Joint press release on protecting children from abuse in Albania

All together for Holistic Care of Children, pending further investigative actions , strongly condemn the incident revealed on the 18th of May 2016 in The Residential Center , Shkoder . According to the current information signalized by Ombudsman , Prosecutor of Shkoder started investigations with the reasonable doubts that the children of this center have been physically abused , maltreated and subject to mandatory works by the center staff. According to the forensic analysis, three children of the center, girls of the age 6, 7 and 12 years old have been sexually abused during their stay in the center. Frequent cases of violence identified but also denounced from the independent institutions or outside the monitoring system and inspection made us doubt the monitoring quality that The State Social Service has the task to perform in these centers. These cases urge the need to implement effective actions monitoring the services in Residential centers. We strongly recommend that the legal amendments for Children Protection’s new law include an external structure of child protection professionals which can create the trust and the opportunity to share their needs and emotional state. Furthermore, we raise our concern for personnel employment procedures of the centers. We seek professional and careful procedures and the presence of Children Protection Policy with the content of clear criteria that legal figures must have and signed ethics for each employee. As above, BKTF Coalition request that the institutions legally charged for functioning, monitoring and inspecting The Residential Centers implement their responsibilities for this current event and take appropriate measures for the responsibles. Members of BKTF Coalition: 1. Terre Des Hommes in Albania and Kosovo 2. Save the Children Albania 3. Paqe nepermjet Drejtesise 4. Femijet e Botes dhe Shqiperise 5. Psycho-Social Center Vatra 6. RMSA/ICMC 7. Qendra e Sherbimeve dhe Praktikave Ligjore te Integruara 8. Help for Children 9. Tirana Legal Aid Society, TLAS 10. ARSIS 11. National Association Education for Life , SHKEJ 12. World Vision Albania and Kosovo 13. Partners for Children 14. ADRA Albania 15. Caritas 16. Amarodrom 17. Roma Active Albania 18. SOS Villages 19. Center ‘’Children Today’’ To this statement is joined also : 1. Albanian Women Empowerment Network , AWEN , www.awnetwork.org, and the Organisations part of this network : • “Gender Alliance for Development Centre”, Tirana • “Association of Women and Girls With Social Problems”, Durres • “Me, the Woman”, Pogradec • “Agritra Vision”, Peshkopi • “Woman to Woman”, Shkoder • “Woman’s Forum”, Elbasan • “Jona” association, Sarande 2. Gender Alliance for Development Center