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The study ‘Analysis of children in street situation at national level in Albania’ – UNICEF Albania, Save the Children International, ARSIS and GfK

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The study ‘Analysis of children in street situation at national level in Albania’ was incepted and supported financially by UNICEF Albania and Save the Children International, Albania Country Office.

Implementing bodies: ‘ARSIS, Social Organization for the Support of Youth’ and ‘Growth for Knowledge Albania (GfK)’

Duration: mid-June 2013 – mid March 2014; Locations: 12 Counties nationwide.

Objective: Understanding the magnitude of the phenomena of children in street situation in Albania and identifying the elements of the child/family protection system to be reinforced through a qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Applied Methodology:

  • Time Location Mapping (12 Counties of Rep. Albania);

  • Point Count Estimate, conducted in two waves;

  • Consultation of children and key informants through face to face interviews;

  • Closed questionnaires with 80 key informants;

  • Focus group discussions.

The counting of children in street situation was conducted in: commercial areas, nearby religious buildings, main avenues and urban focal points, in the Roma settlements, border passes and national motorways.

  • Wave 1 of Counting was conducted during August 2013 in order to identify the gender, age-range, origin, sorts of street-activities and other related trends during the summer high-tourist season and religious celebrations;

  • Wave 2 of Counting was conducted with the same approach during October 2013 therefore in low-tourist season and no major National celebrations.

Point Count Estimate

Geographical extension

No. Children in street situation

Initial interview

Boys vs girls

Children 10-14 years old

Wave 1 of Counting

8 counties in August 2013

2,014 children

442 children

70.1% boys

8%

Wave 2 of Counting

12 counties, October 2013

2,527 children

340 children

74% boys

35 %

Focus groups (FG): Consultations were conducted nationwide with 111 children aged 6-17 and 40 community members. FG provided a more thorough and accurate information on the key issues those children in street situation face according to their age, skills and any other related circumstances.

Findings on the root causes:

  • Some parents were once children in street situations themselves; harmful situations caused by parents/custodians such as neglect, migration and exploitation lead to exposure of their children to street activities;

  • Domestic physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse lead children to run away from home;

  • Peer pressure;

  • Poor performance of a weak and fragmented child care system;

  • Some children get involved in street activities on their own initiative because they want to support their families due to dare economics situation; some teenagers see it as a way to become independent;

  • Family migration and/or family dynamics/dysfunction such as illness, abandon or death of one or both parents.

Key informants: The Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, State Social Service, National Agency for the Protection of the Rights of Children, CPUs, General Directorate of Police, Regional Education Directorates, partner organizations etc.

What is being done: The general reform of social care services under process by the Government aims to ensure that social protection works inclusively for the most vulnerable members of society; within its framework this reform is trying to cope with problems related to children in street situation.

What should be done: Improvement of coordination between child-related agencies at central, regional and local level institutions and NGOs, clear and definition-division of tasks and responsibilities of relevant bodies.

Governmental strategies: Promotion of child and family based development programmes in order to tackle root-causes; Further development of resourceful programmes in employment, welfare, training schemes, micro-credit etc.

Statutory services: The role of CPU and SSS should be strengthened at regional level with a more client-basis approach on preventive and treatment programmes case by case. Main focus: strengthening families of children in street situation.

Education Level: Ministry of Education should develop measures that ensure child enrolment, attendance and reduce obstacles including: lack of documentation for educational enrolment of children, limited means of transport, school materials and textbooks, poor quality of education etc.

arsis2016The study ‘Analysis of children in street situation at national level in Albania’ – UNICEF Albania, Save the Children International, ARSIS and GfK
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