Albania: Domestic violence, including legislation, state protection and support services available to victims (2011-April 2014) [ALB104859.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Overview of Domestic Violence
1.1 Prevalence

Sources indicate that domestic violence in Albania is "widespread" (Albania [2013], 30; Freedom House 2013). Data Centrum Research Institute conducted a survey in 2012 about domestic violence in Albania, which was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) in the framework of the program "Swedish Government Support to the Ministry of Interior /Albanian State Police on Community Policing" (Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 3). The study indicated that, out of the 570 survey participants from five districts of Albania, 51 percent said that domestic violence is "very common" in Albania, 39 percent said it was "common," 9 percent said it was "uncommon," and less than 1 percent said it was "not common at all" (ibid., 41). Of the women surveyed by Data Centrum, 54 percent had experienced at least one form of domestic violence, such as emotional abuse, psychological abuse, physical violence, or sexual violence (ibid., 45).

In a 2013 study conducted by the Albania Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), women between the ages of 18 and 55 in 3,589 households from all 12 prefectures of Albania were interviewed regarding their experiences with domestic violence by a spouse or intimate partner (Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 23, 24, 27). Of the women who participated in the survey, the following had experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives:

  • 58.2 percent had experienced psychological violence
  • 23.7 percent had experienced physical violence
  • 7.9 percent had experienced sexual violence
  • 24.6 percent had experienced both physical and sexual violence (ibid., 33-34).

Within the twelve months prior to the survey (2012-2013),

  • 52.8 percent had experienced psychological violence
  • 14.7 percent had experienced physical violence
  • 5 percent had experienced sexual violence
  • 16.2 percent had experienced both physical and sexual violence (ibid.).

Sources report that domestic violence affects women of all levels of education (ibid., 50; Albania July 2012, 4). However, the INSTAT survey indicated that women with a university or "post-university" degree experienced lower percentages of all types of domestic violence than those with less education (Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 50). According to the survey, women in rural areas were more likely to experience domestic violence: 66.9 percent of rural women had experienced domestic violence compared to 53 percent of urban women (ibid., 53).

Statistics on domestic violence vary by source (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 31; AI Oct. 2013, 4; Albania 28 Apr. 2014). Several sources indicate that 16 women were killed as a result of domestic violence in 2012 (ibid.; Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 42; UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 31). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an official with the International Cooperation and Coordination Directorate of the Albanian State Police provided statistics on domestic violence, indicating that there were 16 female victims of domestic violence in 2012 (out of a total of 28 victims of domestic violence) and 17 in 2013 (out of a total of 28 victims) (Albania 28 Apr. 2014). According to the police statistics, in 2012, 10 of the victims were wives killed by their husbands, while in 2013, 8 of the victims were wives killed by their husbands (ibid.). Some sources reported figures that differed from the police statistics (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 31; AI Oct. 2013, 4; Researcher 22 Apr. 2014). The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions reported that, according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), "at least 23 women" were killed by their husbands, partners or other family members during 2012 (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 31). Similarly, according to Amnesty International (AI), "at least 23" women were killed as a result of domestic violence in 2012, and between 26 May and 14 September 2013, 8 women were killed by their husbands or partners (AI Oct. 2013, 4). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a researcher who has taught at the University of Tirana and has written extensively on the subject of domestic violence and gender equality, indicated that 13 women were killed as a result of domestic violence in 2012 and 23 women were killed as a result of domestic violence in 2013 (Researcher 22 Apr. 2014).

Sources indicate that reporting of crimes associated with domestic violence has increased (Freedom House 2013; UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 32; Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 25). There were 2,526 reported incidents of domestic violence in 2012 (AI 2013; Albania 28 Apr. 2014; UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 32), which was an increase of 345 cases from 2011 (ibid.; AI 2013). According to statistics from the Albanian State Police, there were 3,020 reported incidents of domestic violence in 2013 (Albania 28 Apr. 2014).

1.2 Societal Attitudes

The INSTAT and UNDP report explains that domestic violence is deeply rooted in "patriarchal traditions and customs," such as "strict gender identities and roles, patriarchal authority, adherence to an honour-and-shame system, and customs of hierarchal ordering with the family and intergenerational family control" (Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 9). The same source notes that some parts of Albania still adhere to principles stemming from the Kanun of Lek Dukagjini, in which a man's wife is regarded as his property (ibid.).

Sources indicate that domestic violence is regarded as a "private" issue in Albanian society (Albania July 2012, 3; Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 9) and is "not openly discussed" (ibid.).

Of the women surveyed by INSTAT who had ever been battered, only 8.4 percent said they sought help (ibid., 55). The majority of those that sought help turned to their own family (92 percent), their husband's/partner's family (61 percent), and/or friends (29 percent) (ibid., 56). In addition, of those that sought help from one or more sources, 17 percent sought help from the police, 15 percent from a doctor or medical professional, 15 percent from a lawyer, 11 percent from a judge, and 11 percent from social services (ibid.).

Of the 254 domestic violence victims who were surveyed by Data Centrum, 21 percent sought help from relatives, colleagues or friends and 2 percent reported the incident to the police (Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 53).

In a special report about violence against women, the People's Advocate (Ombudsman, Avokati i Popullit) stated that sexual violence against women is often perceived as something shameful for the woman, particularly in rural areas, and that it sometimes leads to a forced marriage with the perpetrator as a way to "'protect the honour'" of the woman (Albania July 2012, 2).

2. Legislation

Albania amended the Criminal Code in March 2012 to criminalize domestic violence and prescribes a punishment of up to five years imprisonment (Freedom House 2013; Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 19; UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 39). The amended Criminal Code states:

[translation]

Article 130/a

Domestic Violence

Beating and any other act of violence against the person who is spouse, former-spouse, or former cohabitant, next to kin or relatives by marriage with the author of the penal offense, with the consequence of attacking his physical, psycho-social and economical integrity, is sentenced up to two years imprisonment. Serious threat for murder or hard injury against the person who is spouse, former spouse, cohabitant or former cohabitant, next to kin or relatives by marriage with the author of the penal offense, of the consequence of attacking his psychical integrity, is sentenced up to three years imprisonment.

The same offences which are committed repeatedly or in the presence of children, shall be punishable by one to five years of imprisonment. (Albania 1995, Art. 130/a)

Stalking was also introduced as a criminal offence as part of amendments to the Criminal Code (Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 13; CLCI 15 Apr. 2014) made in 2012 (ibid.). The amended Criminal Code states the following:

[translation]

Article 121/a

Victimization

Threatening or provoking the person by repeated actions, aiming to cause him a hard and continuous state of anguish and fear for personal security, for the security of relatives or of a person with whom has spiritual relations, or to force him to change his mode of life, is sentenced by imprisonment from six months up to four years. When this offense is committed by the former husband, by the former cohabitant or by the person that has had spiritual relation with the convicted defendant, the punishment is increased with one third of the given sentence.

When this offense is committed against minors, pregnant women or against a person unable to be defended, and also when it is carried out by a masked person or is accompanied with the bearing or use of arms, the sentence is increased up to one second of the given punishment. (Albania 1995, Art. 121/a)

Albania also amended legislation to increase the punishment of other criminal offences, such as murder and causing injuries, when committed against a partner, spouse or family member (Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 13; Albania 1995, Art. 79/c and Art. 88). Article 79/c of the Criminal Code punishes "Homicide because of family relations" as follows:

[translation]

The intentional homicide of the person who is the spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, or former cohabitant, close kin or close kin of the spouse of the offender, shall be punishable by not less than twenty years of imprisonment or with life imprisonment. (ibid., Art. 79/c)

Article 88 of the Criminal Code increases the range of punishment for "serious intentional injury" from 3-10 years imprisonment to 5-15 years imprisonment when committed against a "spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, or former cohabitant, close kin or close kin of the spouse of the offender" (ibid., Art. 88).

In 2013, an amendment to the Criminal Code introduced spousal rape and spousal sexual violence as criminal offences (EU 16 Oct. 2013, 43; CLCI 15 Apr. 2014). According to the US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013, rape is punishable by a prison sentence of between 3 and 10 years (US 27 Feb. 2014, 18). However, Country Reports 2013 states that the government did not enforce the laws against rape and spousal rape effectively in 2013 (ibid.).

3. State Protection
3.1 Government Policies

Albania ratified the European Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence in 2013 (Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 10; Researcher 22 Apr. 2014).

According to the researcher, Albania has a National Council of Gender Issues, which consists of representatives from different government ministries and initiates government policies and programs (ibid.).

Albania developed a national strategy for gender equality and the reduction of gender-based and domestic violence for 2011-2015 (UN 22 Aug. 2013, para. 5; Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 19; Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 11). The strategy aims to strengthen "legal and administrative protection and support services for victims of gender-based violence," as well as increasing the punishment and expanding training for judicial and other public officials (ibid.).

Albania also established a national referral mechanism in 2011 (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 37; CLCI 15 Apr. 2014; Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 18). In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, an attorney with the Center for Legal Civic Initiatives (CLCI), an Albanian not-for-profit organization that operates as a legal and psycho-social service centre for women who have suffered violence (CLCI n.d.), explained that the national referral mechanism establishes a procedure for local governments to refer cases of domestic violence and consists of a council at the higher level of government as well as multi-disciplinary teams at the municipal level, consisting of a coordinator and representatives from the prosecution, police, district government and social services (CLCI 15 Apr. 2014). She noted that, while not operational throughout Albania, the referral system has been established in approximately 15-20 municipalities, including Tirana, Korca, Burat, Vlora, and Elbasan, and there are efforts being made to establish it in other municipalities (ibid.). In her opinion, the national referral mechanism has resulted in "some achievements" but there is still a need for it to work "more effectively," such as the need for the prosecution and social services to take a more active role (ibid.).

3.2 Police

The UN Special Rapporteur's report indicates that the police arrested 119 people for domestic violence in 2012, up from 63 in 2011 (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 43). According to the same source, this increase was viewed by the government as a result of the amendments to the Criminal Code in 2012 (ibid.).

According to the Data Centrum study, there is a Child Protection and Domestic Violence Sector of the Albanian State Police, and there are regional Child Protection and Domestic Violence units, consisting of four employees in Tirana, two employees in Fieri, and one employee in each of the remaining regional units in Shkodra, Dibra, Kukës, Lezha, Vlora, Gjirokastra, Korça, Berat, Durrës and Elbasan (Oct. 2012, 60). According to Data Centrum's survey, based on respondents' own personal experience or the experience of friends or family,

  • 74 percent said that the police were effective in immediate reaction to domestic violence incidents,
  • 64 percent said the police were effective in support/assistance given to victims of domestic violence,
  • 56 percent said the police were effective in prevention of domestic violence (ibid., 67).

Of the 23 respondents who had personally experienced domestic violence, most were satisfied with the quick response of the police, but some were not satisfied with the behaviour of the police, claiming that they were not supportive and polite, or did not provide information about services or rights (ibid., 68, 69). Data Centrum's study notes that weaknesses of the police in addressing domestic violence, as reported by the police and other stakeholders, include the following: understaffing; high number of staff transfers; low number of female officers; lack of psychologists and social workers at the commissariat level of the police; lack of private interviewing space at commissariat level; limited resources, such as computers, other technology and vehicles; lack of emergency funds for victims (ibid., 72-73).

The UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern about "ineffective police investigation into complaints of domestic violence" resulting in impunity for perpetrators (UN 22 Aug. 2013, para. 11). Similarly, Country Reports 2013 stated that, in 2013, the police "often did not have the training or capacity to deal effectively with domestic violence cases" (US 27 Feb. 2014, 18).

However, several sources indicate that the police have received training on domestic violence (CLCI 15 Apr. 2014; UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 43; Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 72). The government reported to the UN Special Rapporteur that 100 police officers had received training on domestic violence as of April 2013, as well as 1,800 health and social workers (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 43). According to the Albanian State Police official, the police provided several training sessions on domestic violence in 2013, including information sessions on legislative changes, legal issues and policies, the referral mechanism, protective measures, and standard procedures (Albania 28 Apr. 2014). A total of 162 officers were trained in these sessions (ibid.).

Sources indicate that the police receive ongoing training on domestic violence (CLCI 15 Apr. 2014; Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 72; Researcher 22 Apr. 2014). According to the researcher, the police have received training on domestic violence on a "large scale," including follow-ups and monitoring (ibid.). She indicated that a training unit at the Ministry of Interior has been "highly effective" in raising the capacity of the police in handling domestic violence (ibid.).

3.3 Judiciary

According to Amnesty International, there were 35 cases of domestic violence registered under Article 130/a in the Tirana Court records for 2012; of those, 23 cases were concluded by the end of 2012, from which 5 perpetrators received jail sentences of up to a year, and 3 received suspended sentences, while 15 perpetrators fell under a general amnesty covering domestic violence offences committed before 30 September 2012 (Oct. 2013, 4-5). Further statistics on the number of prosecutions and convictions for domestic violence could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

The UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern that perpetrators of domestic violence were rarely convicted (UN 22 Aug. 2013, para. 11). Similarly, the UN Special Rapporteur's report stated that perpetrators of domestic violence are "often not properly prosecuted and punished by the courts" (ibid. 23 Apr. 2013, para. 44). The same source indicated that prosecutors and judges often view domestic violence as a "private family matter" (ibid.).

According to the CLCI attorney, the judiciary have received training and continue to receive training about domestic violence (15 Apr. 2014). The UN Special Rapporteur expressed that there is a need for the Albanian authorities to properly train prosecutors and judges, but also indicated that, according to the Albanian government, some training of the judiciary had taken place in 2012 (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 45). According to the researcher, the judiciary has received some "sporadic" or small-scale training sessions (Researcher 22 Apr. 2014).

3.4 Protection Orders

According to the Albanian State Police official, there were 1,562 "demands for the issuing of protection orders" in 2012 and 1,851 in 2013 (Albania 28 Apr. 2014).

The European Commission, in its 2013 Progress Report on Albania, regarding EU enlargement, reports that as many as half of the women who applied for protection orders subsequently withdrew them (EU 16 Oct. 2013, 43). AI states that, of 595 petitions for protection orders for domestic violence cases concluded by the Tirana Court in 2012, 155 petitions were granted, 26 were rejected, while the remaining 414 were either withdrawn or the claimant failed to show up in court (Oct. 2013, 5).

Sources report that the violation of a protection order carries a punishment of up to two years imprisonment (Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 20; CLCI 15 Apr. 2014). However, several sources indicate that there are difficulties in the enforcement of protection orders (Albania [2013], 30; AI Oct. 2013, 5; UN 22 Aug. 2013, para. 11). The UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern about "the lack of follow-up to protection orders, rendering them largely ineffective" (ibid.). Similarly, AI noted that punishments for perpetrators who break the conditions of the protection orders "are not consistently implemented" (Oct. 2013, 5). The CLCI attorney said that the violation of protection orders is one of the biggest challenges facing victims of domestic violence (15 Apr. 2014).

The UN Special Rapporteur reported a case from September 2011 in which a victim of domestic violence who reported her case to the police and had a protection order was inadequately protected and was subsequently killed by her husband (23 Apr. 2013, para. 31).

The Law on Legal Aid was amended in May 2013 to grant exemptions from court fees and court expenses for beneficiaries of legal aid, including victims of domestic violence (AI Oct. 2013, 5; EU 16 Oct. 2013, 40; COE 16 Jan. 2014, para. 90). Sources indicate that this law has yet to be implemented (CLCI 15 Apr. 2014; Researcher 22 Apr. 2014). According to the CLCI attorney, while some individuals and/or NGOs have received state-supported legal aid, the benefit "has been limited so far" and most victims of domestic violence who receive legal aid do so through donor-funded projects by NGOs, which is how the CLCI's legal aid is funded (15 Apr. 2014). According to the researcher, two NGOs provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence in Tirana who appear in court, but the rest of the country is left unaided (22 Apr. 2014).

4. Support Services
4.1 Shelters

Several sources indicate that there is not a sufficient number of shelters for victims of domestic violence (UN 22 Aug. 2013, para. 11; EU 16 Oct. 2013, 43; UN 23 Apr. 2013, 48). According to Data Centrum, the current shelters have a limited capacity, and there is a particular lack of emergency and long-term shelters in the north (Oct. 2012, 75).

4.1.1 Public Shelters

Sources indicate that there is a national government-run shelter for victims of domestic violence located in Tirana, which opened in 2011 (Albania and UN Nov. 2013, 11; Researcher 22 Apr. 2014; UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 47). A report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions indicates that the shelter can accommodate up to 30 people (ibid.).However, the researcher said that it offers 40 beds (Researcher 22 Apr. 2014). Country Reports 2013 states that 27 women and 27 children were assisted at the government-run shelter in Tirana between January and November 2013 (US 27 Feb. 2013, 18).

According to the researcher, women are referred to the shelter by the police, social services or hospitals, and the shelter offers "integrated services" to victims (Researcher 22 Apr. 2014). She said that, once admitted, the duration that women stay at the shelter depends on the court orders and/or the treatment plan prescribed by the social worker (ibid. 24 Apr. 2014).

Sources indicate that victims of domestic violence are required to have a protection order to stay at the national shelter (Albania [2013], 167; CLCI 15 Apr. 2014; Researcher 24 Apr. 2014). The CLCI attorney noted that the 48 hour period required to obtain an emergency protection order it is often a "dangerous time" for the woman (15 Apr. 2014). According to an assessment made by the European Commission, the national shelter "applies unnecessarily restrictive criteria for admission and provides few facilities for emergency needs" (EU 16 Oct. 2013, 43).

According to the UN Special Rapporteur, many staff involved with domestic violence victims are not properly trained or specialized and the budget for the national shelter is very low compared to the need (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 49-50).

In 2011 and 2012, victims of domestic violence reported that they were mistreated and verbally abused by the director of the national shelter (ibid., para. 50; AI 4 May 2012; Albania [2013], 167-8). There was also a case in which a victim at the shelter was attacked by her former husband and seriously injured (ibid.; UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 50). According to the UN Special Rapporteur, the victim was not given a security escort and was attacked while walking her children to school (ibid.). According to the People's Advocate, the victim lost her eye as a result of the attack (Albania [2013], 167). After receiving complaints, the People's Advocate inspected the shelter in April 2012 and called for the director's dismissal (Albania [2013], 169; AI 4 May 2012), as did AI, in a public statement (ibid.). The People's Advocate also confirmed illegal disciplinary measures taken against the women, such as denying them meals, denying them visits to see their children, restricting communication with their families, and banning cell phone use (ibid.; Albania [2013], 169). The director was subsequently dismissed (AI 2013; UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 50), although sanctions were not taken against her, and she was appointed to another official management position (ibid.).

According to the CLCI attorney, there is a need for regional shelters, as it is often a "difficult solution" for women from other areas of Albania to travel to Tirana (CLCI 15 Apr. 2014). The same source indicated that there is also a need for victims to receive services even if they do not have a protection order, as some women are afraid to get a protection order (ibid.).

Data Centrum indicates that the municipalities of Korça and Durrës offer shelter to victims of domestic violence in rented apartments (Oct. 2012, 75). Further information about accommodations in rented apartments could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

4.1.2 NGO Shelters

Sources indicate that there are some NGOs that operate shelters for victims of domestic violence (US 27 Feb. 2014, 18; CLCI 15 Apr. 2014; UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 47). Sources indicate that there are NGOs that provide shelter for victims of domestic violence located in Berat, Korca, Elbasan, Vlora and two in Tirana (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 47; CLCI 15 Apr. 2014). The UN Special Rapporteur also mentioned a shelter run by an NGO in Gjirokastra (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 47). The attorney from CLCI mentioned an additional shelter in Elbasan operated by the NGO "Women's Forum" that provides temporary emergency service (CLCI 15 Apr. 2014). According to the CLCI attorney, the shelter in Vlora is operated by the NGO "Vatra," the one in Elbasan by the NGO "Other Vision," and the ones in Tirana are operated by "Different but Equal" and "Shelter for Women and Girls" (ibid.). According to the UN Special Rapporteur, the NGOs have "very limited hosting capacity" (UN 23 Apr. 2013, para. 47). He indicated that the Elbasan shelter has a capacity to accommodate 21 people and the Vlora shelter has a capacity of 20 people (ibid.). According to the researcher, there are four NGO shelters with a total capacity of 60 beds, whereas Albania would need approximately 300 beds to meet European standards (Researcher 22 Apr. 2014). She said that "Refleksione Tirana" offers a shelter and hotline in Tirana and a hotline in other towns in the country, that "Different but Equal" offers a shelter, that "Tjeter Vision" offers a shelter in Elbasan and "Vatra" offers a shelter in Vlora (ibid. 24 Apr. 2014).

The European Commission indicates that NGO-run shelters do not receive state funding (EU 16 Oct. 2013, 43). According to the UN Special Rapporteur, public funding of shelters is "very limited" (23 Apr. 2013, para. 49). According to the CLCI attorney, the NGO shelters work in cooperation with the municipalities but generally do not receive funding from the municipalities (CLCI 15 Apr. 2014). She said that the NGO shelters are a bit more flexible than the national shelter and can accommodate victims without a protection order if the victim "denounces" the domestic violence and starts the process of obtaining a protection order (ibid.). A police officer interviewed by Data Centrum also indicated that NGOs can accommodate victims before the protection order is secured (Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 65). The CLCI attorney said that many of the NGO shelters offer counselling or psychological support to victims, or refer the women to other organizations that can offer psychological support (CLCI 15 Apr. 2014).

4.2 Other Support Services

Sources indicate that there is no national hotline for victims of domestic violence (ibid.; EU 16 Oct. 2013, 43; Data Centrum Oct. 2012, 75). According to the CLCI attorney, there are some regional hotlines that offer services 8 hours/day, but there is a need for a national hotline offering 24 hour/day services since violence often occurs at night (15 Apr. 2014). According to Data Centrum, there are regional hotlines in Korça, Shkodra, Vlora, and Durrës (Oct. 2012, 75).

The European Commission describes reintegration services for domestic violence victims as "minimal" (EU 16 Oct. 2013, 43). The attorney at CLCI stated that she was not aware of any long-term housing programs for victims of domestic violence and, while there may be some opportunities for women to participate in employment training, there are few "concrete results" in terms of finding employment (15 Apr. 2014). The Data Centrum report also states that there are "insufficient employment and vocational services for victims of domestic violence," as well as insufficient and delayed economic assistance for victims, and a lack of rehabilitative and psycho-social services for perpetrators (Oct. 2012, 75).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Albania. 28 April 2014. Albanian State Police. Correspondence from an official in the International Cooperation and Coordination Directorate to the Research Directorate.

_____. [2013]. Avokati i Popullit. Annual Report on the Activity of the People's Advocate 1st January - 31 December 2012. [Accessed 8 Apr. 2014]

_____. July 2012. Avokati i Popullit. Executive Summary of the People's Advocate Special Report on Violence Against Women. [Accessed 8 Apr. 2014]

_____. 1995. Criminal Code of the Republic of Albania (Consolidated version as of 2013). Translation from Legislationonline.org database of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). [Accessed 8 Apr. 2014]

Albania and United Nations. November 2013. Albania Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Domestic Violence in Albania: National Population-based Survey. [Accessed 8 Apr. 2014]

Amnesty International (AI). October 2013. Albania: National Implementation Essential to Improve Human Rights in Albania. Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, April-May 2014. (EUR 11/004/2013) [Accessed 7 Apr. 2014]

_____. 2013. "Albania." Amnesty International Report 2013: The State of the World's Human Rights. [Accessed 7 Apr. 2014]

_____. 4 May 2012. "Albania: Government Needs to Take Prompt Action to Ensure Protection and Respect for Victims of Domestic Violence." (EUR 11/005/2012) [Accessed 7 Apr. 2014]

Center for Legal Civic Initiatives (CLCI). 15 April 2014. Telephone interview with an attorney.

_____. N.d. "About us." [Accessed 29 Apr. 2014]

Council of Europe (COE). 16 January 2014. Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner for Human Rights. Report by Nils Muiznieks Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Following his Visit to Albania from 23 to 27 September 2013. (CommDH(2014)1) [Accessed 7 Apr. 2014 ]

Data Centrum Research Institute. October 2012. Baseline Study Report on Domestic Violence and Albanian State Police. [Accessed 8 Apr. 2014]

European Union (EU). 16 October 2013. Albania 2013 Progress Report. (SWD(2013) 414 final) [Accessed 8 Apr. 2014]

Freedom House. 2013. "Albania." Freedom in the World 2013. [Accessed 7 Apr. 2014]

Researcher. 24 April 2014. Correspondence to the Research Directorate.

_____. 22 April 2014. Correspondence to the Research Directorate.

United Nations (UN). 22 August 2013. Human Rights Committee. Concluding Observations on the Second Periodic Report of Albania. (CCPR/C/ALB/CO/2) [Accessed 7 Apr. 2014]

_____. 23 April 2013. Human Rights Council. Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns. Addendum. Follow-up to Country Recommendations: Albania. (A/HRC/23/47/Add.4) [Accessed 7 Apr. 2014]

United States (US). 27 February 2014. Department of State. "Albania." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013. [Accessed 8 Apr. 2014]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to contact representatives of the following organizations were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this Response: United Nations – United Nations Development Program; Vatra Psycho-Social Center.

Internet sites, including: Advocates for Human Rights; Albania – Albanian State Police, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunity; Albanian Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma and Torture; Albanian Women Empowering Network; Balkan Insight; ecoi.net; Factiva; Human Rights Watch; Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Top Channel TV; Transitions Online; United Nations – Refworld; Useful to Albanian Women; Vatra Psycho-Social Center.