Last edited: May 2005
Summary and Analysis
Under the Albanian Family and Penal Codes, a parent may be subject to proceedings that may temporarily or permanently strip him or her of parental authority under certain conditions. Among other things, a parent may lose parental authority by reason of family abandonment or should he or she commit a criminal offense (e.g., battery) against his or her child. Children whose parents have lost parental authority may be placed under guardianship while in state custody. Guardians are tasked with caring for both the child and his or her property, and must also represent the child in legal proceedings.
During the course of abuse, neglect, or removal proceedings, the opinions of children aged ten and older may be sought by the court under the Civil Procedure Code, though notably no avenues for expression are available for children under ten.
A new Albanian Family Code entered into force in January 2004; this code, however, does not specifically address cases involving abandoned minors or incidents of physical abuse that do not lead to criminal convictions. Although recent Albanian legislation promises increasing levels of respect for the views and integrity of children, there remains a strong social norm that affairs concerning children in Albania be considered private matters internal to the family, and Albania continues to lack many of the basic services for abused or neglected children.
Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)
The Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Albania
Article 355 – Special Guardian
The court appoints a special guardian when this is required by the interests of the minor.
The special guardianship is removed when the causes for which it was placed cease.
Article 356 – Questioning of Minor by the Court
Before the court proceeds for appointing a guardian it must also ask the minor when he has accomplished 10 years of age.
Guardianship terminates when the minor accomplishes 18 years of age or when the minor gets married before this age.
Local Contact Information
Altin Hazizaj – Director
The Children's Human Rights Centre of Albania – CRCA
Kutia Postare 1738, Tirana / ALBANIA
Phone/Fax: +355 4 242264
Web page: http://www.crca.org.al/
 We were unable to locate the text for these laws in the Albanian language.
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