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Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts

Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts

Section 3, Article 18 of the Constitution of Albania has an odd disclaimer that suggests that there are cases when discrimination is “objective and justified”.

In November 2011 the Constitutional Court of Albania ruled in favour of excluding the “ethnicity” category from both the Civil Status Act and the population census. While exclusion of this category from the Civil Status Act is generally consistent with the European Protection of Human Rights regulations, excluding it from the population census where completing it is strictly voluntary and only represents the self-identification of the respondent, is somewhat illogical. The expert opinion is that this is Albanian government’s attempt to twist statistics in order to make the number of national minorities living in Albania appear smaller than it really is. All of this resulted in a situation where minorities residing outside the so-called “Minority Zones” have practically lost the ability to prove their identity .

The Albanian Criminal Code does not contain any statements about racial hatred and other prejudices serving as a motive aggravating the seriousness of the offense. Despite the assurances of the Albanian authorities that courts will be taking these factors into consideration when issuing verdicts, as well as statements that it “contradicts the Albanian legal system” , the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has on multiple occasions suggested for Albania to amend its Criminal Code in such a way that racism, as well as other prejudiced actions, would be treated as aggravating circumstances.

In the middle of August Albania introduced a new law that simplifies the process of citizenship acquisition for all the ethnic Albanians residing in the adjacent territories. Albania’s neighbouring countries saw this as another step towards creation of “The Great Albania”, which, hypothetically, is supposed to include parts of Greece’s, Macedonia’s, Serbia’s and Montenegro’s territories.

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