From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Draft Youth Law Presented to Parliament

After two years of drafting and consultation, the Child Rights Centre in Albania (CRCA), Albanian National Youth Network (ANYN) and over 40 other youth organisations have submitted a ‘Youth Law’ to Albanian parliament.

The request for approval on the draft Youth Law was submitted by a group of MPs that claim their dedication to youth rights. The legal initiative to draft the law was initially taken by key civil society organisations and involved the consultation of around 1000 Albanian youngsters with the aim of improving the neglected situation of youth rights in the country.

The PR released by CRCA states:

“Since 2015, CRCA and ANYN have been working with youth in 12 regions of Albania to gather and address all the issues and priorities that the new law should consider. The process enjoyed a wide involvement of young people throughout the drafting process.”

Under the slogan “For youth- with youth- by youth”, the law was drafted by a number of experts from CRCA Albania, a leading organisation for the rights of children and youths, and in collaboration with the Albanian National Youth Network, and the Child and Youth Policy Hub. The law seeks to establish a new national and local legal framework for youth work, participation and empowerment.

With youth in Albania totaling at least 700,000 (25% of the population) individuals, the fact that many believe the voice of the youth is being ignored has significant consequences for democracy and equality in the country.

The draft was officially submitted to parliament by Nora Malaj, a left- MP and a well-known activist for women’s rights and an ambassador of CRCA Albania.

The law suggests a number of changes to the existing institutional frameworks and state policies for youth in Albania, including the establishment of a Youth Ombudsman, a National Youth Coordinator Office, a youth quota of political representation and decision making, and a higher budget for youth spending, amongst others.

Albania is one of the few countries in the region that does not have a Youth Law in place and the proposed law will determine youth policy, youth work, regulation for informal education, and a legal definition of youth.