Albania's obligations under the Optional Protocol

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Date: 18-26 July 2007

Place: Tirana, Albania Partners: Albanian Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims
Activities: Albania was the second country to ratify the OPCAT on 1 October 2003 and, in theory, it should have established its national preventive mechanism by 22 June 2007. In order to discuss how to do so, a series of two round-table events and a conference were co-organized by the Albanian Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (ARCT) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Albanian capital, Tirana in July 2007.

The first event titled 'Implementation of Albania’s Obligations under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture' was organized on 18 July with non-governmental and journalist representatives. An APT representative also attended and spoke at this event.

Outcome: The first round-table highlighted the need for the Albanian authorities to examine the issue of effectively implementing the OPCAT. While certain participants with whom the APT spoke believed that the People’s Advocate or Parliamentary Ombudsman (Avokati Poppullit) could suitably fulfil the function of national preventive mechanism, others were of the opinion that a civil society parallel structure should be put in place to complement and reinforce the latter’s activities.

A second round-table event took place in Tirana on 23 July where the issue of OPCAT implementation was further discussed by state, parliamentary and civil society representatives. It was envisaged that this subject would also arise during a conference devoted to the issue of torture on 26 July. 

Contact Person: Matthew Pringle, APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer