enru
×

Civic Nation Unity in Deversity

Application of Legislation, Criminal Cases, Court Rulings

Application of Legislation, Criminal Cases, Court Rulings The Constitutional Court of Albania

Such legislation was generally observed in Albania, although it cannot be said that racism and extremism is a serious problem in modern Albania.

Article 7 of the “Protection against Discrimination” law states that “Every action or lack thereof conducted by government authorities or legal entities that are part of the private or public sector, which creates grounds for individuals or groups of people to be denied equality or to be treated unjustly and unequally, compared to how other people would have been treated in identical circumstances, is discrimination”.

The fight against racism and discrimination is led by the Albanian Ministry of Interior Affairs, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities, and Ministry of Education and Science. According to Article 13 of the “Protection against Discrimination” law, protecting employees from discrimination is employer’s responsibility. Article 19 of the same law puts headmasters of the educational institutions in charge of preventing discrimination in schools, universities, etc.

The official state discrimination counteraction position is held by the Commissioner for Protection against Discrimination (MPCSH). This position was established in compliance with the “Protection against Discrimination” law (2010). The commissary is elected for the period of five years and must provide an annual report on his actions. He has the right to conduct administrative investigations if discrimination complaints are received and he can also administer penalties - including large fines, suggest new regulations that would help with preventing discrimination to the state authorities, etc. All discrimination complaints are handled within 90 days of their receipt.

As was already mentioned, a noteworthy incident in 2014 involved a doctor at one of the state clinics entering a physical conflict with a nurse, Irma Haka, due to her wearing a hijab. The doctor was subsequently brought on administrative charges for violating Article 10.2 of the Constitution, which states that the state shall be neutral in issues of faith and conscience and guarantees freedom of expression in the public life. All medical institutions in the country received instructions to prevent such incidents in the future.

The official state discrimination counteraction position is held by the Commissioner for Protection against Discrimination (MPCSH). This position was established in compliance with the “Protection against Discrimination” law (2010). The commissary is elected for the period of five years and must provide an annual report on his actions. He has the right to conduct administrative investigations if discrimination complaints are received and he can also administer penalties - including large fines, suggest new regulations that would help with preventing discrimination to the state authorities, etc. All discrimination complaints are handled within 90 days of their receipt .

As was already mentioned, a noteworthy incident in 2014 involved a doctor at one of the state clinics entering a physical conflict with a nurse, Irma Haka, due to her wearing a hijab. The doctor was subsequently brought on administrative charges for violating Article 10.2 of the Constitution, which states that the state shall be neutral in issues of faith and conscience and guarantees freedom of expression in the public life. All medical institutions in the country received instructions to prevent such incidents in the future.

Albanian government made an official statement in response to the OSCE’s (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) query, in which it stated that like such countries as Azerbaijan, Italy, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, Albania is not willing to make information related to hate crime statistics public . Therefore this study does possess some fragmented data of such crimes taking place (provided by the official representatives of Albanian government upon requests from international organisations), but absolutely no information on their clearance rate.

Immigrant employment, health services, and social aid questions are regulated by the “Law on Foreigners”, “Law on Asylum”, and “Government Decision on the Entrance, Stay and Treatment of the Foreigners” .

According to these pieces of legislation, all legal immigrants – EU citizens, refugees, and immigrants from Third World countries that have permanent or temporary Albanian residence, have the right for the same social benefits as the indigenous Albanian citizens.

It is vital to remember, however, that this social aid for Albanian citizens is quite peculiar. First, it is almost three times less than the official minimum wage (according to the data obtained in 2012 – 144.4 EUR ), and second, a whole series of aspects this social aid covers is strictly nominal. For example, many local medical facilities remain underfunded. Funding level in different regions depends on what political party is in control. I.E. because socialists have more influence in the south, under their rule the funding of northern medical centres is cut and the money is transferred to support the south, and vice versa. Same applies to vacancies in other institutions on government payroll, including schools and kindergartens. The feeble balance is maintained only in the centre of Albania, where socialists and democrats have roughly the same amount of influence.

Considering that now for many years Albania had over 12% of its population earn wages below the subsistence level , it is reasonable to assume that immigrants that apply for social aid are automatically put below the poverty line.

Therefore, even though Albania has officially given legal foreign immigrants same rights as Albanian citizens, de facto these rights are of not much real help to either of these two groups. However, due to low immigration level this has not yet reflected on either the socio-economical position in the country, or the society’s treatment of immigrants.

Back to list

© 2017 Civic Nation
Created by – NBS-Media