European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao

Speech of EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin at the Annual Conference of People's Advocate of Albania

TIrana, 12/12/2017 - 16:58, UNIQUE ID: 171212_17
Speeches of the Ambassador

Annual Conference of the People's Advocate 2017

"Leave no-one behind ! Protection, Equity and Empowerment for All"

Tirana, 12 December 2017


Dear Ombudswoman, Deputy Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, colleagues Ambassadors, dear friends,


  • A day marked for the celebration of Human Rights is an important moment every year, to remind all of us what are the central, fundamental values of our society and what needs to be done to protect and promote them.


  • But awareness of human rights, our deep responsibilities for the well-being of all people, especially those who are weaker, smaller, less fortunate, have to be promoted every single day.


  • By Constitution, the role of the Albanian Ombudsman as an independent institution, is essential to address complaints about the administration or government when it comes to the obligations of the State in protection of human rights.


  • The work of Albanian Ombudsman has been for years commended by all for actively promoting the rights of vulnerable groups and for submitting numerous reports and recommendations. It has also played an important role in fulfilling the commitments deriving from the implementation of the justice reform.


  • We all work together, from our different roles, in reminding every responsible institution, but also the whole society, of the priorities of all priorities: to ensure that every single person in Albania can live life in dignity.


  • Today's conference will especially focus on two issues of utmost importance: children's rights and prevention from gender based and domestic violence.


  • We need to recognise that there has been some welcomed progress in reinforcing the core legislative and policy framework, but this is only the beginning.
  • Implementation is key.


  • There cannot be more important priority in a society than the protection of its children, and appropriate human and financial resources need to be allocated to ensure it.


  • Health, education, protection from abuse and all forms pf violence: these are only the basic obligations we have towards our children.


  • But more needs to be done to give them opportunities to excel, use their talents and be safe.


  • The second issue, violence against women and domestic violence, is a terrible problem, of unacceptable scale. Public administration, police and judiciary too often lack proper understanding, proper priorities and proper reaction.


  • Consequences are very grave, from unspeakable suffering to loss of human life.


  • There is no excuse or explanation why institutions are not more appropriately engaged. We, as a community, also need to be out there, to show victims that they are never alone and there is help for them.


  • It is particularly important to strengthen mechanisms of protection on the local government level, and our joint efforts are needed to ensure that it happens.


  • For the European Union, protection of human rights is one of the key measures of a progress of a State towards European standards. And it is not just a key measure for our reports, but key element of who we are as a community, and what values we uphold.


  • We will never give up on insisting and assisting the work of all to this end, and Ombudsman is one of the most important institutions in that chain.


  • I wish you a successful conference.
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