The Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania / Defence for Children International (CRCA / DCI Albania) is a major child-rights organisation established in Tirana since 1997. During more then 11 years of work we have established ourselves as one of the major partners of the Albanian government (at national and local level) in terms of influencing policy and legislation, strengthening the capacities of the Governmental staff to work with children, and pressurise the Government to respect and improve children’s rights in the country.
The Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania – CRCA works to promote the respect of children’s rights, to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation, to develop children rights in Albania and to increase child participation at national and local level, through lobby and advocacy, policy and legislation improvement; capacity building, information and research, and establishment of good models of services of child care and protection. For this CRCA promotes the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other national and international child-rights standards.
Today we work with the Albanian Parliament, Government, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Municipality of Tirana etc in order to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and promote good governance.
We want to make children’s rights enjoyable by every child, independent of her / his statute in the society. Our core values and principles are shared by many other organisations and individuals, who have supported our work during these years, not only financially, but also with training, expertise, organisational support and among the most important has been the support to our cause.
CRCA is one of the major organisations of civil society in Albania. We believe that civil society holds a special place between the society and the government and thus our role has been to support and be part of major initiatives and networks who promote respect of human rights, children and women, minorities and environment. Our role is not focused only in Albania.
We believe in a globalise world, where people with the right tools and means can affect the outcome of Governmental policies. For this reason we have become members of international networks such as Defence for Children International, ECPAT International, Eurochild, SEECRAN etc. At the same time we have established close cooperation with organisations in the European Union and South Eastern Europe.
CRCA lobbies, advocates and speaks on behalf of children. For this child participation is one of our core values. In the years to come, we want to see more children being involved in the decision-making process, not only within CRCA, but especially at the level of national and local Government.
As a major child rights organisation in Albania our role is the promotion and respect of children’s rights in the country. We engage in lobby and advocacy to influence legislation and policies of the Government (at local and national level) through a process that provides the necessary tools for children to have a saying in what is good for them and what they expect the Government and society to do on their behalf.
Protection and improvement of children rights is one of major core activities of the organisation. Although a lot has been done to improve the respect of children and guarantee their rights in public institutions, family and society at large, still children face difficulties to be accepted by society as bearer of individual rights.
Information, training and advocacy constitute major parts of CRCA / DCI Albania work. We believe that through information we can bring the people to recognise and acknowledge children rights; through training we can strengthen the capacities of Government, NGO’s and individuals to respect children for whom they are and work with them; through advocacy we can raise awareness about violations of children rights in state or private facilities and provide effective examples on how to deal with children, good parenthood, child participation and more.
Research is another strong tool of CRCA / DCI Albania work. During years of work we have become one of the major research centers in the country concerning children’s rights. We have combined our forces with the Information and Research Centre for Children’s Rights in Albania – IRCCRA, in order to supply data, evidence and analysis on how children rights are being dealt by institutions and society, what are children’s concerns and expectations, how are children’s needs reflected in governmental policies and its budget, and what are the outcomes of such policies? CRCA intents to strengthen the scope and capacities of the research team, with more senior researchers from the University of Tirana and other universities, in order to make research an influencing tool for future policies and legislative change.
Since our establishment we have providing good models of services. However, they are expensive and need a great degree of strength, capacities and standards to run them. We will promote in the next four years the approval of laws and procedures for the establishment and running of child-friendly services and the need for continuous review of quality of services. On the other side, we will focus on establishing only child-friendly services that Albania lacks.