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Countering Discrimination and Protecting LGBTI Rights in Albania

Project facts:

  • Name: Countering Discrimination and Protecting LGBTI Rights in Albania
  • Funder: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Matra Subsidy Framework)
  • Partners: COC Nederland; Pro LGBT (Albania, leading partner), Albanian State Police
  • Project period: 1 September 2017 – 31 July 2021
  • Budget: € 832.433
  • NHC Project Manager: Annemiek van Goor

All countries wishing to apply for EU membership must also respect the rights and obligations enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The principle of equality and the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has an extensive legal basis in the EU Treaties (e.g. Article 10 TFEU, Articles 2 and 3 TEU).  The 2016 monitoring report on Albania covers the issue of fundamental rights and non-discrimination and stresses the need for further progress. Whilst the necessary legislation is broadly in order, implementation is lacking, particularly in rural areas. Albania has adopted an action plan to promote LGBTI rights, but is in need of external financing and external expertise to implement it fully.

In line with this, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee in collaboration with COC have devised a project aimed at countering discrimination and protecting LGBT rights in Albania. This project focuses on strengthening the response of authorities to incidents of hate crime and LGBTI discrimination by the Albanian police forces. International best practice will be presented, taught and introduced in the police curriculum. Whilst the interaction of police with other agencies in the criminal justice chain will be analysed for improvement. Regular cooperation with other government bodies and LGBTI civil society will also be established. Cooperation at a municipal level will be stimulated, primarily through working on municipal LGBTI anti-discrimination policies and assisting local LGBTI communities in organisation and interaction with authorities. Local experiences from Albania and other Western Balkans countries will be presented at a regional conference.