From: Alice Taylor
EU Delegation Concerned over Situation for Migrants in Albanian Reception Centre

The EU Delegation in Albania has spoken of their concern over the situation for migrants in the Babrru National Reception Centre.

Last month, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor accused the Albanian government of ‘state negligence” and their “alarming failure” to meet the basic food, housing, and medical needs of migrants and asylum seekers in the country. The Monitor said that refugees in the country are suffering from food shortages, inadequate housing, and violence.

They also reminded the government that their ongoing failure to meet basic obligations is a violation of Albania’s international responsibilities, including the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Exit contacted the EU Delegation for their comments. Noting that they were aware of the situation referred to by Euro-Med Monitor, they said they maintained close contact with authorities and the UNHR to ensure that the situation is addressed adequately, as soon as possible.

“It is essential that asylum seekers be provided with enough food and appropriate access to sanitation and medical care, and that the safety and security in the National Reception Centre of Babrru are guaranteed to all its residents,” they said.

Euro-Med Monitor reported that the government provides 300 Lek (EUR 2.60) per day for each migrant and that this is “essentially insufficient for barebone subsistence”. 

The Delegation reminded Albania that it is bound by the UN Geneva Convention related to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and its 1967 protocol. In terms of EU obligations, the Directive of 2013 lays out clear provisions that member states must adhere to. 

The situation for refugees and migrants in Albania significantly worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Reception Centre closed its doors, leaving many with nowhere to stay and no way to provide basic food, shelter, or hygiene for themselves. 

Despite the lockdown, the trafficking of migrants from Korce to the border with Kosovo continued. A number of migrants were found on Tirana’s streets, begging for food and reporting that they had been victims of gang violence.