services for cases of domestic violence, but it has supported women’s associations that have established help telephone lines and counselling services (for the capital Tirana, and Shkodra, Pogradec, Durrës, Elbasan, Berat). The only safe house for abused women is an NGO operated and it is in the capital Tirana.

549.No official statistics exists on the phenomenon of domestic violence, due also to the low official reporting, while NGO surveys indicate that 64% of the sample experienced some sort of violence, either physical or psychological, either at home or outside. About 34% of the respondents admitted that serious violence (psychological or physical) took place in their family of origin.

550.That domestic violence is a major issue in Albania is indirectly confirmed by the statistics of women’s participation in crime. Women are less involved in crime than men, but out of 28 women convicted and jailed in the only female prison of Albania in 1999, 23 were convicted for murder and the victim is normally the partner or the ex‑ partner, or a male member of the family.

People convicted by age gender for 1992‑2000

Age‑group and gender

1992

1993

1994

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

14‑18 years

Female

6

2

7

16

1

1

1

4

Male

300

242

296

465

91

386

402

413

18 years +

Female

85

87

83

34

41

64

27

38

Male

4 051

3 423

3 609

3 951

1 065

3 130

3 568

3 699

551.The Committee Women and Family in collaboration with Advocacy Centre for Abused Women are working for the compilation of a law against violence to woman and for bringing it to the Parliament.

Article 8

Prohibition of slavery, servitude and compulsory work

552.According to article 26 of the Constitution, the forced work is prohibited, exception made for the cases of the execution of a court decision, military service, service rendered in state of war, state of emergency or natural disaster which threats the life or health of the civilians. Based on article 8 of the Labour Code, forced work is prohibited in all forms exception made for the above‑mentioned cases provided in the Constitution.

553.The court, considering the low social danger deriving from the individual and the circumstances of the criminal action, in case of the infliction of a punishment up to one year of imprisonment, may decide on the suspension of the execution of the decision and its replacement with the obligation of the prisoner to perform a socially useful work. The socially useful work is determined for a period of time varying from forty to two hundred and forty hours and consists in the performance by the prisoner of a non‑reattributed work in favour of the public utility or the NGO determined by the court decision. Such obligation may not be determined in case the prisoner refuses the suspension in the court hearing.

554.The socially useful work is performed within a term of six months. In its decision, the Court determines the work hours and the days of the week of its performance. After completion of such work, the penalty is considered inexistent (article 63).

555.Criminal acts committed by individuals in time of war such as murder, mistreatment or deportation for slavery work, as well as any other inhuman abuse over civilian population or in annexed territory, murder or abuse of war prisoners, murder of hostages, devastation of private or public property, devastation of towns, communes or villages, not determined by military necessity, is punished with life imprisonment (article 75).

556.With the amendments to the Criminal Code entered in to force with the law no.8175 dated 23.12.1996, are provided heavier punishments for certain crimes, in consideration of the new social conditions created in Albania.

Article 109, kidnapping or hostage condition of the person, committed for the facilitation of another crime or in order to escape from punishment, or to determine the fulfilment of certain requests and conditions, especially for amounts of money, is punished with not less than fifteen years of imprisonment. When the victim is released voluntarily within seven days from the kidnapping, the punishment is five years of imprisonment.

109/a, kidnapping and abduction of a person is punished with twenty five years of imprisonment when the victim has suffered serious and permanent impairments of its health determined by will, or as a result of the conditions of the imprisonment, or as a result of the deprivation of the basic life needs, or when it is committed against more than one person. Kidnapping or abduction of a person is sentenced to life imprisonment, when it is anticipated or accompanied with torture against the victim, when the victim is underage or when the act is committed by a criminal organization. When the minor or the other victims are voluntarily released before the expiration of seven days from the kidnapping and the victims have not suffered torture or serious permanent impairments of their health, the punishment is determined in ten years of imprisonment.

557.Article 110, the illegal restraint of freedom is punished with three years of imprisonment.

558.Article 124, the abandonment of the child less than 14 years of age by the parent or legal custodian is punished with a fine or imprisonment up to three years. When as a consequence of the abandonment is determined the serious health impairment or death of the child, the punishment is determined from three to ten years of imprisonment.

559.Article 125, the failure to provide the necessary means for the life of the children, parents or consort, by the person who is obliged to do so by a court decision, is considered a penal contravention and is punished with a fine or with imprisonment up to one year.

560.Article 127, illegal child‑snatching, by taking the child away from the parent in charge of his custody or from the legal custodian appointed by the court, constitutes a penal contravention and is punished with a fine or imprisonment up to six months.

561.Article 128, the exchange of children committed by the negligence of the personnel of the institution where the children are kept for care, medical treatment or maternity hospital, constitutes a penal contravention and is punished with a fine or imprisonment up to two years.

562.Article 230, the commitment of violent actions against the life, health, personal freedom through their abduction or through means of massive transportation, aiming the serious impairment of the public order and promotion of the public fear and insecurity, is punished with imprisonment from fifteen years up to life imprisonment.

Work in prison

563.According to law no. 8328 dated 16.04.1998, “On the rights and treatment of the prisoners”, the work is organized by the directorate within and out the institution by resorting also to the assistance of other parties. During imprisonment, the prisoners who are eligible for age retirement, invalids of the first and second category, pregnant woman for the time period provided by law, and all other persons who do not poses the physical and health ability to perform the offered work, may not be constrained to perform the work. Prisoners with psychological disorders may be put to work in case it promotes the medical therapy. The work is not considered as punishment and is reattributed according to the criteria determined with special decision of the Council of Ministers (article 34).

564.The work conditions shall be the same as under normal conditions in the free society, in order to promote the professional education of the prisoners and their integration in the society. The prisoners, who show talent in scientific, cultural, artistic or artisan activities, may be permitted to exercise on their own expenses such activities. Work hours may not surpass the limit determined by the labour code. The work is reattributed and is included in the work age in relation with the retirement income from the social security (article 35).

565.The object of work should fit the specific personalities of each prisoner in the perspective of his reintegration with the society. When the institution may not guarantee work for the prisoners, other employment may be applied in part or totally, outside of the institution, by employing the prisoners in works that comply with their experience, professional formation and selecting first from the prisoners who have not been employed before. In any case, the prisoners getting out the institution are always accompanied by the personnel of the institution and surveyed by the penitentiary police (article 36).

566.Article 37, the education and cultural formation is realized through the establishment of a school, obligatory for the underage, and professional courses, according to the existent practice. It is stimulated the attendance of professional studies, by means of distance courses. It is supported the reading without limitation of the publications and the utilization of the other informative systems of the library of the institution. Particular concern is applied to the cultural and professional formation of the prisoners under 25 years of age.

567.In 10 penitentiaries under the competence of the Ministry of Justice, there are approximately 30 prisoners employed for each institution, in charge of maintenance and other services within the facilities.

Service in defence forces and alternative services

568.During the reporting period, three different laws regulated the military service in the Republic of Albania, law no. 7527 dated 12. 11. 1991, law no.7978, dated 26.07.1995 and law no. 9047 dated 07.04.2003.

569.According to law no. 7978 dated 26.07.1995, the military service is a right and obligation for each citizen in the defence of the father nation, the Republic of Albania (article 5).

570.Article 6, the Albanian citizens, wherever they are located, are obliged to fulfil the obligatory military service actively or as reservist in the Republic of Albania, the military service is performed individually.

571.Article 7, the Albanian citizens over 16 years of age are taken in evidence by the mobilization department.

572.Article 8, the obligatory active military service is carried out by citizens of age 19 to 32. In case the citizen avoids the obligatory active military service, while is registered in the recruitment list and has not yet completed 32 years of age, above all other sanctions provided for by the law, is obliged to carry out the military service until the age of 40.

573.Article 9, the obligatory military service as reservist is carried out by citizens up to the age of 55, after the completion of the obligatory active military service. For defence reasons, the military service as reservist is rendered on a voluntary base also by females of age 19 to 40. For specific specialties up to 45 years of age. In case of a general recruitment, the age of the active obligatory military service varies according to the situation and needs of the Armed Forces with law of the Parliament or by a decree of the President of the Republic.

574.Article 10, the recruitment for the fulfilment of the obligatory active military service starts from the date the citizen becomes 19 years of age.

575.Albanian citizens, between the age from 16 to 32, wherever they are located even when they have not received notification, are obliged to personally present to the recruitment department for registration, and receive a military identification document ready to fulfil the obligatory military active service.

576.Article 15, the Albanian citizens who are eligible and within the age limit for the fulfilment of the obligatory military active service, may be exonerated from such service by personally paying a determined amount of money. The criteria and the amount of money in such cases are determined with a decision of the Council of Ministers. The Albanian citizens who are employed abroad, when are requested to fulfil the obligatory active military service, in order to postpone for a term of one year the service, are obliged to pay to the state a certain amount of money.

577.Article 16, citizens who have accomplished the obligatory active military service may enter in to an agreement with the command of the unit in order to proceed the reattributed military service. The agreement is entered for a term not inferior to three years.

578.Article 17; in case the Albanian citizens called to fulfil the obligatory active military service live in difficult economic and familiar conditions, the state provides for an economic and social aid. The conditions and criteria of such aid are determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers.

579.Article 24, citizens registered full time in institutions of higher education in Albania or abroad, are recruited for the fulfilment of the obligatory active military service immediately upon completion of the studies. The ones, who do not complete their studies within 32 years of age, interrupt their studies and are called to carry out the obligatory active military service. Citizens who have graduated from institutions of higher education (full time registration), carry out the obligatory active military service in special units in compliance with their qualification. For citizens who have graduated from institutions of higher education within 31 December 2000, the period of the obligatory active military service is 6 months.

580.Rules for the execution of the military service in the Republic of Albania, rights duties and obligations of the citizens state organs and private parties for the recruitment in the obligatory active military service are now provided by law no. 9047 dated 07.04.2003 “On the military service in the Republic of Albania”.

581.Referring to the said law it is necessary to mention that:

The law provides for the first time the obligatory active military service for citizens with dual citizenship, referring to the “European Convention on dual citizenship”.

Article 10 of said law provides the extension of the obligatory active military service over the period determined by law, in case of the adoption of the extraordinary measures.

In the criteria of the exoneration from the obligatory active military service, alternative service and rights of the citizens in the obligatory active military service or alternative service, assure the right to equal access of all citizens.

In such law, for the first time is provided for the alternative service as one form of the obligatory military service. Such provision ensures the citizen, who for religious or conscience reasons may not serve armed in the military forces, to fulfil the alternative service near a civil institution or even in the military forces rendering services in hospital, units etc, where it is not mandatory to hold arms or uniforms.

Individuals who can afford to pay may do so and get exonerated from the military service (article 42). Such provision shall apply until 31 December 2010.

Economic exploitation and child labour

582.Referring to such issue:

On what concerns the additional protocols of the UN convention “On the Rights of the Child” it is in the process of work for the execution of the two additional protocols; “On the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography” and also “On the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts”, which shall contribute in the completion of the national legislation regarding the abuse of children and the exploitation of their labour for the abovementioned reasons.

In the Labour Code, chapter X regarding the special legislative protection of the children, based on the Convention no. 182 of the ILO “On the worst forms of child labour” is provided:

Limitation of working hours for minors up to 6 hours per day

Children in the age from 14 to 16 may be subject of professional education

Children from 16 to 18 years of age may be employed in easy works which do not impair their health and education.

583.The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, in its work on implementing the National Strategy for Children has aimed to:

Identify the groups of children in need

Prevention and protection of the children from abuse and discrimination

Integration of single marginalized groups of children in the social environment

Collaboration with all NPO‑s (non for profit organizations) and groups which aim the prevention and protection of the children from abuse as well as the integration of the children victims of abuse

584.For the unaccompanied emigrant children as well as the victims of trafficking, in collaboration with IOM and the Ministry of Public Order, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has established a hosting centre in Linza, Tirana intended for the hosting of the children victims of trafficking.

585.The extension of the social services towards children within the community and the contribution in such direction of the World Bank Project “Distribution of the Social Services” by coordinating the financing, means and the interventions offered by the state, local government and the network of NPO‑s.

586.In the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has been established the Unit for Child Labour aiming the implementation of the Project of said Ministry with ILO‑IPEC, “On the abolition of child labour”. This Unit works as a national focal point for the coordination of the activities, projects and programs undertaken in the field of child labour, informs and makes aware the public on the phenomenon of child labour and its progressive abolition.

587.The Unit for Child Labour is working for the drafting of the strategies and national policies anti child labour through the involvement of the National Managing Board “On the abolition of the child labour” in inter‑department levels as a policymaker forum which shall contribute in the integration of the child labour issue in the national social macro‑economic policies.

In close collaboration with the State Inspectorate of Labour there are undertaken control inspections nationwide for the identification of the state of child labour and the adoption of concrete measures up to penal proceeding for the employer who does not comply with the legislation in force with regard to such matter.

It is commenced a study on the review of the national legislation with regard to child labour aiming its harmonization with international standards.

It has been working towards strengthening of the identification and monitoring capacity of the child labour and especially in its worst forms through the training of the labour inspectors and the representatives of the child labour related institutions in a national or local level.

Another relevant feature is the effort to raise the general awareness through various activities and related publications.

In the Central Department of the Criminal Police it is established the division for the Warfare Against Trafficking of the Human Beings, which deals also with the issues of child trafficking; also extended in a regional level through the establishment of the Regional Offices for the Warfare Against Trafficking of Human Beings.

588.Projects implemented in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in this regard:

Project of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs with ILO‑IPEC “Enhancement of the capacity of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs with regard to the warfare against child labour in Albania”

589.The project will contribute in the progressive eradication of child labour through the enhancement of the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Issues and labour control, establishment of an institutional structure for the implementation of the national program for the abolition of child labour.

590.The program will contribute in the abolition of child labour in Albania through the prevention and protection of the employed children, their retirement and rehabilitation, by assuring professional counsel, concrete steps, gathering and sharing of information.

Duration of the project is 18 months from February 2002‑August 2003.

Contribution of IPEC‑ USD 18.285

Contribution of MLSI‑ USD 14.000 (in kind)

Project “Enhancement of the capacity of the labour inspectors to fight the worst forms of child labour”

591.Through this project will be completed the training of the labour inspectors and representatives of the institutions related to child labour with the necessary knowledge and

capacities for the identification, monitoring and treatment of the issues concerning child labour, and the necessity for coverage of all regions with trained inspectors as well as with the participation of a foreign inspector.

592.By giving priority to the development of the capacities of the labour inspectors in order to respond systematically and in a complete manner to all worst forms of child labour either in the formal and particularly in the informal sector, and also to the regional conditions of the country, such project addresses to said needs and will facilitate the raise of the general awareness.

Duration of the project 12 months May 2003‑ May 2004

Contribution of IPEC‑ USD 22.700

Contribution of MLSA‑ USD 17.000 (in kind)

Project “On the review of the national legislation related to child labour, its harmonization with international standards”

593.The study, including the recommendations, will contribute in the improvement of the institutional legal frame concerning child labour by increasing their legislative protection, and assuring a complete analysis of the current state.

594.The abovementioned study shall be the first step towards the synchronization of our national legislation concerning child labour with the relative international regulations.

Duration of the project 4 months October 2003‑ January 2004

Contribution of IPEC‑ USD 3.500

Contribution of UNICEF‑ USD 2000

Project “National policies on the fight against child labour and elimination of its worst forms”

595.The said project aims to draft a national document concerning the national Policies on child labour, the current state and the recommendations and work‑plan proposed which will ease the process of implementation of such policies through the involvement of a wide group of individuals and institutions active in the child labour issues either in national or in regional level.

596.With the implementation of such project we will obtain the necessary information, a national report and a well‑determined strategy on the fight against child labour and its worst forms. The project is in the phase of its authorization.

Article 9

Right to liberty and security of the person

597.One of the constitutional provisions, article 27, which guarantees the freedom of the individual, provides that the freedom may not be deprived to no one exception made for the cases provided by the law. The cases when an individual may be deprived of its freedom are specifically determined in cases when the individual deprived from freedom represents serious social threat against the state or third parties.

598.The constitution provides for terms reported also in the Criminal Procedural Code and Civil Procedure Code, within which the individual deprived from its liberty shall be presented to the judge, which shall decide on its freedom or incarceration, not later than 48 hours from the moment of the commencement of the procedure.

599.Moreover, the Criminal Procedural Code provides that individual freedom may be limited by means of security measures only in the cases provided by the law and the inmates receive a human treatment and moral rehabilitation.

600.It is worth mentioning law no. 8328 dated 16.04.1998 “On the rights and treatment of the prisoners”, which provides special legislative regulations regarding the rights of the imprisoned individuals, and also the competencies of the various competent state authorities. Some of the special treatments reserved to the inmates are: guarantee of appropriate and compatible premises, which are with their personalities, full uninterrupted medical treatment, opportunities for employment by safeguarding the personality of each prisoner. In addition it is recognized the right of education and professional formation, promotion of cultural activities, entertainment and sports and relative premises for the accomplishment of such activities.

601.It is provided for the preservation of the family relations, there are permitted visits and correspondence with family and others. Family visits are encouraged.

Psychiatric care

602.Law no. 8092 dated 21.03.1996; “On mental health” provides on the procedures and criteria for the psychiatric assistance and at the same time the obligations of the state and local government for the regulation of the psychiatric care.

603.Article 3 of the law quotes that the prevention policies for the safeguard of the mental health is determined in:

Implementing the principles of the protection of the mental health in the educational and medical institutions, place of work and military units.

Establishing of prevention and counselling institutions.

Supporting of the organizations and initiatives in the field of mental health.

Involving of the elements of the mental health in the education programs for individuals employed in the sectors of education, social care, healthcare, administration, and entertainment.

Realization of studies focusing on the improvement of the mental health and prevention of mental disorders.

Rehabilitation of the mental health of the affected person.

604.Individuals with retard mental development and the ones with mental disorders are treated without charge n the public institutions of therapy, rehabilitation and education. In case such individuals are under 18 years of age and are treated in private institutions, the state covers the part of expenses equal with the cost of treatment in public institutions.

605.Moreover, article 8 of the law provides that “In all psychiatric and rehabilitative institutions, the Ministry of Labour, Emigration, Social Support and Ex‑Political Prisoners, appoints social employees in charge for the inspection of the cure of the patients from a social point of view and safeguarding of their rights.

606.The interdiction of the mentally challenged individuals may be proposed by the psychiatric and legal commission composed by, at least three members. The Court in compliance with the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code issues the relative decision. The court provides also for the appointment of the legal curator.

607.The head of the psychiatric and rehabilitative institution shall promptly inform the district court in case there is evidence that the legal curator of the mentally challenged individual, under the supervision of such institution, does not comply with its obligations. In such case, the court may revoke its decision by appointing a new curator.

608.The mentally challenged individual, his curator and familiars have the right to be informed on the medical conditions of the affected individual and on the methods of diagnosis and treatment which shall apply. Information is provided by the relative medical doctor or by the social employee, based on the medical condition of the patient and principles of medical deontology.

609.For the realization of the obligations deriving from said law, the physical restraint of the mentally challenged individuals may be adopted only in case the individual may cause hazard to his health and/or his life and/or the others; commits actions against the public safety; with his actions damages or destroys the property; in all such cases as provided in the regulation of the health care service.

610.The decision on the physical restraint is adopted by the medical doctor, which also provides for the mode of restraint and personally supervises its application. In the psychiatric and rehabilitative institutions, in case of impossibility of immediate decision of the physician, the nurse, who immediately notifies the physician, adopts the decision on physical restraint. The physician may annul the decision of the nurse. The decisions of the physician and his actions are reproduced in the respective documentation.

611.The person who is about to be physically restrained shall be informed on such decision. During the implement of the physical restraint the less severe treatment shall apply and particular attention shall be demonstrated towards the individual.

612.The decision on physical restraint shall be approved within 24 hours by a permanent commission established near the psychiatric and rehabilitative institution. The structure of the commission and its competencies are determined by regulation approved by the Ministry of Health and Environment. The Ministry of Health has not yet adopted such regulation.

613.A mentally challenged individual may be recovered in a psychiatric and rehabilitative institution, without his prior consent or the consent of the legal curator, only if as a consequence of the disorder he demonstrates a hazard to his life or health or to the others life or health. The specialized physician adopts the decision on the recovery of such individual, after a thorough personal examination. The affected individual, its curator and familiars have the right to be informed over the causes of the adoption of such measure. The recovery procedures are reflected in the clinical documents.

614.The physician who decides on the recovery, without the prior consent of the individual or his legal curator, shall notify within 24 hours the head of the clinic, who decides on the continuation of the treatment near the psychiatric and rehabilitative institution. The head of the clinic, within 48 hours from the forced recovery, shall present the case in front of the sole judge near the district court where the institution is located.

615.The sole judge, who decides on the matter not later than three days from the day of the presentation of the case, convokes the forcefully recovered individual, his legal curator, the physician who has ordered the recovery, head of the clinic and also familiars or other third interested parties. The decision of the sole judge on the forced recovery is immediately effective.

616.For any recovered individual in a psychiatric institution, his family or legal curator have the right to demand the release from the institution at any time. Such request may be made in any form and is reflected in the personal clinic document. In case of refusal, the abovementioned persons have the right of appeal within 7 days near the district court where the psychiatric institution is located, and the case is presented to the sole judge whose decision is definitive.

617.The psychiatric and rehabilitative institutions are obliged to examine all requests, complaints and proposals made by organizations or other volunteer associations of the patients, family members or interested third parties aiming the protection of the mentally challenged individuals.

Refugees

618.The rights of refugees in the Republic of Albania are regulated by the following laws and other documentation:

Constitution of the Republic of Albania, article 40 which provides for the right of accommodation in the Republic of Albania for foreigners. Based on this provisions the foreigners have the right of accommodation in the territory of the Republic of Albania.

Law no. 8432 dated 14.12.1998 “On the asylum in the Republic of Albania and rights and duties of refugees and persons under temporary protection”. Said law provides for the procedures for the grant of asylum in the Republic of Albania, as well as rights and duties of refugees and persons under temporary protection.

Law no. 8492 dated 27.05.1999 “On foreigners” which provides for the procedures of entrance, of stay, circulation and employment of foreigners in the Republic of Albania as well as the their departure from its territory.

Manual of UNHCR “On the procedures and criteria of determination of the status of refugee”. The main part of this manual provides for the criteria of the determination of the status of refugee, explains the different components of the definition refugee. Such manual is designed as a practical guide.

The Convention of 1951 and Protocol of 1967 are two instruments, which provide for the determination of the status of refugee, in compliance with the provisions in force in the different contracting states.

Universal Declaration on the Human Rights.

Short guide on the European Convention on Human Rights.

619.Law no. 8432 dated 14.12.1998 “On the asylum in the Republic of Albania” provides that; asylum is the protection that the Republic of Albania offers to the refugees and persons under temporary protection. Asylum means rights and duties provided in the Geneva Convention “On the status of refugees” dated 28 July 1951 and Protocol of New York as of 1976, international treaties where Albania is part, as well as in the Albanian legislation (article 2).

620.Asylum seeker is defined the foreigner, who requests asylum because of fear based on persecution for reasons of race, belief, nationality, membership in a determined social group or political orientation, and is outside the territory of his country and is not able to, or as a consequence of the above concern does not want, to seek the protection of said country, or in case has no citizenship and is found outside he previous country of residence as a consequence of such events, is not able to or does not want to return and persons under temporary protection for humanitarian reasons.

621.The individual under temporary humanitarian protection is the foreigner that:

Although does not meet the criteria of refugee as provided in article 4 of said law or the provisions of chapter V of the said law “On the temporary protection”, is not to be expelled from the country by the Albanian authorities, based on the causes determined in the European Convention for the prevention of torture and humiliating treatment or punishment, in the United Nations Conventions against torture and civil and political rights, on children rights and any other international instrument in which the Republic of Albania is or will be part.

Is offered temporary protection in the Republic of Albania according to this law. The right of asylum with the same status belongs also to the consort, children up to 18 years of age and any other parent in custody of the refugee who has obtained the asylum provided that they live together.

622.The foreigner who has obtained the asylum in the Republic of Albania benefits from the status recognized by the Albanian legislation, the Section of the Final Act of the Conference of the Plenipotentiaries, with the United Nation Convention as of 1951 “On the status of refugees” and the other international treaties where Albania adheres as well as all rights recognized to foreigners by the Albanian legislation.

623.The refugee who has obtained the asylum is provided with a residency permit and special work permit. He has the same rights for social assistance as the Albanian citizens, granted by the office for refugees.

624.The refugees who obtain the right of asylum in the Republic of Albania, in compliance with the provisions of article 28 of the United States Convention “On the status of refugee”, are provided with a travel document by the Ministry of Public Order, which contains a restitution clause. Such document, for the period of validity may be used for travel in all states, exception made for the state of origin, and return in Albania (article 12).

625.Each asylum seeker, who meets the criteria determined in said law and who has obtained temporary humanitarian protection from the competent Albanian authorities, enjoys the rights guaranteed by this law, granted to the refugees in compliance with the UN convention of 1951 “On the status of refugee”, exception made for the travel document.

626.Each individual who has obtained temporary protection, enjoys the same rights granted to the refugees, exception made for limitations determined by the National Commission for Refugees, according to the provisions of the law.

627.The asylum seeker is treated in compliance with the respective provisions of the Albanian legislation determining the status of the foreigners, exception made for the different provisions of law.

628.The asylum seeker shall be guaranteed:

The non‑repatriation according to article 7 paragraph 2 of the law;

The right of social assistance and equal social treatment with the Albanian citizens, which is received from the office for refugees.

629.The competent asylum authorities in the Republic of Albania are the Office for refugees, which is the sole competent authority to receive the petitions for asylum, as well as for the granting or revoking of the asylum in first grade and the National Commission for Refugees, composed of eight members:

National Commissioner for Refugees

representative of the Ministry of Local Government

representative of the Ministry of Public Order

representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

representative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

representative of the National Intelligence Service

representative of the Albanian Commission of Helsinki

representative of the National Bar of Attorneys

630.Such commission is the only competent authority to review the appeals against the decisions of the office for refugees.

631.Moreover, the asylum seekers, refugees and individuals under temporary protection have the right to contact with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The representatives of UNHCR have the right to meet with every asylum seeker, refugee or individual under temporary protection who is located in the territory of the republic of Albania.

632.UNHCR may participate as an observer in the meetings of the office for refugees and of the National Commission for Refugees, with regard to the determination of the status of refugee.

The foreigners who wish to seek asylum in the Republic of Albania shall:

Present to the competent authorities near the border or within the Territory of the Republic of Albania and file a petition for asylum.

Present directly to the office for refugees and file a petition for asylum.

633.Petition for asylum is submitted in written form, in Albanian language or in one of the official languages of the United Nations, to the office for refugees. The petition, in addition to the identity shall contain the reasons based on which the asylum seeker seeks protection in the territory of the Republic of Albania.

634.In the office for refugees the asylum seeker is obliged to present all data and fill the application form prepared by the office for refugees. While filling the asylum application form, the asylum seeker receives an informative brochure on the procedures of determination of the status of refugee.

635.If the asylum seeker wishes, the office for refugees assists him to contact with no charge to an attorney, expert on asylum or the UNHCR. For the period of time until the final decision regarding the request for asylum, the asylum seeker is permitted to stay in the territory of the Republic of Albania.

636.The foreigners who receive temporary protection are temporarily admitted in the Republic of Albania. The rights of the foreigners under temporary protection, especially the right to work and freedom of movement may be restricted for objective reasons by the National Commission for Refugees during the first three years of stay in the territory of the Republic of Albania.

637.In any case, this category of foreigners is not prosecuted or receives a less favourable treatment because may have entered illegally the territory of the Republic of Albania and generally are treated according to the international standards on human rights, and the law provisions in force.

638.Foreigners who receive temporary protection have the right to submit request for asylum at the end of such status, in compliance with the criteria determined by the law.

Article 10

Rights of persons deprived from liberty

639.Currently, the activity of the penitentiary system is based in a legal framework that is considered with a substantial value in the direction of the erection of a democratic state. Such legal framework is composed of:

Law no. 8321 dated 02.04.1998 “On the penitentiary police”

Law no 8328 dated 16.04.1998 “On the rights and treatment of the prisoners”

Law no. 8331 dated 21.04.1998 “On the execution of the penal decisions”

640.In implementation of the above legislative acts, has been drafted the General Penitentiaries Regulation, which draft was also approved by the experts of the Council of Europe and approved by the Albanian Government with Decision no. 63 dated 9 March 2000. The draft of the regulation was also reviewed by specialists in charge from the Albanian Committee of Helsinki, whose observations were reflected in the final version of the regulation. Moreover, the legal framework was completed with the approval of the Penitentiary Police Regulation, in June 2000.

641.According to article 18 of the law no 8328 dated 16.04.1998 “On the rights and treatment of the prisoners” and the General Penitentiaries Regulation, the single penitentiaries have prepared the respective regulations.

642.Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice and the Penitentiaries Administration have observed rigorously the various recommendations of the Council of Europe, which, in many cases, have been converted in orders of the Ministers or General Director, depending on the various issues and have been forwarded to the single institutions for implementation.

643.The penitentiary administration, civil or military, manages the activity of the penitentiaries in compliance with the laws in force. The use of force is determined in the law and is considered as extreme measure for the solution of a conflict or specific situation. According to article 48 of the general regulation of penitentiaries, the personnel of the penitentiaries is not allowed to perform actions towards the prisoners not provided in the law, punishments or other humiliating treatments and any form of torture. Such provision has been included in all regulations of the single institutions.

644.In conformity of the above provisions, articles 6 and 7 of law no. 8321 dated 02.04.1998 “On the penitentiary police”, provide that “The penitentiary police officers are obliged to observe the orders of their superior according to the function rank and in equal correlation with the hierarchy of the rank.

645.The orders shall be imparted in conformity with the function and its implementation, and should not contradict the law and dignity of the affected person. In case the direct superior is absent, in case of urgency and when there is no possibility to communicate with the superiors of a higher rank, the officer higher in rank shall impart the order to the officers equal or inferior in rank.

646.The written order, which is supposed illegitimate, shall be always observed; exception made when is evidently against the law. For verbal orders, which are supposed illegitimate, is mandatory the written form when required by the executor and, if this is impossible, it is given in writing subsequent to its execution.

647.In all cases, the executor of the order shall promptly notify the superior authority on the supposed illegitimacy. For the imparted order is always responsible the imparter, as well as the executor of the order, in case he did not present its objections as above described. For the execution of an order that is manifestly illegitimate it is always held responsible also the executor.

648.Together with the recruitment of professional personnel an important role in the formation of the penitentiary administration has played the establishment of the School of Penitentiary Police, provided for by law no. 8321 “On penitentiary police”.

649.Through this institution it is aimed:

Basic training of the new coming penitentiary personnel

Incentive the existing penitentiary personnel for career advancement

Training of the existing penitentiary personnel

650.The school is established from three years now and realizes the training of all penitentiary officers of basic role in courses of duration from 15 days to 3 months. For the year 2002 there have been trained 358 officers of basic role and 11 of middle role. At the same time said school organizes also training courses for middle role and there were organized also 1‑2 day courses for executives of the penitentiaries. The activities of the school include also training seminars for the civil personnel of the penitentiaries, including the educational department.

651.According to data made available by the Ministry of Justice, on 1 September 1999 have been registered 340 persons in custody and 772 prisoners, for a total of 1.112. From the total number of prisoners, 287 have been sentenced with more than 10 years, while 30 with life imprisonment. During the year 1999, in a total number of 2922 prisoners, there has been reported only one death in prison and no suicide.

652.On 1 September 2000 have been registered a total of 1.467 prisoners. From the total number of prisoners, 384 have been sentenced with more than 10 years, while 42 with life imprisonment. There have been 888 guards, 54 social employees, 22 executives and 187 administrative staff. Has been reported only one death in prison and no suicide.

653.On 1 September 2001 have been registered 336 persons in custody and 1299 prisoners for a total of 1.635 prisoners. From the total number of prisoners, 616 have been sentenced with more than 10 years, while 54 with life imprisonment.

654.An ever‑growing issue for the Albanian justice system is the overpopulation of the penitentiaries.

Year

No. of prisoners

Capacity of the institutions

September 1999

112

1 300

September 2000

1 467

1 300

September 2001

1 635

1 383

Source: Ministry of Justice.

655.The Ministry of Justice and the General Penitentiary Directorate have accomplished efforts to increase the capacity of the penitentiaries, through the rehabilitation of the penitentiary of Peqin and soon of the penitentiary of Lezha. With the operation in full capacity of the above penitentiaries, the problem of the over‑population of the penitentiaries in Albania will be definitely solved.

Distinctions between persons in custody and prisoners

656.There are many differences between custody and imprisonment. Until March 2003, the personnel of the custody area were under the authority of the Ministry of Public Order. By an ordinance of the Prime Minister the personnel of the custody areas passed from the authority of the Ministry of Public Order under the authority of the Ministry of Justice within the first trimester of 2003.

657.The accused person even when is under isolation custody or is deprived from its freedom for any reason, is interrogated free, exception made for the case of preventive measures against escape or violence. There may not be used, even if the accused agrees, methods or techniques to determine the free will or that may alternate the memory or the evaluation of facts. Before the interrogation starts, it is explained to the accused person that he has the right to remain silent and in case of silence the proceeding will however take place.

658.The internal regulations of custody control provide disciplinary measures against the persons who breach the internal regulations of custody. There are also great efforts from the police personnel to prevent torture and any other humiliating treatment, especially during the escort of the persons under custody. Severe punishments have followed the evidenced cases of surpass of legitimate force in breach of the legislative provisions.

General rules of treatment of prisoners

659.The General Directorate of the Penitentiaries is the central authority, which manages and administrates all the penitentiaries and other accessory institutions. The general directorate exercises its authority in compliance with the provisions of law “On the rights and treatment of the prisoners”, general regulation of penitentiaries, ordinances and instructions of the Minister of Justice, and all other laws or regulations. The Director of the institutions manages its activity in compliance with the above regulations and is responsible for the execution of the penal sentences.

660.The treatment of each inmate shall be done in accordance to the criterion of the individualization in conformity with the individual characteristics of each individual. The individualization is accomplished by determining the individual needs and by considering the social environment where the prisoner has lived, the social and educative causes that had determined its deviation. The observation is performed at the beginning of the treatment and the results are verified during the execution, by making the necessary adjustments.

661.The observations, program and execution of treatment are performed by the penitentiary administration through its personnel in collaboration with the competent state authorities. The contribution of the non‑governmental organizations and individuals is encouraged from the penitentiary administration in the realization of the treatment program.

662.According to article 48 of the General Penitentiaries Regulation and provisions of the single regulations, the personnel of the penitentiaries is not allowed to perform actions towards the prisoners not provided in the law, punishments or other humiliating treatments and any form of torture.

Rehabilitation of prisoners

663.According to article 9 of law no 8328 dated 16.04.1998, the inmates shall receive such a treatment aiming their re‑education and their integration in the society.

664.The treatment of each prisoner shall be done in according to the criterion of the individualization in conformity with the individual characteristics of each prisoner. The individualization is accomplished by determining the individual needs and by considering the social environment where the prisoner has lived, the social and educative causes that had determined its deviation. The observation is performed at the beginning of the treatment and the results are verified during the execution, by making the necessary adjustments (article 10).

665.The observations, program and execution of treatment are performed by the penitentiary administration through its personnel in collaboration with the competent state authorities. The contribution of the non‑governmental organizations and individuals is encouraged from the penitentiary administration in the realization of the treatment program (article 11).

666.Treatment of prisoner is done by guaranteeing premises to prisoners, which are appropriate and compatible with their personalities. The objectives of the treatment education and professional formation, promotion of cultural activities, entertainment and sports work, spiritual activities and other group activities which aim the reintegration of the prisoner in the society.

667.The treatment is performed through individual and group activities, accomplished by the penitentiary personnel duly specialized in pedagogy, in collaboration with the other staff of the institution. Contacts with the outer world and family are encouraged and are realized through individual and group programs (article 32).

668.The organization of cultural, entertainment and sport activities shall aim the preservation and development of the physical, psychological and spiritual abilities of the prisoners (article 38).

669.In the penitentiaries, according to the needs of re‑education, should be guaranteed the appropriate and necessary means for the treatment, education, entertainment, cultural activities and any other individual or group activity. The institutions shall have a library and periodical publications.

670.Article 62, the prisoner shall be reattributed for excellent behaviour, for single humanitarian acts, for the good performance in work and other group activities. The retributions and the competent authority are determined in the law and by the internal regulation.

671.The prisoners, who observe the regulations and have a good record in the integrative activities, by giving concrete examples toward the integration in the society, may benefit one or more reduction of punishment, up to 90 days per every year. In the high security penitentiaries the reduction of the punishment is granted up to 45 days per year. The behaviour of the prisoner from the last reduction or last 12 months is determinant in the granting of such benefit. The reduction of punishment is done with a court order on request of the prisoner, prosecutor or the director of the institution.

Education in prison

672.In compliance with the abovementioned law, article 37 provides that the education and cultural formation is realized through the establishment of a school, obligatory for the underage, and professional courses, according to the existent practice. It is stimulated the attendance of professional studies, by means of distance courses. It is supported the reading without limitation of the publications and the utilization of the other informative systems of the library of the institution. Particular concern is applied to the cultural and professional formation of the prisoners under 25 years of age.

673.In the prison of Vaqar is established the 8 year elementary and superior school for underage and other prisoners who have not completed this course of education.

Disciplinary sanctions in prison

674.Article 52 of the law no. 8328 dated 16.04.1998, “On the rights and treatment of prisoners”, provides that the prisoner may not be punished for a reason that is not expressively foreseen as a violation by the law, the regulation of penitentiaries and internal regulation of the institution. The sanction may be applied only after hearing the prisoner and substantiation of the fact. Sanctions are applied in relation with the nature and gravity of the violation, the conduct of the prisoner and his personal data. Sanctions are applied with regard to the personality of the prisoner.

Article 53, for disciplinary violations the following sanctions apply:

Individual warning

Admonition in presence of the other prisoners

Expulsion from specific group activities up to 10 days

Expulsion from the group outing up to 20 days

Expulsion from all group activities up to 20 days

Interruption of licenses

675.With regard to minors and women the sanctions provided in the points c, d and e apply reduced up to the half of the maximum time. For pregnant women or women who bear the child apply only the sanctions provided in points a and b.

676.In the regulation of penitentiaries the above sanctions may be differentiated depending on the institution, without exceeding the maximal limits.

677.The disciplinary measure of the expulsion from the group activities and group outing shall not apply without a prior written document, issued by the physician, who certifies that the prisoner is able to support it. The prisoner is subject to continuous medical observation.

678.Article 54, the disciplinary, measures of the admonition and warning are determined by the director of the penitentiary. The other measures are determined by the disciplinary council composed of the director or his substitute, in the quality of chairman, educator and the police force commander. Disciplinary measures are evidenced in the document of the prisoner and are considered as never settled in case they don’t reapply for the next 6 months.

679.For the period 1999‑2003, the number of disciplinary measures applied according to law was in total 635.

680.“Individual admonition” and “Expulsion from single group activities up to 10 days” are applied mostly by the disciplinary commissions at every single institution, according to article 53 paragraphs 1 of the abovementioned law. Between the sanctioned prisoners there have also been recidivists. For women, considering the fact that the law provides limitations, are applied individual admonitions and admonitions in public.

681.Such sanctions have been adopted for various reasons such as, disobedience to the police officer order, violence against the other prisoners, possession of illegal materials, offence towards the police officers, misconduct. Reasons/cases of the application off the disciplinary measures are provided in the General Regulation of the Penitentiaries and in the internal regulations of each institution.

682.The above information refers to the period 1999‑2003, while for 2 penitentiaries (respectively the penitentiary of Rrogozhine and the Special Institution of Kruja), considering the facts that are established in 2002, the data refer only to the said period. During 2003 there was one organised attempt to escape from the penitentiary by 6 prisoners.

Prisoners contacts with the outside world

683.Article 40, of law no. 8328 dated 16.04.1998, “On the rights and treatment of prisoners” provides for a special attention dedicated to the preservation, improvement or reestablishment of the familiar relationship of the prisoners. The prisoner may immediately inform its family when entering the institution or in case of transfer. In case of death or serious physical or mental infirmity of a prisoner, the family shall be promptly notified.

684.The institution immediately notifies the prisoner when receives notice of the death of his family members. For the prisoners who suffer a serious infirmity or mental disorders, the notification is done with prior authorization of the physician. For the juvenile prisoners and women who have adult children, it is conceived a special program encouraging the family relation.

685.Article 41, the prisoners are permitted to have meetings and correspondence with family members and other persons. Meetings are held in special areas under sight control and may not be heard by the supervising personnel. Particularly encouraged are meetings with family members. When the facilities of the institution allow, the prisoners may stay with family members over the specified time limit.

686.According to the criteria of the penitentiary regulations, meetings may be held in private areas. The penitentiary administration, grants to the prisoners, who may not afford so, the necessary means for correspondence. Telephonic correspondence may be authorized in relation with family members and in special cases even with non‑family members.

687.Prisoners are permitted to keep newspapers, magazines, which are freely sold outside and contain permitted information sources. On prosecutor’s request, when provided by the law the court may authorize the control of the correspondence of the prisoner. The director of the institution or other authorized persons may perform control in the presence of the prosecutor. The request of the prosecutor suspends the delivery of the correspondence.

688.Pursuant to article 43, external individuals may enter the facility only upon authorization of the Minister of Justice in case of a high security penitentiary and according to the penitentiary regulation for the other institutions. The prosecutor may directly authorize representatives of non‑governmental organizations to visit the institutions where are located prisoners or persons under custody, for the confirmation of the guarantee and respect of their rights.

689.Penitentiaries may be visited without prior authorization by the President of the Republic, the Chairman of the Parliament, prime Minister and their accompanying staff, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, the Chairman of the Supreme Court, General Prosecutor and his substitutes, members of the parliament elected in the area where the penitentiary is located, general Director of Penitentiaries his substitutes and also the Director of the Penitentiary Police.

690.Exception made for the high security penitentiaries, in the other institutions may enter without prior authorization ministers, judges of the Constitutional Court, vice ministers, members of the Parliament, members of the High Council of Justice and the Prefect, chairman and prosecutors of the Appeal Court, Chairman and prosecutors of the District Courts, judges during exertion of their activity, as well as the attorneys employed by the prisoners or appointed attorneys. No authorization is needed for the persons who accompany the above‑mentioned persons, exception made for the high security penitentiaries, but always not more than two.

691.The Judicial Police officers may enter the institutions for professional reasons, through an authorization by the prosecutor. In urgent cases the director of the institution grants the authorization. The representatives of the religious communities may enter the penitentiaries according to the agreements entered with the General Directorate of Penitentiaries. Visitors, in case they receive complaints or requests from the prisoners in relation with the application of the law or penitentiary regulation, can make direct recommendations to the director of the institution or his superior and may present a petition to the prosecutor.

Penitentiary officials

692.According to law no 8321 dated 02.04.1998, “On the penitentiary police”, article 13 provides that the employment of penitentiary police officers is done by the General Director of Penitentiaries through a public contest according to the criteria determined by the Minister of Justice, where may participate the Albanian citizens who comply with the following:

Age 20 to 35

Posses the necessary physical and psychic abilities to perform the duty

Degree in a superior education institute

Clean criminal record and a good morality

The winners of the selection are appointed police officers. Their ranking is assigned following to the completion of the relative course in the Penitentiary Police School.

693.Article 14, appointment of officers, exception made for the Director of the Penitentiary Police, is done only upon completion of the professional ability test. Appointment and discharge from duty according to point a, b and c of article 5 of this law is done by the Minister of Justice, whereas the other appointments are done by the General Director of Penitentiaries. The arrangement of the test, the evaluation criteria and the composition of the commissions are determined by the Minister of Justice.

694.Article 15, the Director of the Penitentiary Police in the General Directorate of Penitentiaries is appointed between the active Penitentiary Police Officers, Criminal Police or the Army, with ranking at least Colonel. The Prime Minister upon proposal of the Minister of Justice appoints the Director of the Penitentiary Police.

695.In the year 2000, there were a total of 1.151 penitentiary personnel, of which 888 or 77.1% were guards. Th