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ALBANIAN LAW: “ON MEASURES AGAINST VIOLENCE IN FAMILY RELATION” Monika KOCAQI Executive Director of “Refleksione” Association.

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Presentation on theme: "ALBANIAN LAW: “ON MEASURES AGAINST VIOLENCE IN FAMILY RELATION” Monika KOCAQI Executive Director of “Refleksione” Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 ALBANIAN LAW: “ON MEASURES AGAINST VIOLENCE IN FAMILY RELATION” Monika KOCAQI Executive Director of “Refleksione” Association

2 HOW IT STARTED…. 1994-1995 Women’s NGO-s proposed the idea of drafting a law on VAW – the idea was totally refused with the excuse “there is no VAW or DV in Albania” 1995 – “Refleksione” did the first study and the first public awareness campaign on VAW in Albania. 86% of women interviewed accepted the fact that they were abused. 1999-2000 Women’s Advocacy Center in collaboration with former Committee “Women and the Family” proposed again the idea of drafting the law on DV – no financial support. 2003 – a coalition of NGO-s found support to draft the law on DV. The strategy changed: this time the law came as a citizens’ initiative, with 20,000 signatures from citizens all around Albania and the draft was also consulted with the Ministries of lines, and different state institutions in many round tables. The law is approved on December 2006 and it entered into force on June 2007. The secondary legislation is in the process of preparation.

3 THE PURPOSE OF THIS LAW: To prevent and reduce domestic violence in all its forms by appropriate legal measures; To guarantee protection through legal measures to members of the family who are subject to DV, paying particular attention to needs of children, the elderly and the disabled.

4 OBJECTIVES OF THIS LAW: To set up a coordinated network of responsible authorities for protection, support and rehabilitation of victims, mitigation of conseguences and prevention of DV; To direct efforts for the set up of responsible structures and authorities at the central and local level in support of victims and prevention of DV; To empower the the judiciary in taking protection measures against DV; To ensure /guarantee quick, affortable and simple services to the victims of DV provided by courts and other law enforcement agencies in compliance to the law.

5 THE INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS: It provides the legal definition of DV and family members; It creates the network of responsible state institutions; It determines the duties and responsibilities of each of these institutions; It acknowledges and provides role for NPO-s; It determine sanctions and penalties in case of not fulfilling the duties; the protection order. It foreseen a new court procedure: the protection order.

6 THE RESPONSIBLE STATE STRUCTURES: MINISTRY OF LABOR, SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES (The lead responsible authority and the coordinative structure) MINISTRY OF INTERIOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS MINISTRY OF HEALTH HOSPITALS AND PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTERS MINISTRY OF JUSTICE COURTS

7 The lead responsible authority has the following duties (MoLSAEO): To develop and implement national strategies and programmes to offer protection and care to the victims of domestic violence; To finance and co-finance projects designed for the protection and consolidation of family and for the care of victims of domestic violence; To assist the set up of support structures and all of the necessary infrastructure to support and fulfil all the needs of the persons subject to domestic violence, including financial assistance as well as social and health services pursuant to the law; To organise training sessions on domestic violence with social service employees at any local government unit, police structures and employees of NPOs licensed to offer social services; To maintain statistical data on the level of domestic violence; To support and supervise the set up of rehabilitation centres for domestic violence victims; To support and supervise the set up of rehabilitation centres for the perpetrators of domestic violence; To license NPOs that will provide social services to victims and perpetrators.

8 The duties of Ministry of the Interior: To set up special units at the police departments to prevent and combat domestic violence; To set up the necessary structures and to nominate those individuals responsible for the implementation of this law ; To train members of the police force to handle domestic violence cases;

9 Police Departments (in national and local level): Shall respond to any report filed by the victim or other persons indicated by this law, for cases of violence or threat to use violence, including cases of violation of protection orders and emergency protection orders. These authorities keep due records and issue a copy to the victim or to the person accompanying them; Informing the victim or the person accompanying them on the measures to be taken according to the law and authorities they should refer to; Informing the victim or the person accompanying them on existing social services and accompanying them to appropriate centres and institutions and providing for transportation when its necessarily. Providing them with the protection of a policeman in life endangering cases; Police authorities shall record their findings in a written report and start investigations upon their own initiative. The incident number for the report should be given to the victim. The police gives the incident number to the victim.

10 MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND ITS STRUCTURES: Offer at any time medical and psychological help to domestic violence victims, To carry out necessary examinations at any time at respective public health institutions, To record domestic violence cases at the appropriate medical documentations, as approved by the Ministry of Health To provide the victim with the respective medical report; To guide and refer the victim to other support and protection domestic violence services.

11 MINISTRY OF JUSTICE: To train the medico-legal experts in recognizing, diagnosing, evaluating and reporting on domestic violence and child abuse injuries; To train the bailiffs on their duty to serve protection orders immediately and to ensure their implementation under Article 23 point 6 and to take appropriate action; To budget for free legal assistance mandated under this act and ensure a sufficient number of trained lawyers to provide said assistance

12 Local authorities (municipalities, communes): To engage in setting up social services structures for domestic violence cases; To install regional 24-hour toll free telephone line, which will then establish links to local units, police, medical emergency units and NPOs, thereby coordinating their actions ; Establish social and rehabilitation centres for victims and perpetrators and coordinate efforts with exiting ones, giving priority to specialised centres in respective fields.

13 Protection and emergency protection order: The petition for protection orders may be presented by: the victim themselves; the victim’s legal representative or attorney; the police/prosecutor; The court establishes a hearing with regard to a protection order within 15 days from the filing of the petition; Time limits for this protection order should not exceed 12 months, but with a possibility of extension; The court reaches a decision with regard to emergency protection orders within 48 hours from the presentation of petition; The date for the verification of the emergency protection order, should take place within 20 days from the issuance of the emergency protection order

14 WHERE DO WE ARE ACTUALLY… New Law on DV; Still waiting for secondary legislation. New National Strategy on Gender Equality and against DV; There is created the new Structure for measures against DV near GDEO at MoLSAEO (with the Prime Minister order); There is created the Section for Child Protection and on DV near the General Directory of State Police and there are created the same Sections at the local level; International institutions and national NPO-s, based in the above mentioned documents, are involved in capacity buildings, public awareness raising, establishment of referral system, etc; New initiatives like studies on DV, unpaid work of women, gender disaggregated data, etc We have the first cases for protection order finalized in the court; There is the discussion for changes in Penal Code related to DV;

15 BUT… We live in a country where: People mentality continues to give power to male domination, A lot of prejudices are revealed especially related to “women’s moral”, DV still is continued to be an issue that must stay behind the closed doors, People and particularly women continue to blame themselves in case of family problems, There are a lot of NPO-s working on this issue but they are depending on donors support; We draft good laws and strategies but we “forget” to plan financial means to support the implementation of these important documents; So, we must be prepared that the implementation of this law will be a big challenge for all of us….


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