Global legal center in Albania for justice and transparency
From the round table meeting of the civil society and personalities from various fields of nationalsocial, political and cultural life.
All frontally against the abuse of orphaned children
Sent to: Albanian Parliament, Government of Republic of Albania, the Assembly of United Nations, European Union, European Council, the US government, Government members of EU, NATO and OSCE.
Tirana, December 19th 2015
The situation of orphaned children, their abuse and risks.
Albanian government has made progress on the integration in European Union, but the situation of orphans in Albania remains a concern for the national and international factor. From 180.000 children in need, 31.000 are orphans. Over 2/3 of them confront the extremity of exhausting efforts to survive as well as the abuses and criminal acts against them. Defenseless and vulnerable, many of them are subjects of human trafficking and involvement in criminal organizations. Social assistance, guaranteed by the state, covers only 5% of the minimum living needs of orphans. From 31.000 orphans, only 400 are treated in 9 government residential centers and 360 others in 19 non-government (NGO) centers. The rest has faced and been vulnerable to violence, sexual abuse and trafficking for profiting aims. 100.000 persons with disabilities, among them a large number of orphans, are found today in the same situation of abuse, poverty and efforts for survival, with no support from state or donors.
International and national factors occasionally have been informed from media and organizations like: UNICEF, Save the Children, National Institute of the integration of Albanian Orphans and Amnesty International, about the cases of criminal acts against the orphans and abuses on their behalf. Recently these organizations report that 382 orphans from Albania are trafficked and exploited in the streets of London, while 17 thousand orphans from Albania are in the hands of ISIS, which is cooperating with the organized crime in Balkan. 500 Albanian children are still missing from the center of rehabilitation AGIA VARVARA in Greece. Hundreds of other orphans, forced to immigrate because of blood feud, are trafficked or killed right after returning in Albania after their deportation from western countries, because of the denial of their request for asylum. Even though the Prime Minister of Albania stated in the meeting with the German Chancellor, Mrs. Angela Merkel, that Albanians immigrate because of social and security reasons, some of the western countries have declared Albania as a safe place contradicting the reality.
Amnesty International has annually reported that the Albanian orphans are denied from the right of housing, employment, health assistance and many other rights, which place them as the most marginalized and hopeless stratum of society, facing a constant danger. These orphans are even more vulnerable when they are part of trafficking networks or the contingent of blood feud.
Organized crime has often abandoned the actions of non-government organizations that have raised their voice in defense of the orphan rights, like the National Institute of the Integration of Albanian Orphans etc., through the individuals that establish pseudo-associations for the benefits of funds for orphans and their exploitation in criminal networks, without having any investigation about the activities of these criminals.
There is not any investigation about the cooperators and the state officials who facilitated the arrival of British citizen David Brawn in Tirana, for establishing a center by himself in the suburbs of the capital, under the name of “His Children”, who treated 22 minors and sexually abused them, leaving them with serious consequences for mental health.
So far there is no investigation for the auditors of some political parties after the case of 66 years old pedophile, Agron Cane in Saranda, who asked an unemployed mother in need, for sexual favors with her 14 years old daughter, resident of Orphanage in Saranda, promising her a job through his connections and influence to the auditors of the party he belonged to.
There is no investigation of law-implementing institutions, for the legal responsibilities of the representatives of local power in Durres, who were aware of the miserable situation of 4 orphan children, abandoned by the father, and who were burned in the shelter, which were locked by their mother after putting them to sleep with an empty stomach, while she was working to make a living in the late night bars.
The investigative show Fiks - Fare of “Top-Channel”, in September 2014 reported the abuse of the representative of “Orphans in Focus” association, Arjan Kamberi, a doctor in the regional hospital of Berat city, who manipulated for profiting aim through the deception with an 8 years old child, presenting him as an “injured patient”. By staging this child, through hospitalization and bandaging from head to toe to give the impression of a child in intensive care, he deceived two Swedish citizens and asked for help for the “critical situation” of the life of the “injured orphan”. Through Skype communication, the doctor insisted and asked them for considerable amounts of money which were needed for the treatment of “this case”. Two Swedish citizens, touched and solidarized by this “event”, sent the amount of money asked by the doctor, who through this staging had deceived them.
In July of 2015, the public opinion was introduced to the inhumane way of treating a 4 years old orphan in the orphanage center in Shkoder, where a nanny used violence against him. This case became really known and s sensitive one to the public, through the forums and media debates over the ways and standards that are applied in these centers with these children in need.
In 5 years, the representative of one of these abusing pseudo-associations called “Our Future”, Alfred Muharremi, recruited in an abusive way some young people and established a network of students in need, who invaded the public areas of the capital begging for money on behalf of orphans, deceiving the citizens to collect funds ostensibly to help the orphans. Even though, sometimes this networkof abusers has been subject of some investigative audio-visual shows in media, they still continue the same ritual of deceiving on behalf of the cause of orphans.
There is no investigation about the abuses of the chairman of the orphans association, KadriAllia, who occasionally has been accused by media and the community of orphans for abusing on their behalf with students who are not orphans. The investigative show Fiks - Fare, in Top Channel, has published the fact that this individual during the National Day of Orphans, gathers two thousand students from the capital schools and introduces them as orphans. Asked by Fix Fare these children claimed that they are not orphans but students that were brought by force from the Educational Ministry of Tirana, through the deception of this individual in expense of the orphans. In flagrant violation with the Convention of Children Rights, this person manipulates and forces the orphans to pose for a picture with hands up holding envelopes with a banknote.
Then he publishes these photos in internet and social networks to be excused and credible to the donors. Foundations, Arabic Embassies and the embassy of Kuwait in Albania, which have occasionally funded this abuser for the orphans, should hold moral and legal responsibilities for providing such funds without consulting with the main factors that protect the rights of the orphans. In violence to the status of the association and the dignity of the orphan children, for 15 years this individual has introduced himself sometimes as a member of Democratic Party and sometimes as a member of Social Party, with the aim to gain the trust of the citizens, whenever the parties in power change. Through this way, this abuser has played with the traffic of influence to become credible to the donors and to attract funds for profiting aims.
There is no investigation about the connection of the pedophile, Maksim Lico, former General Secretary of the association of KadriAllia, who established the association “Orphans in Focus” and asked for sexual favors with minors in exchange of the orphan status, by keeping connections with a network of other abusers connected to human trafficking. This case was also discovered and unmasked by the investigative show Fiks Fare.
The social program “Humans in Focus” in News 24 channel, has brought into public’s attention the case of former chairman of the branch of association of Kadri Alia in Korca, ClirimZeka, who deceived the young orphans by taking from them considerable amounts of money, promising that he would solve the problem of housing. Thanks to the concrete denounces, this citizen has been sentenced by the Penal Court of Vlora district, with 5 years of imprisonment.
There is no investigation about the connections of the imprisoner, Indrit Alia, who peculated the projects of the orphan children of blood feud, by having offices next to the Prime Minister’s and appearing in media with the first lady. He was punished for fraud up to 2 million euro to the business, but the state institutions, Albanian prosecutor and international organizations have repeatedly received complaints from the blood feud families with orphans over the frauds of Indrit Alia and Agim Loci. Families in enmity have made denunciations against these individuals not only about the fund profits taken on their behalf but also about the inciting that they were doing to these families to commit murder.
After the denunciations of these criminal acts, Indrit Alia and Maksim Lico were imprisoned while Agim Loci and his daughter who appeared in media as the representative of the orphan children isolated by blood feud, flee to the USA continuing the same frauds and criminal activities with Albanians in US. Reconciliation missionaries have reported that through these frauds, 75 million euro from 2005 to 2013 have been absorbed on behalf of the isolated families and orphan children of blood feud, but neither the orphans of blood feud nor the isolated families have received any cents from these funds peculated by these high-risk individuals who have relations even to the structures of the organized crime and terrorism that often incite the blood feud even through the internet.
The Albanian government has issued a recommendation with no. 1716, dated 29.09.2009, for the national and international institutions to refer to the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation for the contacts and verification of families in enmity. This recommendation of government was passed to the prosecutor and the courts which have punished the chairs of the associations and state representatives who have issued blood feud certifications without archiving for confirmation to the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation. The recommendation of the government is based in the decisions of the congresses of reconciliation missionaries and associations which have decided for the blood feud certification to be issued only by the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, as a leading forum of reconciliation missions and associations.
The dark structures of organized crime and terrorism, in cooperation with these abusing individuals have constantly abandoned the reconciliation of the families in enmity. From 2010 to 2013 this abandonment has incited the killings, increasing so their number from 70 to 140 per year, while the number of isolated children reached 900 in 2013. After 2013, the establishment of cooperation between the government and police with the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, enabled that the number of killings be 50% less and from 900 isolated children in 2013, there were only 68 in 2015. Also for the case of the orphans, it is necessary for the national and international institutions to have direct connections with the National Institution of the Integration of Albanian Orphans to recognize the current situation and find the appropriate solutions for this target-group in need.
Nongovernment organizations and their relationship with the orphans.
In this sector there are 140 associations publicly declared, which deal with the treatment of the poor and children in need, especially orphans and isolated children from blood feud. This fact, not only has not softened the phenomena that affects these groups, but also has aggregated their situation, since 90% of these associations are found to be pseudo-associations established by such deceiving individuals related to the organized crime structures and terrorism. Most of these individuals that establish these false NGO-s, are individuals without any background, the needed stature and moral integrity, who unfortunately have heavily damaged the cause of civil society, while some other individuals are incriminated, with no education, individuals that manifest behavior and actions with low moral, fraud and theft habits who act on behalf of the defenseless groups of society.
They are easily identified as social hooligans, who mainly are realtors and former bodyguards of casinos that constantly deceive the public opinion and state institutions, private operators, business, foundations, embassies, by appearing in Albanian media or internet as representatives of the orphans and families in isolation from blood feud. They have severely compromised the mission of the Civil Society by establishing occult and not at all transparent relations with foreign donors and embassies. Furthermore these individuals establish relations with irresponsible persons incriminated also in western countries in USA, Canada, Belgium, United Kingdom and Islamic countries. Some of the representative of Islamic associations that operate in our country for years, with suspicious activities, guarantee financial support to these abusive individuals for mutual benefits.
The law in Albania allows every individual to formally establish a non-government organization, and many traffickers, frauds and criminals have benefited from this, while a part of them are connected to corrupted employers of the public administration. For personal benefits and masking of their abusive activities, in a flagrant way and in violence to the Convention of Orphan Children Rights, these speculators exploit the orphan children even in electoral campaigns and in propagandistic meetings, in the interest of those in power who support and fund without any transparency.
Society, schools and the residential centers in the service of orphans
For 21 years, in the campuses of high schools in the districts of Tirana, Shkodra, Saranda, Durres, Berat, Korce, Fier, Elabasan, Gjirokaster(which have as a destination the housing of the boarding students from the other districts),are accommodated hundreds of young orphans, unemployed and in ghetto conditions. In this miserable environment, they are not provided with the minimum living conditions and do not have any hope for their future. Left orphaned twice, in poor condition and in the mercy of fate, today these young people are the most vulnerable and marginalized contingent of Albanian society that can end up in the hands of the criminal networks and terrorism. 80% of orphans remain really poor during their lifetime, where even their existential is in constant danger.
Businesses, in preferential way and under the permanent psychological pressure of the political power, most of the time provide donations for the public celebrations and manifestations of people in power and not for direct investments in education and increasing the welfare of these group in need, orphans. The provided donations in support of the foundations run by people in power, have deprived the groups in need from real support. The Albanian tradition of forcing relatives to take care of the orphan is gone. The number of violence cases in family has increased in a tragic way and often the violence ends in the killing of wife or husband in front of the children who after these events remain not only orphans but also traumatized.
Families in the city have degenerated into divorces and conflicts because of the poverty, causing the abandonment of the orphan children. Family breakdown causes the orphans to grow up with trauma. A significant number of women and girls from poor families go toward the clandestine prostitution in order to survive. Victims of this miserable situation are particularly orphan girls.
Concerns of the associations of Albanian orphans
All the problems arising from this resolution as well as the report of the International Amnesty show the continuity and the high preoccupation of the operators and serious NGO-s of orphans like UNICEF, Save the Children, National Institute of Integration of Albanian Orphans and International Amnesty, but the appropriate attention is not paid to the important factors of civil society. This is the responsibility of Albanian Parliament, international community as well as donors and Albanian government. The deputies of Albania has often amended the law on “The status of deputy” that ensures support and welfare to their families, while the law on “The orphan status” has never been amended, leaving so a quota of only 25 USD per month for the living of an orphan, like at the beginning of transition, when the actual minimal cost of an individual in Albania was 400 USD per month.
The report of International Amnesty
International Amnesty has published the report, which is presented every year to the Albanian government, international institutions and European Parliament, highlighting the fact that during 25 years of transition in Albania, the fundamental rights and freedoms of the orphans have been violated and denied in a flagrant way.
International Amnesty calls the authorities to provide to the orphans access in a convenient housing, by giving this support in the form of subsidies or by other means. International amnesty asked the government and the municipalities to implement the international conventions that Albania has signed, to respect the law on “the orphan status”, to establish many social residencies and to share them with full transparency, taking orphan representatives in the housing commissions. Housing is just one of the problems of 31 thousand Albanian orphans, who face many difficulties for schooling, employment, food, clothes and insufficient funds with a payment of only 25 USD per month. In the actual situation where the terrorism is exploiting the poverty and the situation of these contingents for recruitment, this resolution calls for immediate attention and action.
Based on this concerns, the mutual meeting of the civil society and personalities of several fields of national social, political and cultural life,asks the Albanian parliament, Albanian government, Assembly of United Unions, European Union, European Council, USA government, Member governments of EU, NATO and OSCE:
1 – To establish a permanent TASK-FORCE, consisting of the structures of Interior Ministry in cooperation with the Justice Ministry, Ministry of Local Power, Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and General Prosecutor for the prevention of abuse phenomena and children trafficking, as well as identify through a national register all the families in danger, children and teenagers without parental care, who are a contingent in danger to be recruited by individuals and criminal organizations that act outside and inside the borders of Albania.
2 – To undertake a plan of concrete and effective measures through the institutions of law enforcement at all levels, for the implementation of defensive politics with explicit programs for the economic support and empowerment of the families in danger that endanger their children by leaving them out of control even in streets situation.
3 – Albanian Parliament to clearly be expressed through a law, by charging the Ministers Council to definitely make a study and officially declare the minimal subsistence of poverty for the social groups in need, an emergency request also by the international institutions.
4 – To reformulate and urgently adopt the new law for “The Orphan Status”, in accordance with the current situation, involving all the interest groups, with a broad discussion with the experts of all the Ministries and organisms of Human Rights, involving in this law a greater group of benefiters, like children whose parents are alive, who for many reasons, are incapable to exercise their parental duties. This law should be reformulated in all his articles and paragraphs and should focus the high interest of this target-group and not the interest of the associations that so far have shown that have been parasitic, inexistent and abusive.
5 – Albanian government, through the Financial Ministry, should immediately give up the annual, selective and unfair funding of some associations, NGO-s that have resulted to be parasitic and abusive with the orphans and children in need. This selective acting is in violence with the equality principles and brings the discrimination, compromise and violation of the sovereignty and autonomy of these NGO-s, since it is wrong that through the money of Albanian taxpayers, many administrative costs are funded for keeping in run these parasitic and abusive NGO-s. From the so far experience, these NGO-s have never been efficient and have misused this state assistance by presenting themselves, in a speculative way, as NGO-s with a state status, from where many scandals of orphan abusing have been shown.
Now, Albanian government uses an Agency (AMSHC) as a solution for the contributions for the support of NGO-s, where every NGO has the right to compete in an equal and fair way, through projects and competitive and effective programs.
6 – We propose to establish a structure of experts who are independent from the state, which will follow step by step the case of adoption of orphan children. The purpose of this structure is to identify and detect as soon as possible where are the obstacles, bureaucracies, delays and lack of efficiency, so that the “de facto” abandoned children to be declared as such, “de jure” and to be adopted as soon as possible, according to the national and international laws.
7- We demand that the national institutions of security to do an investigative, striking and more efficient work, for the investigation of the cases of individuals and criminal organizations that are involved in the criminalization of the marginalized groups of society, by recruiting and victimizing the endangered orphaned children through some foreign “charities” that operate in our country in cooperation with some individuals and local abusive NGO-s.
From the round table meeting of the civil society and personalities from various fields of nationalsocial, political and cultural life.
All frontally against the abuse of orphaned children
Tirana, December 19th 2015
Post Scriptum: This resolution i signed by 104 most well-known intellectuals in Albania and you can see signing of them in PDF of this document that is in Albanian