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Albania - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (List of Issues) - Women's Rights - January 2022

The State fails to adequately protect women in Albania. It has made some progress with new amendments to expand the scope of discrimination legislation. Despite these amendments and awareness-raising activities with women, however, gender-based discrimination remains largely unreported.

 Women lack adequate access to justice and legal aid. Bailiff offices have failed several times to enforce court decisions in a short and reasonable time by avoiding delays in execution, especially in family and divorce trials. In Albania there is still lack of information about how to access free legal aid, especially for women and girls living in rural areas.

Domestic violence remains a problem in Albania. Despite legislative progress, the State has not adequately implemented new protocols. The cooperation between all members of the Coordinated Referral Mechanism for handling domestic violence cases in the local level (CRM) is not adequate. There are still passive institutions in the CRM, in terms of joint and holistic handling of cases of violence (Prosecution, free legal aid guaranteed from the state, health institutions, Probation Service, etc.).

The State fails to provide adequate support services to address the needs of victims of domestic violence (emergency shelters, social housing programs, employment services etc.). The State has failed to establish rehabilitation programs for perpetrators of domestic violence and gender-based violence (Programs of rehabilitation from alcohol/ drugs/ mental health disorders, parent training programs). The majority of municipalities do not have budgets designated specifically to address gender-based issues and provide financial support for victims of violence.

Women in Albania still face barriers to participation in public and political life, especially women living in rural areas and Roma women. Women also face significant barriers to adequate employment.

The State could do much more to improve the physical conditions of penitentiary institutions for women and girls in detention, respecting their right to a fair legal process and their treatment according to the standards provided by legislation in force.

The information in this report is based on direct information from Albanian human rights defenders about women's rights. This stakeholder report addresses Albania's failure to comply with its international human rights obligations and suggests questions to address and improve the human rights situation in Albania.