Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2014, 10:56 GMT

2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Albania

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 31 August 2007
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2006 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Albania, 31 August 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48d7491ec.html [accessed 24 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Selected Statistics and Indicators on Child Labor
Percent of children 7-14 estimated as working in 2000:36.640
Minimum age for admission to work:1441
Age to which education is compulsory:1642
Free public education:Yes43
Gross primary enrollment rate in 2002:104%44
Net primary enrollment rate in 2002:95%45
Percent of children 7-14 attending school in 2000:50.9%46
Percent of primary school entrants likely to reach grade 5:Unavailable
Ratified Convention 138:2/16/199847
Ratified Convention 182:8/02/200148
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes49

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

In 2000, approximately 41.1 percent of boys and 31.8 percent of girls ages 7 to 14 were working in Albania.50 The Construction Workers' Trade Union states that many children under 16 work in construction. It also states that children 16 and 17 are working in chromium mines in Bater, Bulqiza, Borje, and Klos.51 Children can be found laboring as farmers, shepherds, shoe cleaners, drug runners, car washers, and textile factory workers.52 Children, especially from the Roma community, are forced to work on the streets in cities as beggars and vendors.53 The majority of children working on the streets are boys.54

The trafficking of Albanian children as young as 6 years to Western Europe and within Albania for prostitution and other forms of labor remains a problem.55 There is evidence of new trafficking routes to Kosovo and Slovenia to further points in Europe.56 The U.S. Department of State reports that children are trafficked to Kosovo for sexual exploitation or begging.57 Children are also trafficked to Italy and Greece to participate in organized begging rings and other forms of forced labor, including work in agriculture and construction.58 The majority of children trafficked to Italy and Greece were boys between 11 and 16.59 Children who are returned to the Albanian border from Greece are often at high risk of being re-trafficked,60 although, according to a 2003 report, trafficking of Albanian children to Greece appears to be on a decline.61 Internal trafficking is reported to be rising,62 with increasing numbers of children in the capital of Tirana falling victim to prostitution and other forms of exploitation. Because of poverty and illiteracy, Roma children are especially vulnerable to exploitation.63 Some children, especially Roma children and children residing in orphanages, are kidnapped or sold by family members to traffickers.64

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age of employment at 14 years.65 The law allows children 16 to 18 years to be employed only with permission of the Ministry of Labor. Children 14 to 16 also require permission to work during school holidays and vacations.66 Night work is prohibited by children younger than 18 years, and their work is limited to 6 hours per day.67 The law also permits fines for parents whose children fail to attend school during the compulsory education period of 9 years.68 The law forbids forced labor by any person, except in cases of execution of a judicial decision, military service, or for service during state emergency or war.69 The minimum age for voluntary military service is 18 years and 19 years for compulsory military service.70

The law prohibits prostitution, and the penalty is more severe when a child is solicited.71 The law sets penalties for trafficking, including 15 to 20 years imprisonment for trafficking of minors.72 Albania has a witness protection law for trafficking victims and, during 2006, upgraded the witness protection unit to a Directorate for Witness Protection and Collaborators of Justice within the State Police.73

The Labor Inspectorate within the Ministry of Labor is responsible for enforcing child labor laws as they pertain to registered businesses in the formal sector.74 One hundred inspectors are employed, and workplaces are inspected once every 5 years on average. All inspectors have received child labor awareness training.75 In 2006, a new law was passed granting the labor inspectors legal authorization to carry out inspections at informal worksites.76 The Government of Albania has a full-time national coordinator for anti-trafficking efforts with a staff of five.77 The government has a specialized asset forfeiture unit that has received judgments of forfeiture in trafficking cases.78 According to the U.S. Department of State, there have been reports that law enforcement officials were involved in trafficking-related corruption.79

Current Government Policies and Programs to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor

A number of national strategies, including the Strategies on Education and Social Services, have integrated child labor concerns.80 The government has a National Strategy against Child Trafficking and the Protection of Child Victims of Trafficking.81 The Action Plan of the National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings 2005-2007 includes a Child Trafficking Strategy.82 Issues concerning the trafficking of children have also been mainstreamed into the National Strategy for Social Services (2005-2010) as well as the UN Common Country Assessment and the Albania National Report towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.83 On May 29, 2006, the Albanian parliament ratified an agreement with the Government of Greece for the protection and assistance of child trafficking victims.84 The Prime Minister issued Order no. 139 to establish regional committees against human trafficking in 12 prefectures on June 19, 2006. The committees coordinate antitrafficking activities in the regions.85

The government participated in a 3-year, USD 1.5 million USDOL-funded ILO-IPEC regional project to combat the trafficking of children for labor and sexual exploitation which ended January 2007.86 The project withdrew 69 children and prevented 250 children from exploitive labor in Albania.87 Project activities included distributing educational materials as well as training teachers and youth representatives on combating child labor in 12 regions. Youth clubs were established to assist children removed from exploitive situations to attend educational programs and vocational training.88 Under the guidance of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, a program on prevention and monitoring of child labor in three cities involved partnerships between teachers, social workers, police, and labor inspectors to identify working children and remove them from work, effectively shifting such responsibilities to local entities.89 The government is also supporting the USD 3.5 million USDOL-funded second phase of the ILO-IPEC project to combat child trafficking and other worst forms of child labor (2006-2009). The project operates in Albania, Bulgaria, the UN-administered Province of Kosovo, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine.90 The project aims to withdraw 1,350 and prevent 3,150 children from exploitive labor throughout all of the participating countries.91 The Albanian Government is also assisting the USD 2.23 million German Government-funded ILOIPEC project to combat child labor in the stability pact countries (2003-2007).92

The government provided some support with staff and facilities to assist the NGO community in providing services to child victims of trafficking.93 The government participates in other projects funded by international organizations. USAID supports the Reduce Trafficking in Persons project with the aims of increasing the involvement of NGOs in anti-trafficking activities, improving the protection system for trafficked and at-risk children, and building a national trafficking database.94 It also supported a project to reduce internal child trafficking in Albania and external trafficking between Albania and Greece and Italy.95 To implement the national plan of action against human trafficking, UNICEF, in cooperation with the government, provided children, family members, and teachers with anti-trafficking educational materials and reintegrated at-risk, abused or exploited children into the formal education system.96 The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) provided funding to the anti-trafficking program carried out by IOM Tirana for women and children.97 UNICEF, USAID, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affaire, and SIDA provided funding to Terre des Hommes to implement anti-child trafficking projects.98

The government worked with NGOs and international organizations on matters of border security and anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officials.99 The Government of Albania is a member of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, and has participated in regional anti-trafficking efforts through the initiative's Regional Center for Combating Transborder Crime.100


40 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates, October 7, 2005.

41 U.S. Department of State, "Albania," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, Washington, DC, March 6, 2007, Section 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78797.htm.

42 Ibid., Section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, December 14, 2006.

43 Committee on the Rights of the Child, Summary Record of the 104th Meeting: Albania, March 31, 2005, paras. 57 and 59; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/ecf0eee2031659f0c1256f8f003e8e28?Opendocument. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Albania," Section 5.

44 UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Gross and Net Enrollment Ratios, Primary, accessed December 20, 2006; available from http://stats.uis.unesco.org/.

45 Ibid.

46 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates.

47 ILO-IPEC, Combating Trafficking in Children for Labor and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans & Ukraine, technical progress report, Geneva, January 31, 2007.

48 Ibid.

49 ILO-IPEC, IPEC Action Against Child Labor: Highlights 2006, Geneva, October 2006; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/20061019_Implementationreport_eng_Web.pdf.

50 UCW analysis of ILO SIMPOC, UNICEF MICS, and World Bank surveys, Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Rates.

51 PROTECT CEE, Country Profile Albania, [online] 2005 [cited October 19, 2006]; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/2005_fs_albania.pdf.

52 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Albania," Section 6d. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005.

53 U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, December 14, 2006.

54 PROTECT CEE, Country Profile Albania.

55 ILO-IPEC, Combating Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans and Ukraine, project document, Geneva, September 2003, 7. See also ILO-IPEC, Rapid Assessment of Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in Albania, 2003, Tirana, 2004, 26-27; available from http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/publ/download/cee_albania_ra_2003.pdf. See also Children's Human Rights Center (CRCA), Child Trafficking in Albania: A Comprehensive Report on Child Trafficking in Albania, Tirana, July 2003, 16.

56 U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005.

57 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Albania," Section 5.

58 ILO-IPEC, Rapid Assessment of Trafficking in Children, 25. See also Daniel Renton, Child Trafficking in Albania, Save the Children Norway, March 2001, 44-45. See also UNICEF, Profiting From Abuse: An Investigation into the Sexual Exploitation of our Children, New York, 2001, 18 available from http://www.unicef.org/publications/pub_profiting_en.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, "Albania (Tier 2)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006, Washington, DC, June 5, 2006; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2006/.

59 PROTECT CEE, Country Profile Albania.

60 ILO-IPEC, ILO-IPEC Child Trafficking Project, project document, 2003, 8. See also Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe: Update on Situation and Response to Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, Including the UN Administered Province of Kosovo, Romania, November 2003, 39; available from http://www.osce.org/documents/odihr/2003/12/1645_en.pdf.

61 Terre des Hommes, The Trafficking of Albanian Children in Greece, Le Mont sur Lausanne, January 2003, 9-11. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005. See also Barbara Limanowska, Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe. 2004 – Focus on Prevention in: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and the UN Administered Province of Kosovo, March 2005, 101; available from http://www.unicef.org/ceecis/Trafficking.Report.2005.pdf.

62 PROTECT CEE, Country Profile Albania. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, December 14, 2006.

63 U.S. Department of State, "Albania," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2005, Washington, DC, March 8, 2006, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61633.htm. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005.

64 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Albania," Section 5.

65 Ibid., Section 6d.

66 U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, December 14, 2006.

67 Government of Albania, Labor Code as Cited in United Nations Study on Violence Against Children 2004, 6; available from http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/CRC/docs/study/responses/Albania.pdf.

68 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe, project document, Geneva, 2006, 32.

69 Albanian Constitution, Chapter II, Article 26, and Chapter IV, Article 54(3); available from http://www.ipls.org/services/constitution/const98/cp2.html.

70 Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, "Albania," in Child Soldiers Global Report, London, 2004; available from http://www.child-soldiers.org/document_get.php?id=885.

71 The Criminal Code as cited by Interpol. See Interpol, Legislation of Interpol Member States on Sexual Offences Against Children – Albania, [accessed October 22, 2006], Article 114; available from http://www.interpol.int/Public/Children/SexualAbuse/NationalLaws/csaAlbania.asp.

72 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2006: Albania," Section 5.

73 Ibid. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Albania." See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, email communication to USDOL official, August 14, 2006.

74 U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005.

75 U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, December 14, 2006.

76 Ibid.

77 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Albania." See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, email communication to USDOL official, August 14, 2006.

78 Ibid.

79 Ibid.

80 ILO-IPEC, Combating Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans and Ukraine, technical progress report, March 2005, 2. See also Republic of Albania and National Committee on Women and Family, National Strategy for Children, 5-year Plan, UNICEF, Tirana, 2001, 15-16 [hard copy on file]; available from http://www.unicef.org/albania/publications/nationalstrategy.pdf [hard copy on file]. See also Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Albania, March 31, 2005, Para. 11 and 12; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/7d5e3444b12ac33dc1257018004dd14c?OpenDocument.

81 ILO-IPEC, Child Trafficking Project, technical progress report, March 2005, 2. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005.

82 ILO-IPEC, Child Trafficking Project, technical progress report, March 2005, 2. See also OSCE, OSCE Presence in Albania, [online] 2005 [cited October 22, 2006]; available from http://www.osce.org/albania/13138.html. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, email communication to USDOL official, August 14, 2006.

83 ILO-IPEC, Child Trafficking Project, technical progress report, March 2005, 2. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005.

84 ILO-IPEC, Combating Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans & Ukraine, technical progress report, Geneva, August 31, 2006, 3. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Albania."

85 ILO-IPEC, Balkans Child Trafficking, technical progress report, August 31, 2006, 3.

86 ILO-IPEC, ILO-IPEC Child Trafficking Project, project document, 2003.

87 ILO-IPEC, Balkans Child Trafficking, technical progress report, January 31, 2007, 63.

88 U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005.

89 Ibid.

90 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and Other Worst Forms of Child Labor in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), project document, Geneva, 2006.

91 Ibid., 69.

92 ILO-IPEC official, Email communication to USDOL official, November 16, 2006.

93 Children's Human Rights Centre (CRCA), Joint East West Research Project on Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes in Europe: The Sending Countries, January 2004, 23. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, electronic communication to USDOL official, February 19, 2004. See also U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Albania."

94 USAID, Data Sheet, USAID Mission: Albania, Program Title: Special Initiatives, 2006; available from http://www.usaid.gov/policy/budget/cbj2006/ee/pdf/al182-0410.pdf.

95 Ibid.

96 UNICEF, Albania: Child Trafficking, [online] [cited October 22, 2006]; available from http://www.unicef.org/albania/protection_695.html.

97 ILO-IPEC, Balkans Child Trafficking, technical progress report, August 31, 2006, 19.

98 Ibid.

99 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2006: Albania."

100 SECI Regional Center for Combating Transborder Crime, Mission of the SECI Center, [online] 2005 [cited October 22, 2006]; available from http://www.secicenter.org/html/press%20releases/press%20release%2035.htm.

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