Strenghtening Resilience of the Youth against Radicalisation in the Western Balkans
An regional project funded by SlovakAid and co-financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Skopje.
September 2018 – November 2019
The aim and the objectives of the project: Raising awareness of youth against radicalisation through promoting shared values and social cohesion (interfaith, interethnic and intercultural dialogues). This project has an ambition to contribute in addressing the youth radicalisation that has been the problem in the Western Balkans for couple of years already. The main idea of the project is to mobilize active young people, that are interested in improving lives of young people in their communities through addressing and advocacy against radicalisation.
Towards a safe, stimulating and rehabilitative prison environment for children and juveniles in conflict with the law in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia
01.08.2017 – 30.06.2021
Objectives: The programme aims to contribute to a reform of the Prison system in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia by improving the possibilities of juvenile detainees to successfully reintegrate into society by introducing official working methods for prison staff and integrating these in official policies and curricula of Educational Institutes while at the same time strengthening the capacities of prison staff, prison management and representatives of the Ministries of Justice in the three countries.
For a better implementation of the legislation on Whistle blowers in Albania
November 2018 - October 2019
Objectives: The goal of this project is to contribute for the fight of corruption in Albania through a better implementation of the Law on whistle blowers.
We foresee to increase the public' awareness and trust for the legislation on whistle blowers and to offer legal assistance for potential whistle-blowers who report internally or externally. For the first time, a domestic watchdog like AHC will professionally monitor the central ministries (part of executive) and HIDAACI regarding the efficiency of the implementation of the law on whistle blowers by revealing positive practices as well as challenges or obstacles that should be overcome.
Together with young lawyers dedicated to protecting human rights and fighting fraud and corruption cases," funded by the British Embassy in Albania.
May 2017 – March 2018
Project's Goal and Objectives:
Through this project, AHC aims to activate and strengthen a network of new lawyers for the observation and judicial protection of human rights and freedoms, with a particular focus on addressing cases aimed at increasing the punitive approach towards criminal offenses of fraud and corruption as well as abuse of office.
Within this project, 1 full training and 6 other training sessions were held for capacity building of the new lawyers network. Three issues are being dealt with by 4 new lawyers, which will be finalized after the end of the project, on administrative or judicial grounds. Network’s lawyers are currently involved in a monitoring process at the Police Commissariats, within the OSI Budapest project.
To enhance transparency, inclusiveness and accountability in the vetting process, funded by OSFA
July 2017 – June 2018
Project’s Goal and Objectives:
The purpose of this project is to increase transparency, inclusiveness and accountability throughout the transitory re-evaluation process of judges and prosecutors in the Republic of Albania. Project’s Specific objectives are:
Promoting transparency and accountability of the vetting bodies;
Improving the legal and institutional framework for the vetting process in accordance with human rights standards;
Increase citizen sensitivity and higher involvement of the public, media and civil society in the vetting process.
In cooperation with the Prosecutors Association of Serbia (PAS) and international experts, AHC has developed a professional methodology for monitoring the Vetting process. 8 (eight) skilled local jurist specializing mainly in administrative law have been selected and their capacities have been enhanced to monitor the different phases of the vetting process. An awareness video was made to introduce the vetting bodies as well as to assist the addressing of facts and intelligence that constitute evidence in the vetting process. Television interviews were made as well as numerous articles were written in the context of public awareness and information on the progress of the vetting process.
The Helsinki Committee has already published the key findings of the monitoring process based on the process of monitoring sessions in June 2018.
Institutional support, funded by OSI Budapest
June 2016 – May 2018
Project’s Goal and Objectives:
The Institutional Support Project aims at monitoring and advocating for improving criminal justice in Albania with the focus on preventing torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, the application of the "jail arrest" security measure as a last resort, increased access to justice, reduced overcrowding in the penitentiary system, human treatment in closed institutions of persons deprived of their liberty, etc.
In the context of this project, AHC has offered legal challenge to draft laws related to criminal justice in the framework of the judicial reform (Criminal Code, Criminal Justice Code for Minors, Criminal Procedure Code, Anti-Mafia Law, etc.) and has performed monitoring the Police Commissariats, with a special focus on the right to freedom and security and the prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. There was also conducted monitoring of 400 court hearings and the study of 1,800 court decisions on personal security measures in Tirana and Durrës judicial district courts, and there was evidenced a very high application of the Jail Arrest security measure. The study found that jail arrest security measures are applied in high rate even when detainees are charged with criminal offenses that do not pose a significant social risk to juvenile detainees, young people aged 18-21, and women. Within this project, AHC has monitored the General Parliamentary Elections of 25 June 2017 and in July 2017 published the Report on relevant findings and recommendations.
Youth Combating Corruption in Tertiary Education in Albania, funded by the United States Embassy in Albania
January 2018 - January 2019
Project’s Goal and Objectives:
Enhancement of the capacity of university students as one of the key stakeholders in generating potential ideas to combat the phenomenon of corruption in tertiary education in Albania
During the activities of this Project, there was a satisfactory participation from university students in the first activities. It is also worth mentioning their activism is such a sensitive issue as this
Creating and promoting positive practices of good governance in local communities and vulnerable groups in Albania, funded by SOROS
October 2016 – March 2018
Project’s Goal and Objectives:
The purpose of this project is to increase the capacities and activities of civil society actors regarding their impact on the determination of priorities in the decision-making process of local authorities
Increase the capacities and activities of civil society stakeholders in monitoring the activity of local authorities and encouraging their accountability.
About 20 monitoring sessions have been conducted and administrative and judicial proceedings have commenced for 6 cases initiated by investigative media.
Civil Society Against Violent Extremism, funded by the European Union
January 2017 – November 2018
Goal: Empowering Civil Society Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Public Security Institutions to Combat Violent Extremism and Radicalization in Albania.
Project’s Specific Objectives
Strengthening the capacity of local NGOs and other independent experts to prevent and combat radicalization and reduction of the violent extremism;
Enabling the formal education sector to increase skills and competences in order to provide civic education that inspires a non-violent culture that respects human rights;
Assisting the prison system in providing effective and sensitive measures in relation to human rights, to prevent the radicalization and recruitment for violent extremism purposes among vulnerable groups in prisons and as part of the reintegration processes of foreign fighters terrorists and other persons convicted on extremism charges.
AHC and its partners, through the implementation of this new initiative for civil society in Albania, aim to prevent the spread of violent extremism among vulnerable groups that are at risk for radicalization by: 1) intending to strengthen the professional capacities of the civil society organizations in local areas, to ensure human rights education in the formal education and university sector and to assist the prison system in providing effective and sensitive human rights measures to prevent the radicalization and recruitment of violent extremists; 2) Focusing on our work with youth, women, faith based, cultural and economic NGOs, especially in remote areas of the country, and interacting with university students and those from the high schools of several Albanian cities and, lastly, will work with prison system staff in order to build protection measures that emphasize respect of international and national human rights. 3) working side-by-side with local organizations to guide them in order to develop good initiatives and train them during the implementation of general projects and public institutions involved, ensuring their full involvement during the fulfillment of their national and international legislation. This approach will enable coordination of interventions through multiple actions ranging from government agencies to grassroots initiatives - in a direction that will address both the prevention of extremism on one hand, the violent radicalization on the other, as well as the accountability of the authorities to the international obligations pertinent to human rights and inspirational synergies.
To conduct strategic litigation for Effective Protection of Health Rights, funded by OSFA
June 2017 - June 2018
Project’s Goal and Objectives:
This project’s goal, is to identify and strengthen judicial mechanisms for the protection of public health issues by lobbying and litigating towards improving standards in the medical service of mental health, human treatment and ensuring life and health of prisoners who suffer severe illnesses, as well as the effective exercise of the rights of residents affected by the contamination of the Gjanica River.
Within this project, many monitoring sessions have been carried out in Psychiatric Hospitals/Wards and designated Prisons. AHC has made a press release and has referred the case to the Prosecution Office at the Kruja Judicial District Court. Moreover, AHC has presented to the relevant state institutions the need for taking measures and inspection of contamination in the Gjanica River, based on the monitoring conducted. Referring to this impact by AHC, Fier Municipality is implementing the project for the rehabilitation of the Gjanica river bed and simultaneously initiated the project "Recovered Earth Gjanica" intended for the filtering of river waters. Through strategic litigation, AHC will address the respective cases of flagrant violations of the rights of patients suffering from mental health problems or those suffering from severe health illnesses, establishing positive patterns of referral and protection of the rights of this highly vulnerable category of society. In tandem with the pursued judicial avenue that will have for reference point the jurisprudence of the ECtHR, in conjunction with Article 3 of the ECHR, AHC will lobby and advocate by addressing recommendations in order to exert positive pressure on public health institutions at central and local level, to the governing bodies of the prison system.
Direct beneficiaries of this project are about 800 patients/ill people with mental health problems and about 100 thousand inhabitants of the banks of Gjanica River, as well as state institutions competent to take action in concrete cases.
Youth forums "Youth engagement in European Union integration" funded by the Dutch Embassy in Albania
The forums "Youth Engagement for EU Integration" will contribute not only to a better understanding of EU institutions, EU accession criteria, but will also enable students to get accurate information on expectations from the EU integration process, debating, expressing their views and asking the opinion of experts regarding the protection of human rights, media freedom and the negotiation process. The forums aim at raising awareness of youth engagement in the EU integration process and the negotiations. Students should acquire skills to become active citizens, actively participate in the integration process through citizen engagement. They would encourage active involvement of students in future consultations to be organized during the negotiation process. The forums are being organized with university students in the cities of Durrës, Vlora, Korça and Gjirokastra.
Better respect for human rights in Albania by strengthening the rule of law "Legal Clinic XI" is funded by Civil Rights Defenders
January – December 2017
Through this project, AHC will provide better access to justice for vulnerable groups. Watch-dog activities related to Human Rights Respect for Roma, Egyptian, LGBT and other vulnerable groups of society will continue to be the focus of the activities implemented under this project during 2017. Based on monitoring data and complaints, AHC will work to better respect human rights in the country through advocacy and intervention before the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
This Project’s Objectives are:
1. Enhancing public awareness on issues of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
2. Protection and respect for human rights, through strategic litigation processes, actio popularis; and legal challenge;
3. Better respect for the suffrage in order to be fully exercised by the citizens;
4. Increase of visibility regarding human rights violations, in the media and public opinion.
Better respect of human rights in Albania by strengthening the rule of law "Legal Clinic XII", funded by Civil Rights Defenders
The main activities planned in this project consist of organizing several workshops on CSO advocacy and access to the Constitutional Court, publishing of a brochure on the use of legal remedies, carrying out of sporadic monitoring missions on human rights issues, monitoring courts for assessing and enforcing the law on legal aid, studying the monitoring of access to justice for vulnerable groups, organizing a round table to present the findings of the monitoring, providing legal challenge in the framework of legal reforms, providing recommendations to state institutions, representation of cases before ECtHR, Constitutional Court, etc.
January – December 2018
This project’s objectives are the following:
Enhancing public awareness on issues of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
Protection and respect for human rights, through strategic litigation processes, actio popularis; and legal objections;
Increased visibility regarding human rights violations, in the media and public opinion.
To increase transparency, inclusiveness and accountability in the vetting process - 2, funded by OSFA
This project's goal is to increase transparency, inclusiveness and accountability during the process of transitional re-evaluation of judges and prosecutors in the Republic of Albania. AHC will continue to pursue the legal battles initiated with the auxiliary bodies for more transparency and will undertake new legal battles against any institution entrusted with direct or indirect liability in the vetting process but that fails to comply with the information disclosure requirements of interest to the public.
July 2018 – June 2019
This project’s specific objectives, are:
Encouraging the transparency and accountability of bodies entrusted with the powers for the transitory re-evaluation of judges and prosecutors in the Republic of Albania.
Increase the mobilization of the public, media and civil society in the process of transitory re-evaluation of judges and prosecutors in the Republic of Albania.
To Increase Independence, Accountability, Transparency and Efficiency of New Institutions of the Government and Justice, funded by Save the Children
Guided by the AHC’s mission, our initiative will consist in monitoring the establishment, organization and functioning of the new institutions of justice system governance, and in particular the two Councils, the High Judicial one as well as that of the Prosecutor's Office. The focus of AHC's initiative will be transparency vis-à-vis the public, accountability, efficiency, the quality of decision-making of these collegial bodies, especially the exercise of their competences regarding the status and career of judges and prosecutors.
Findings and conclusions from the AHC’s monitoring will be made available to the relevant justice institutions as well as to the international assistance missions in Albania. In accordance with their importance, they will be periodically communicated to the media and the public so that this process will be transparent in the eyes of citizens, seeking to regain lost trust in the independent justice bodies.
April 2018 - March 2019
This project’s objectives are:
1. Encouraging the independence, transparency, efficiency and accountability of the new bodies entrusted with the powers to govern and self-regulate the status of judges and prosecutors in the Republic of Albania.
2. Improving the legal and institutional framework for the process of establishing and functioning of councils in accordance with human rights standards;
3. Enhancing citizen awareness and greater involvement of the public, media and civil society organizations in the process of establishing and functioning of HJC and HPC.