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20 Maj- 8 Korrik 2005
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Expedition of Missionaries

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In Tirana, on November 25th 2008

On November 25th 2008, Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation in cooperation with Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, organized the National Conference on “Poverty as the main cause of family violence, murders, suicides and human trafficking”. Representatives of the government, public administration, State Police, Ombudsman, Diplomatic Corps, reconciliation missionaries from several districts and media were present at this conference.


1- The achievements of the government in fight against tax evasions, tax collection and the increase of the government budget.

2- The achievements of State Police in stopping the activity of criminal groups and in solving crimes against life; as well as its cooperation in the process of reconciliation and prevention of murders.

3- The contribution of the western countries in the protection of Albanian asylum seekers that are threatened by blood feud; as well as bestowed the “Award of Virtue” for their contribution, to the Immigration Refugees Board of Canada and to the representative of CEDOCA, Research Center of the General Commission for Refugees and Stateless Persons in the Kingdom of Belgium.


Albania has made progress toward acceptance in NATO and EU, but still remains the second poorest country of Europe, and one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2800 villages and 32 districts of the country, where the Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation has its representatives, it discerned that 55% of the families in the rural areas and over 40% of the families in the cities live in extreme poverty. This crisis has generated stress and depression to many Albanian families and continues to cause violence and tragedies within the family and in the presence of children. The number of suicides, 15-20% of which are victims of unpaid debts, has reached alarming levels. In most of the grocery stores there are lists of families that have not paid for the food. During these years of transition, 11 thousand children have abandoned the school and work as breadwinners of their families. Another 6000 of them have emigrated or were trafficked in the western countries. The number of women and girls that accept prostitution and trafficking for surviving is the highest among the region. The quarrels and conflicts about property, women trafficking, divorces and protection of honor continue to foster the phenomenon of murders for revenge and blood feud. For these reasons and based on the conclusions and recommendations of the meeting with representatives of the community, civil society and media in Lushnja, in July 2008, Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation organized the National Conference on “Poverty, as the main cause of family violence, murders, suicides and human trafficking”, which took place in Tirana on November 25th 2008. The conference approved the resolution, which should be presented to all Albanian state institutions, diplomatic corps and international organizations.



The lack of political and social factor, which is the main influence for the economy of a country

Although Albanians have a very favorable environment for the development of the economy and for raising their living standard, they still remain poor. The geographical position in the Mediterranean, its nature, landscapes, climate, agriculture, water and underground resources provide natural conditions for high living standard and business development, but these resources are not managed and used because of the lack of a national plan. Usurpation of agricultural lands by informal constructions, ruination of the coastal perspective and pollution of environment have eradicated the opportunities of development of domestic production, of local businesses and coastal or agricultural tourism. The ruination of forests and tree agriculture, the damaging of river beds and the progressing erosion have wiped out 50% of water resources, have decreased the amount of rainfalls and have yearly created long droughts. Having sold all our national resources, like banks, telecommunication, energy, mines, tourism areas, high valued lands etc., to foreigners, we have ruined the perspective of Albanian, family and local, businesses. Initially the ruination of local business was caused by the law 7501 about property, approved with parliamentary consensus, which has blocked the production in the villages by creating conflicts in more than 70% of the families that live in the cities with their blood relatives in the villages, because the law does not give ownership on the land to the families that have moved in the city before the year 1991. There are about 300 000 land ownership titles involved in these disagreements. By the application of traditional customs for solving the problems with mutual understanding the law was accepted in 170 000 families, nevertheless, these disagreements were on very small and isolated parcels, most of which were left heath. Because of disagreements on land issues there are still 120 000 open cases in the courts, 25 000 of the families have given up and have decided to solve the issue outside the court process, which creates an alarm. Although falling into the category of young age population, the majority of the citizens do not have business opportunities hand have lost the hope in having a future in their country. Out of 3,5 million inhabitants that Albania has, 1.3 million have emigrated, 30% of which had to leave because of the conflicts that they were involved in. Because of the Land law and the uncontrolled demographical movements, about 70 000 Albanian families have lost their right of inheriting the land. 19 000 families are involved in contradictions because of the law of legalizations, while 4000 families continue to have hidden enmities because of divorce, honor issues and women trafficking. The lack of an effective rule of law has caused the revival of Kanun, which nowadays is applied in a deformed way and has tragic consequences even on women and children. 68% of 9800 victims of murders for revenge or blood feud, inside and outside the border, were part of poor families and the same percentage results also at the families of the persons that committed these murders. Only 1640 victims are from the families that have a middle income level and 176 come from families that own large businesses. Because of illegal transgressions of borders with Greece 860 have lost their lives, while 1080 persons are considered lost in the Adriatic Sea.


The lack of labor culture and laziness
Albanians have admirable inter-religious relations, but mainly are a population with a oriental Islamic culture, with Christian Orthodox and Catholic minorities that have inherited laziness and poverty. This has come as a misinterpretation of the religious culture and the principles of Islam that does not predicate poverty as a value. The mentality that poverty is a value is present also at the catholic population, especially in the areas of Mirdita, Puka, Lezha, Malesia e Madhe, Mati and Kurbin, where the people are satisfied with only having a little and spend their time on vain and do not engage in activities, do not have a culture of labor or ambitions for development.


The impoverishing policies and the dependence on loans
The Albanian government propagates the loans taken from international operators even though these debts have a high interest rate and will not be able to progress in a very long time. They have created complete dependents on the loaners, which will force the following governments to take more loans to pay off on time the previous loans, thus piling up loans over loans. Some of the international organizations have raised the alarm about this danger, sometimes leading also to confrontations with Albanian government. Lately the government was fond of the idea of ending IMF’s mandate in Albania, an organization that always acted with maturity when faced with the difficult crisis that the country goes through. A few years ago also the dislocation of OSCE mission from the Albanian territory was requested.

The application of misleading economical and management policies by the local administration
Local administration (districts and prefectures) do not have neither urban plan nor strategies for the development of the local economy and environment. The connections with political parties’ interests have made the local administration incapable of making useful and stable decisions for the community. The chairmen of local administration in districts and prefectures are very fanatic followers of ministers and members of the parliament, who have only narrow interests and whose decisions are completely dependable on the party leaders, who in turn are detached from the people and national interests.

Corruption, a typical feature of poor societies, is becoming a repulsive characteristic among Albanians. The citizens find it very difficult to detach themselves from this phenomenon because they have many basic needs. On the other side, they see that the governors make incredible fortunes exploiting their posts. The laws of corruption are enforced only citizens and low rank officials. Until now no minister has been convicted for corruption, connections with mafia or for selling national resources. Corruption has continuously deteriorated the administration which is made up of militants and devoted persons of the party in power. Professional weakness and incapability of these persons catapulted into the government directly from the auditoriums of the political parties has influenced every aspect of citizens’ life, like the political, judicial, national security, economy and perspective of the country. This has brought the chaos of informal construction, the jamming of public spaces, pollution of the environment and the threat of massive murders because of the lack of safety in these constructions; has brought political and judicial anarchy, economical stagnation since 20 years ago; has ruined all the foundations upon which the legal state functions. The citizens are forced to comply with this fate. About 60% of the population does not participate in the elections because they have lost the hope and trust on the state, a situation which mafia and political leadership are exploiting for ruling with more ease. International organizations and diplomatic representatives have been incapable of being acquainted with the social and political reality of the country, and have not contributed to the necessary degree for the protection and consolidation of the rule of law. Their published annual reports, which are used by the political on their own interest are superficial, nonrealistic and often times ridiculous. None of these reports reflects the real panorama although the situation can easily be evaluated.

Lack of political responsibility for country and the installation of mafia
In cooperation with political leaders, regional and global mafia operators have procured various economical activities in the Albanian territory. The leaders of this mafia are within the administrations of Western European countries and United States, on the head of Italian government, within the governments of the neighbor countries etc. They have found the “well-understanding” in Albania to exploit the national resources for establishing economical activities that launder money and favor their long term projects. The projects signed with the Albanian government are bringing their polluting business in coastal territories. The territories and resources are being offered to them at very low prices, including wood or water resources like the one of “Syri i Kalter”, the exploitation of hills for the production of cement and tourism areas for hotels. This has impeded the domestic capitalist from using these resources, which are actually theirs. The Albanian political leaders could and should have passed all the national resources in the hands of domestic capitalist by also supporting them with grants or long term loans without interest, but they were stopped under the pressure of the mafia groups who catapulted them in the leadership of the parties. With the support of this mafia and demagogical actions they still keep getting the votes of the citizens, by blocking through laws every way out of this situation. Through this plot, the assets and profits of the market are being concentrated only at the circles that have connections with either one or the other political wings. Everything is covered with daily propaganda about integration and globalization. This “globalization” and “integration” are every day more turning into a dictatorship, even more violent that the ideological dictatorship that is deepening the gap between the very rich individuals that control the political power and the rest of the population that is stuck in poverty and misery. Every possible way out of the commitment of citizens against this dictatorship is blocked. The fear that if you raise your voice you lose exists among citizens, in the parliament and within the public administration.

Lack of real civil society and unions
Albania lacks real effective civil society and unions. NGOs sponsored by the international organizations lack voluntarism, accept the paid staff. Political parties have always been interested that the unions be led by their trusted people. The projects of civil society do not reach the target groups. In Shkodra prefecture 56 projects on blood feud were founded and none of the families involved in blood feud conflicts is aware of them. The project of Ministry of Education for the locked in children lacked efficiency. 60% of the disagreements, conflicts and enmities are solve by the reconciliation missionaries through traditional reconciliation without any support from donors. The only support that the reconciliation missionaries get in every village and city is that of the teachers and state police, who are aware of every problem of the community. In Albania, especially in the cities, the culture of protest and congregations for protecting human rights lack. Although suffering every day under the stress of reaching the minimal standards of living, Albanian citizens can not congregate in protest because there are neither unions nor civil society to lead them.


1- Children
Based on data from prefectures, children are the most affected part by the poverty, and the clearest indexing of it. 48% of children do not have their own bedrooms, necessary clothes, are malnourished and do not frequent playgrounds and parks. This contingent does not advance in school because of hunger and inferiority feelings toward their friends. A part of them drop out of school and become victims of drug dependence, trafficking and prostitution. According to data from UNICEF, the number of children beggars has increased by 10% in the last 3 years.

2- Retired
There are about 550 000 retired persons in Albania with a very low monthly salary that is not enough to fulfill even 20% of the monthly needs and bills. Their situation is very miserable because of poverty as well as the separation from their children that are in emigration. There have been very tragic suicides among this contingent.

3-Roma and Egyptian origin population
Their number according to NGOs reaches 100 000. They are concentrated in the main cities and now they are settled and do not migrate anymore. They leave mainly in camping tents and their children do not frequent school. They are mainly patriarchal within the families. They get married at a very young age and give birth to many children and they force them to work or throw them in the streets to beg for money at a very young age. The most tragic cases are those of trafficking of their children.

4- Orphans
They are the least protected part of the society. Apart all the measures taken by the state they did not integrate in the society and 60% of them remain very poor throughout their life. Donations, in most of the cases, are given for celebrations of holydays and public congregations but not for direct investments in their education and wellbeing. Tirana, with about 800 000 inhabitants has only one orphanage financed by the state raising only 60 orphans. Using the donations given for public congregations and celebrations, tens of educational centers and shelters could have been established. The Albanian tradition about the obligation of the relatives to take care of the orphans has faded away.

5- Youth
College students fall into this category also, and their number increases every day together with the belief that they will not be able to find a job after school. Roundabout 30 000 young men and women that have finished their university are unemployed. 28 000 people of the age between 14 and 30 are into drugs, 6000 of which are involved in criminal activities as well. Based on research, over 20 000 young men and women need social assistance and services but the public and nonpublic institutions and programs lack. There is only one rehabilitation center serving 30 young drug addicts.

The cases of family violence have increased in number in a tragic way, and often resulting in the murder of the wife or husband in front of their children. Albanian families, especially the ones in rural areas, preserve the patriarchal tradition where the woman has a secondary role. The Albanian man continues to be oppressive and violent in his dictatorship. In poor families the violence touches the children also, forcing them to follow parents orders for abandoning the school and going to work. On the other hand, the mentality of being submissive toward the husband and the brother exists among women and young ladies. In the cities the institution of family has degenerated into divorces and conflicts originating mainly from poverty, causing tragedies for both parties. A considerable number of women in poor families in the cities choose clandestine prostitution for surviving. Only 2% of businesses and only 8% of political decision making persons are women. The creation of Family Code did not have positive results and was ignored since the first days because it was initiated by the politics and was debated among publicly consumed groups and individuals without any credibility in society. The new electoral code that determines the percentage of women participation in the elected forums is being exploited for the empowerment of leader’s ruling and not the empowerment of democracy within political parties. The cause of extreme family violence are mainly social and only a little can be considered as individual.

The phenomenon of suicides continues to increase by shocking the society with the huge number of victims. Albanians have been much poorer in the past, but the number of suicides was negligible, almost inexistent. Before the dictatorial system religion and public opinion condemned suicide, while during communism the social solidarism kept the individual engaged in the life in community. During the transition period, Albanian families have suffered unexpected traumas and dramas. The transformation of the social environment, disintegration of society, abandonment of residences, loss of jobs, lack of income to provide for food, emigration of children have made the individual feel lonely and powerless for facing the challenges of change and the difficult conditions for survival, lose hope in the future and consider the life meaningless. This has caused the uncontrollable increase in the number of mental illnesses and suicides. Today in the Albania capital, Tirana, in every two apartment buildings there are 3 people suffering from depression that are being taken care of by the relatives. The number of citizens suffering from depression is 32 times higher than that of the communist period. Divorces and difficulties of life have consequences on children as well. The number of suicides among them increases every year.

Poverty has forces about 50 000 women and girls to choose prostitution; 20 000 of them work within the country. From the surveys in the districts of Lushnja and Fier it results that 20% of the girls that finish high school accept prostitution as a way out of the bad economical situation. The majority of the 30 000 women that work as prostitutes outside the country work under the surveillance of a tutor. 14 000 of them work in Italy, 6000 in Greece, and 9000-10000 others work in different countries of Western Europe. About 5000 children have been trafficked and are exploited by tutors. Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, while working on reconciliation process has gained the experience in the fight against the phenomenon of trafficking, especially for finding women and girls that were trafficked and became the reason of blood feud between Albanian families. As a result of the work of reconciliation missionaries, 560 families of trafficked women were reconciled with the families of the tutors, by preserving the privacy of the case and avoiding bloodshed.


1- To urge the International community for supporting the process of reconciliation and the strategy of Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation, for the elimination of self-justice and empowerment of Rule of Law because CNR, with the promotion of the culture of reconciliation, has solved more than 50% of conflicts in terrain, has its representatives and missions in every village and city and has voluntary support throughout the entire territory of Albania.

2- To urge Albanian parliament for undertaking fundamental reforms in the justice system by empowering the autonomy of Prosecution institution, and increasing the level of professionalism and responsibility in courts in the fight against corruption and organized crime.

3- To urge the members of Albanian Parliament for supporting the worries of Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation about combating the influence of global mafia and anti-Albanian lobbies on the government and political management of the country.

4- To urge the Albanian government to suspend the agreements that sell the country to foreigners by using all the necessary measures against their monopolies in the market and to transfer the national wealth and resources in the hands of Albania businessmen and people.

5- To urge Albanian political parties for devoting themselves to a national mission; for revoking political immunity and for inciting the empowerment of the penal code against the embezzlements of government budget and national wealth. The penal code should sanction the maximal punishment for power abuse from the President, Prime Minister and ministers.

6- To urge the government officials for presenting tangible, clear and feasible plans that would get the country out of poverty and would develop Albanian economy, by discarding all to date templates of the “voluminous strategies for development and integration”.

7- To urge the civil society for persistently promoting the culture of labor, environment and protest among citizens.

Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation
Tirana on November 25th 2008

:: Gjakmarrja / Blood Feud

Gjakmarrja ne Keshillin e Sigurimit te OKB

Blood feud in Sicurity Council of UN

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