Prohibition of all corporal punishment in Albania (2010)

The Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child (2010) was enacted on 4 November 2010 and came into force in May 2011. Despite the Government’s rejection of the 2009 UPR recommendations to prohibit all corporal punishment, this new law makes corporal punishment of children unlawful in all settings, including by parents in the family home.

Article 21 of the Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child (2010) states:

Article 21. Protection from All Forms of Violence

“The child shall be protected from any form of:

a) physical and psychological violence;

b) corporal punishment and degrading and humiliating treatment;

c) discrimination, exclusion and contempt;

ç) maltreatment and abandonment;

d) disrespect and neglect;

dh) exploitation and abuse, and

e) sexual violence.”

Article 3(ç) defines “physical violence” as “every attempt to damage or actual physical damage, or injury to the child, including corporal punishment, which are not accidental” (official translation). Corporal punishment is defined in article 3(f):

‘Corporal punishment’ is any form of punishment resorting to the use of force aimed to cause pain or suffering, even in the slightest extent, by parents, siblings, grandparents, legal representative, relative or any other person legally responsible for the child. Corporal punishment includes such forms as: beating, torturing, violent shaking, burning, slapping, kicking, pinching, scratching, biting, scolding, forced action and use of substances to cause physical and mental discomfort.”

In addition, article 26 of the Law states:

No child shall be subjected to torture, punishment, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

The Law provides for its implementation through structures at central and local levels – at central level the National Council for Protection of Child Rights, the Minister Coordinating Action on Protection of Child Rights and the State Agency for the Protection of Child Rights, and at local level the Unit for the Rights of the Child at the Regional Council and the Children’s Protection Unit at municipality/commune level – to work with non-profit organisations in line with rules determined by the Council of Ministers (articles 32 to 39).

Article 40 of the Law punishes violations of the rights mentioned in articles 21 and 26 (and others), when they are not offences under criminal law:

Article 40. Administrative Contraventions

1. Violation of rights mentioned in articles 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 26 of this law, when not a penal offence, constitutes an administrative contravention and shall be punished by fines, when committed respectively by:

a) a physical person, from 30 000 to 60 000 leks;

b) a legal person from 60,000 to 120 000 leks;

c) a physical person within a legal person, from 30 000 to 80 000 leks;

ç) individuals in public office, from 30 000 to 80 000 leks…..”

The Criminal Code, as amended in 2008 by Law No. 9859, punishes “physical or psychological abuse of the child by the person who is obliged to care for him/her” with imprisonment from three months to two years (article 124b).

 

Further information

  • Global Initiative country report for Albania
  • Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child 2010 (EnglishAlbanian)
This is an automatic translation service. Extracts from laws, treaty body recommendations and Universal Periodic Review outcomes are unofficial translations.