UN: Government Inactive against Gender-Based Domestic Violence

While President Ilir Meta proposed a number of ad-hoc measures to combat domestic violence after the murder of judge Fildes Hafizi by her former husband, and LGBT activists protested at the Ministry of Justice, it appears that the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama is unable to undertake concrete action against domestic violence.

A report from July 2016 from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women regarding Albania clearly indicates that any project against gender-based domestic violence are funded by foreign NGOs or institutions, and the government itself is barely making a contribution:

The Committee notes that the Minister for Social Welfare and Youth, through the Department of Gender Equality Sector and Social Inclusion Sectors, is responsible for advancing gender equality and combating gender-based violence, together with a network of gender equality officers in ministries and in 51 municipalities, as well as the National Council on Gender Equality. The Committee is concerned, however, about the decrease in the national human and financial resources allocated to the national machinery, and that the majority of programmes aimed at gender equality and non-discrimination are funded by donors, including the United Nations. It also notes that gender budgeting was introduced in 2012, but regrets the lack of information about the impact of the first midterm budgetary programme. The Committee further notes the lack of information on overall implementation and the remaining challenges in the areas covered by the National Strategy on Gender Equality and Reduction of Gender-based Violence and Domestic Violence, 2011-2015.

Not only is the government not investing in protecting women from domestic violence, they are not even gathering the necessary data to see whether foreign-funded action plans are actually working.

In his most recent act of destruction, Prime Minister Edi Rama has dismantled the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, and with it the four years of EU investments in it. Yet the government’s response to the murder of Hafizi, just like its response against the murder of Ardit Gjoklaj in August 2016, has been only silence and incompetence.