U.S. Statement at the UPR of Albania

19th Session of the Universal Periodic Review

U.S. Statement delivered by Kim D’Auria-Vazira
April 28, 2014

Thank you Madame Vice President.

The United States warmly welcomes the Albanian delegation to the UPR Working Group and congratulates Albania on the completion of its national report and presentation today.

We commend Albania for appointing a new National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator.  The Coordinator has been crucial in bringing together civil society, law enforcement, the courts, and the international community to make progress on combating trafficking.

While we laud the government for publicly acknowledging and focusing on the growing problem of domestic violence against women, we are concerned by the police force’s lack of capacity to deal with the increased number of reported cases of domestic violence over the past year.

We also note reports of police mistreatment of suspects during detention and interrogation.  Additionally, we express dismay that children are still engaged in the worst forms of child labor, particularly in forced begging and in mining.

Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend that Albania:

  1. Fully implement the National Strategy on Gender Equality and Against Gender-Based and Domestic Violence and build up the capacity of the police force to deal with such cases, including through additional training programs to help police identify and assist survivors of domestic violence;
  1. Instruct police officers on an annual basis that any form of ill-treatment of detained persons is unacceptable and will be punished;
  1. Take the necessary measures to effectively eliminate the worst forms of child labor.
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