Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December 2014, 10:05 GMT

2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Albania

Publisher United States Department of Labor
Author Bureau of International Labor Affairs
Publication Date 27 August 2008
Cite as United States Department of Labor, 2007 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Albania, 27 August 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48caa45a0.html [accessed 18 December 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 Labor42
Working children, 7-14 years (%), 2000:36.6
Working boys, 7-14 years (%), 2000:41.1
Working girls, 7-14 years (%), 2000:31.8
Working children by sector, 5-14 years (%):
     – Agriculture
     – Manufacturing
     – Services
     – Other
Minimum age for work:16
Compulsory education age:16
Free public education:Yes*
Gross primary enrollment rate (%), 2004:105
Net primary enrollment rate (%), 2004:94
School attendance, children 7-14 years (%), 2000:50.9
Survival rate to grade 5 (%):
ILO-IPEC participating country:Yes
* Must pay for miscellaneous school expenses.

Incidence and Nature of Child Labor

Children in Albania can be found working as farmers, shepherds, shoe cleaners, car washers, textile workers, and shop vendors. Reports also indicate that children work as drug runners.43 Children, including those under 16, also work in construction. In Bater, Bulqiza, Borje, and Klos, children of 16 and 17 years work in chromium mines.44 Roma children are forced to work on the streets as beggars and vendors.45 The majority of all children working on the streets are boys, whereas the majority of children working in the formal sector are girls.46

Children are trafficked internally from all regions to Tirana and Durres; children are also trafficked externally to Kosovo and Greece for sexual exploitation and begging.47 The number of children trafficked from Albania may be falling, but internal trafficking is reported to be rising. Due to poverty, Roma children are especially vulnerable to exploitation. Some children, especially Roma children and children residing in orphanages, have been kidnapped or sold by family members to traffickers.48

Child Labor Laws and Enforcement

The law sets the minimum age of employment at 16 years, but numerous regulations restrict the working conditions of children under the age of 18. Exceptions exist for children 14 to 18 years to do light work during school vacations and for children 14 to 16 years to participate in vocational training programs.49 Night work is prohibited for all children younger than 18 years, and their work is limited to 6 hours per day.50 The law calls for fines for parents whose children fail to attend school during the compulsory education period of 9 years.51

The law forbids forced labor by any person, except in cases of execution of a judicial decision, military service, or for service during a state emergency or war.52 The minimum age for voluntary military service is 18 years and compulsory military service is 19 years.53

In January 2008, the Government amended the Penal Code to provide stricter punishments for those responsible for exploiting children.54 In Albania, manufacturing, distributing, advertising, importing, selling, or publishing pornographic material in the presence of a minor is punishable by law with fines or up to 2 years in prison. The punishment for child prostitution in Albania is between 5 and 10 years imprisonment.55 The law sets penalties for trafficking, including 15 to 20 years imprisonment for trafficking of minors. Although Albania has a witness protection law for trafficking victims, the USDOS reports that prosecutors complained that trafficking victims often decided not to testify due to threats from their traffickers or safety concerns from their families.56

As of December 2006, the most recent date such information is available, the Labor Inspectorate within the Ministry of Labor employs 100 inspectors who are responsible for enforcing child labor laws as they pertain to registered businesses in the formal sector. Workplaces are inspected once every 5 years on average.57 Labor inspectors also have legal authorization to carry out inspections at informal worksites, but according to the USDOS, there were no reports of enforcement in either the formal or informal sector.58 USDOS reports indicate that law enforcement officials do not generally apply the minimum age requirement to Roma children working on the streets.59 The Government has a specialized asset forfeiture unit dedicated to trafficking cases; however, there were no reports in 2006 of asset funds being disbursed to victims.60 USDOS reports that law enforcement officials have been involved in trafficking-related corruption.61

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

The Government of Albania has a number of national strategies which have integrated child labor concerns.62 The Action Plan of the National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings 2005-2007 includes a Child Trafficking Strategy, though reports indicate that this initiative was not fully implemented.63 ILO-IPEC worked actively to ensure that provisions for combating trafficking in children are integrated into the 2008-2012 National Anti-Trafficking Strategy.64 The Government also has a National Strategy and Action Plan on Youth, which includes provisions for the establishment of information units on youth employment in all cities in Albania and includes reintegration strategies for formerly trafficked children.65 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.66 Albania and Greece maintain a bilateral agreement that aims to protect and assist Albanian children trafficked in and to Greece, and contributes to the prevention of child trafficking in Albania.67 Authorities from Albania and Kosovo met in October 2007 to strengthen cross border cooperation and establish direct contact between responsible officials involved in identifying victims of trafficking.68

In February 2007, the Ministry of Interior; the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Sports; and the OSCE signed an MOU on the promotion and implementation of a code of conduct for the prevention of sexual exploitation of children in the tourism sector.69

The Government is participating in the USD 3.5 million USDOL-funded second phase of an 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. The aim of the project is to prevent or withdraw 4,500 children from exploitive labor throughout all of the participating countries.70

In 2007, Albania participated in three German Government-funded ILO-IPEC projects: a USD 2.23 million project to combat child labor in selected Stability Pact countries (2003-2007), a USD 606,000 prevention and reintegration program to combat trafficking of children for labor and sexual exploitation in the Balkans and Ukraine (2004-2007), and a USD 1.21 million project to combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Central Asia through education and youth employment (2000-2007).71 The Albanian Government also participated in a USD 315,000 Italian Government-funded, ILO-IPEC project to develop a national program on the elimination of child labor in Albania.72

The Government provides facilities and staff referring trafficking victims to NGO and international organization-funded and administered services.73 USAID supports the Reduce Trafficking in Persons project with the aims of increasing the involvement of NGOs in antitrafficking activities, improving the protection system for trafficked and at-risk children, and building a national trafficking database. It also supports a project to reduce internal child trafficking in Albania, and external trafficking between Albania and Greece and Italy.74 The Government works with NGOs and international organizations on anti-trafficking prevention and awareness activities.75 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.76 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.77 The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) provides funding to the anti-trafficking program carried out by IOM Tirana for women and children. UNICEF, USAID, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and SIDA provided funding to Terre des Hommes to implement anti-child trafficking projects.78


42 For statistical data not cited here, see the Data Sources and Definitions section. For data on ratifications and ILO-IPEC membership, see the Executive Summary. For minimum age for admission to work, age to which education is compulsory, and free public education, see U.S. Department of State, "Albania," in Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2007, Washington, DC, March 11, 2008, sections 5, 6d; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100544.htm. See also Government of Albania, Albanian Constitution, chapter IV, article 57 (5); available from http://www.parlament.al/eng/dokumenti.asp?id=1117&kujam=constituion.

43 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Albania," section 6d.

44 PROTECT CEE, Country Profile Albania, [online] 2005 [cited November 25, 2007]; available from http://www.ilo.org/iloroot/docstore/ipec/prod/eng/2005_fs_albania.pdf.

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

46 PROTECT CEE, Country Profile Albania. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Albania," section 6d.

47 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Albania," section 5.

48 Ibid. See also U.S. Department of State, "Albania (Tier 2 Watch List)," in Trafficking in Persons Report-2007, Washington, DC, June 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/.

49 Government of Albania, Labor Code as Cited in United Nations Study on Violence Against Children available from http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/CRC/docs/study/responses/Albania.pdf. See also ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Project Document, Geneva, July 2006, 31.

50 Government of Albania, Labor Code

51 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and Other Worst Forms of Child Labor in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), project document, Geneva, 2006, 32.

52 Government of Albania, Albanian Constitution, article 20.

53 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.

54 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Technical Progress Report, Geneva, March 1, 2008, 31.

55 Government of Albania, "Albania," in Legislation of Interpol Member States on Sexual Offences against Children, 2007; available from http://www.interpol.int/public/Children/SexualAbuse/NationalLawsold/csaAlbania.asp.

56 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Albania," section 5.

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

58 Ibid. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Albania," section 6d.

59 U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Albania," section 6d.

60 Ibid., section 5. See also U.S. Embassy – Tirana, reporting, August 26, 2005.

61 U.S. Department of State, "Albania (Tier 2)," in Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007, Washington, DC, 2007; available from http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2007/. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Albania," section 5.

62 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Technical Progress Report, Geneva, March 2008, 8. 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.

63 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Technical Progress Report. See also OSCE, OSCE Presence in Albania, [online] 2005 [cited October 22, 2006]; available from http://www.osce.org/albania/13138.html. See also USAID, USAid Albania: Achieving Peace and Security, 2007; available from http://albania.usaid.gov/gj2/40/category/Achieving_Peace_and_Security.htm. See also U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports – 2007: Albania," section 5.

64 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Technical Progress Report, Geneva, March 1, 2008, 8.

65 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labor in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Technical Progress Report, March 2007. ILO-IPEC, Combating Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans and Ukraine, Technical Progress Report, March 2005, 2.

67 USAID, Agreement between Albania and Greece Guarantees and Protects Rights of Child Trafficking Victims, 2006; available from www.usaid.gov/locations/europe_eurasia/press/success/2006-04-02.html.

68 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Technical Progress Report.

69 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and Child Labor Project, Technical Progress Report, March 2007.

70 ILO-IPEC, Trafficking and other Worst Forms of Child Labour in Central and Eastern Europe (Phase II), Technical Progress Report, Geneva, September, 2007.

71 ILO-IPEC official, E-mail communication to USDOL official, December 12, 2007.

72 Ibid.

73 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Albania."

74 USAID, Data Sheet, USAID Mission: Albania, Program Title: Special Initiatives, 2007; available from http://www.usaid.gov/policy/budget/cbj2007/ee/pdf/al_182-0410.pdf.

75 U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report – 2007: Albania."

76 SECI, SECI Regional Center for Combating Transborder Crime, [[cited November 30, 2007]; available from http://www.secicenter.org/.

77 UNICEF, Albania: Child Trafficking, [online] [cited November 30, 2007]; available from http://www.unicef.org/albania/protection_695.html.

78 ILO-IPEC, Combating Trafficking in Children for Labour and Sexual Exploitation in the Balkans & Ukraine, Technical Progress Report, Geneva, August 31, 2006.

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