Honouring of obligations
and commitments by Albania
of January 2007; Leo Platvoet (Netherland, UEL, co-rapporteur)
of all I want to thank
the delegation of Albania in this
Assembly for the fruitful cooperation with the rapporteurs. The delegation,
brotherly divided in the governing and the opposition party, offered us a 70
pages comment. We were very grateful for that, because it helped us in updating,
correcting and balancing the draft report.
Albania has made progress in fullfilling the commitments of the Council of
Europe. The socialist government, who ruled for eight years, was after the 2005-elections replaced in a peaceful way by a
government of the Democratic Party and their allies.
Both governments have contributed to this proces, in which the fight against
organised crime, trafficking and corruption is strongly improved and steps are
made to an independant judiciary.
amendments are adopted by the parliament in the electoral code and the
consititution in order to gain the goal of free and fair elections.
This is a very good achievement, because it is just one month ago that there was
a deep division between the ruling and opposition party, which seems to lead to
a boycot of the opposition of the forthcoming local elections.
This is all history now. In the very near future, 18th of February, these
elections will take place and hopefully they are a proof-in-practice of the
progress that had been made on paper.
our report we describe these achievements, but we also put a finger on the
In the functioning of
the judiciary improvements are prepared but not implemented yet to raise the
status of judges and to let professionalism and independancy be the guiding
principles. The conduct of the police is still criticised by many international
organisations and the Committee on Prevention Torture published recently a very
critical report about the situation in pre-trial detention centres and prisons.
In the field of gender equality the challenges are really great. Forced
marriages, violence against women and the weak representation of women in
politics are only three examples of situations which has to be changed.
Trafficking of human beings, special women and children, still take place for the purpose of
sexual exploitation and forced labour. Children rights are still offended.
Too many children lack basic education and child labour is a mjaor problem.
According to a report of the Childern’s Right Centre of Albania 50.000
children are working, some as many as 16 hours a day. Homosexuality is not
accepted by society, thus there is a widespread discrimination.
all leads to the conclusion in the last paragraph of the draft resolution that,
although progress has been achieved, the Assembly shall continue its
monitoring-procedure, not as punishment, but as a helping hand, as a free advise,
towards Albania in fullfilling the honouring of obligations and commitments of
the Council of Europe.
I want to underline, and this strongly also the position of my colleague
Wiltshire, that we can´t expect form the so called new democracies such as
Albania, that they achieve in the field of democracy, rule of law and human
rights in 10 to 15 years what our countries –UK and Netherlands- acchieved in
150 years. But what we may ask is that progess is made, not only on paper, but
also in practice, because that proves the true will.