Albania

Population

3,029,278

Population 0‑14

18.8%

Internet Users

62.7%

Facebook Users

1,300,000

Mobile Subscribers

4,800,000
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2003 - The National Information and Communication Technologies Strategy of the Republic of Albania from 2003 aimed to “exploit the potential of ICT in order to promote human development in the country, to support growth and sustainable development and to increase living standards for the whole population.” The government committed to providing the necessary legal and regulatory framework to encourage ICT education. Due to a lack of close adherence to the action items of the plan, the strategy failed to be implemented.

2006 - In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and others, the Government of Albania founded the e-Schools Programme which aimed to improve the Albanian education system by providing primary and secondary schools with modern computer labs with high-speed Internet connectivity, giving teachers the knowledge and support to use the computer labs for educational purposes, create a well-developed ICT curriculum, and develop a conceptual framework and pilot telecenters. The program concluded in 2010 and provided over 2,000 schools with computer labs.

2007 - The Albanian government signed the eSEE Agenda Plus (Electronic South Eastern Europe Initiative) along with seven other eastern European countries. By signing on to the initiative, the member countries pledged to strengthen innovation and investment in ICT in education, develop digital educational content and services, invest in the ICT infrastructure of their national educational institutions, reflect the increased use of modern technologies in a revised curriculum, and make ICT curricula mandatory on all educational levels.

2014 - The 2014-2020 National Strategy on Pre-University Education Development laid out policy goals to develop a platform for foreign and national companies to invest in ICT for Albanian schools and digitalize the learning process by using the Internet as a source for didactic materials.

ABCom

A leading Albanian telecommunications provider that is active in the online safety space.

ChildPact

A regional coalition of NGOs focused on child protection in the Wider Black Sea region, working to create dialogue within government, civil service and other stakeholders.

Child Protection Hub for South East Asia

A professional organization that strives for a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment for all children, with a focus on professional training and advocacy for child protection professionals.

GSMA Europe

This industry association represents the interests of European mobile network operators. The group engages in lobbying in areas such as children’s use of mobile phones, privacy, digital inclusion and reducing the digital gender gap. In 2008, the organization formed a mobile alliance against child sexual abuse content.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Europe

The ITU is is the UN agency for ICTs. Areas of focus in Europe include improving E-accessibility in Central and Eastern Europe, transitioning Europe to digital broadcasting, and sharing best practices for implementing e-applications.

Internet Governance Forum

The IGF was founded by the UN in 2006 to serve as a discussion platform for internet governance policy issues. It brings together various stakeholders to determine best practices for internet policy. Past areas of focus include cybersecurity, human rights, inclusivity and openness.

INTERPOL

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its mission is to enable police forces to collaborate globally to fight crime in the Internet age. Three areas of focus are crimes against children (with a focus on internet crimes and travelling sex offenders), cybercrime and human trafficking.

Ministry of Education and Sport

The ministry provides schools with modern computer labs and ICT curricula.

National Agency for Information Society

This organization aims to coordinate all of the Albanian Government’s activities in the field of ICT.

United Nations Albania

Alongside Government and other partners such as civil society, academia and the private sector, this organization works to fight poverty, strengthen the rule of law, promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, protect the environment and support economic and social reforms.

Country Case Studies : Regional Review of National Activities on Child Online Protection (2017)

Jaroslaw K. Ponder

The Regional Review of National Activities on Child Online Protection was developed in 2016 by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) in partnership with the Information Technologies Authority of Turkey. This Case study covers the perceptions of online child safety issues, the availability of advice or guidance, the availability of awareness raising and related programs, national focal points, the legal framework/law enforcement resources, and perceptions of the level of co-operation with industry.

Regional Review of National Activities on Child Online Protection in Europe (2017)

International Trade Union

This document contains a questionnaire developed by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) that was distributed to national governments that are within the scope of the Regional Initiative for Europe on Building Confidence and Security in the use of ICT.

A Study on Child Online Safety in Albania (2015)

World Vision International

This report shows the extent to which Albanian children access the Internet compared to other European nations and the risks currently posed to children accessing the Internet.

The impact of internet and new media on the occurrence of violence against children in Europe and Cyprus (2015)

Rosella Sala

This document demonstrate that countries lack of expertise on child sexual exploitation and struggle combating this issue by their own. It suggests to establish an international legal framework to prosecute offenders and protect children.

Combatting Child Sexual Abuse (2015)

Petra Jeney

The study provides an overview of existing legislation at European Union, Member State and the international level related to online child sexual abuse, as well as the role of law enforcement agencies in combatting child sexual abuse online and other governmental and private sector initiatives.

Best Practice Compendium in Implementing the e-SEE Agenda + 2011 (2011)

N. Trbonja

This publication recommends best practices for ICT development in South Eastern Europe. The projects presented in this document exhibit a large range of creative, technical, and management solutions, as well as budget-friendly options, and context sensitive approaches towards ICT development.

The Protection of Children Online: Risks Faced by Children Online and Policies to Protect Them (2011)

Kristina Irion

This report focuses on online risks for children and policies to protect them as Internet users. It examines direct and indirect policy measures available to help mitigate risks.

ICT in the Education of the Balkan Countries (2010)

Dr. Rossita Penkova, Dr. Violeta Mircheva, Nikolina Tsvetkova, Mirena Legurska

This is a comprehensive document on the situation of the ICT in education in the Balkan countries.

U.S. /European Summit on Missing & Exploited Children (2005)

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

Participants from different governments, law enforcement, and nongovernmental organizations participated in the U.S. /European Summit on Missing & Exploited Children. They discussed successes and shortcomings of current efforts to address the global problem of missing and exploited children, and adopted a comprehensive Action Plan.

The legal age of majority is fourteen. The age of consent for sexual activity is not defined in legislation, but is determined on a case­by­case basis by a medical examiner. The age of consent for marriage is eighteen, as defined in Article 7 of Law No. 9062 of the Family Code.

Albania has signed, ratified and entered into law the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime (November 2001).

  • Article 74/a, Criminal Code. Computer dissemination of materials in favor of genocide or crimes against humanity. States that it is a crime to disseminate materials through computer systems that deny, minimize significantly, approve of or justify acts that are genocide or crimes against humanity. This crime is punishable by three to six years of imprisonment.
  • Article 84/a, Criminal Code. Threat due to racist and xenophobic motives through the computer system. States that it is a crime to impose serious threat to cause death or serious injury to someone through computer systems, because of their ethnicity, nationality, race or religion. This offense is punishable with a fine or up to three years of imprisonment.
  • Article 100, Criminal Code. Sexual or Homosexual Relations/ Intercourse with Minors/Children. This Article states that anyone who has sexual intercourse with a minor child under the age of fourteen, or with a minor girl who has not yet reached sexual maturity, is liable to imprisonment for a term of seven to fifteen years. The Article also states that an aggravated penalty of imprisonment for between fifteen and 25 years will apply if the act is committed jointly by more than one person, by force, repeatedly, or if the victim suffered serious consequences to their health. If the child died or committed suicide as a result of the crime, the penalty will be no less than 20 years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 101, Criminal Code. Sexual or Homosexual Intercourse by Violence with a Minor who is Fourteen to Eighteen Years old. States that sexual intercourse by force with children from the age of fourteen to eighteen and who have reached the sexual maturity, is punished by five to fifteen years’ imprisonment. Aggravating circumstances leading to an increased prison sentence of ten to 20 years include: if more than one person committed the offense; if the act was committed repeatedly or if the victim suffered serious consequences to their health. The death or suicide of the victim will increase the penalty to a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 108, Criminal Code. Serious Immoral Acts. States that obscene acts conducted with minors under the age of fourteen are punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 113, Criminal Code. Prostitution. States that prostitution is punishable by a fine or up to three years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 114, Criminal Code. Exploitation of Prostitution. This article sets a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment or a fine for anyone who solicits or mediates prostitution, or gains from it.
  • Article 114a, Criminal Code. Exploitation of Prostitution under Aggravated Circumstances. States when exploitation of prostitution is committed with minors; against some persons; with persons within close consanguinity, in­laws or custodial relations or by taking advantage of an official rapport; with deception, coercion, violence or by taking advantage of the physical or mental incapability of the victim; against a person that has been forced or coerced to exercise prostitution out of the territory of the Republic of Albania; by criminal organizations, the penalty will be imprisonment for a term of between seven to fifteen years and the confiscation of all means and profits.
  • Article 114b, Criminal Code. Trafficking of Women for Prostitution. Defines the offense of trafficking women for prostitution, with the purpose of material or any other profit, a crime punishable by imprisonment for between seven and fifteen years.
  • Article 115, Criminal Code. Use of Premises for Prostitution. This Article states that managing, utilizing, financing or letting the premises for prostitution is punishable by a fine or up to ten years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 117, Criminal Code. Pornography. Defines the offense of producing, delivery, advertising, importing, selling and publishing pornographic materials in premises frequented by minors. The act is punishable by a fine or up to two years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 119, Criminal Code. Insult. This Article imposes a penalty of a fine or up to six months’ imprisonment for anyone who intentionally insults a person. The same offense, if committed in public, to the detriment of several people or repeatedly, constitutes a criminal contravention and is punished by fine or up to one year of imprisonment. This article has been updated to include dissemination of racist or xenophobic materials, or insult due to racist or xenophobic motives, committed on a computer system, as crime that is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to two years.
  • Article 120, Criminal Code. Libel. States that intentionally spreading rumors and any other knowingly false information which affects the honor and dignity of the victim, constitutes a crime and is punishable by a fine or up to one year’s imprisonment. The same offense, if committed in public, to the detriment of several people or repeatedly, is punishable by fine or up to two years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 121, Criminal Code. Intruding without Grounds into Someone’s Privacy. This Article states that fixing appliances which serve for hearing or recording words or images, the hearing, recording or airing words, taping or transmitting images, as well as their preserving for publication or the publication of the data, exposing an aspect of the private life of the person without his consent, constitutes a crime and is punishable by a fine or up two years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 121/a, Criminal Code. Victimization. States that it is a crime to provoke a person with repeated actions meant to cause 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. This offense is punishable by imprisonment from six months 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 punishment. When committed against minors, pregnant women or against a defenseless person, 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 by up to one half of the given punishment.
  • Article 122, Criminal Code. Spreading personal secrets. States that it is a crime to spread secrets of someone’s private life without prior authorization, and is punishable by a fine or up to one year of imprisonment. The same act committed with the intent of embezzlement or of damaging another person, is punishable by a fine or up to two years of imprisonment.
  • Article 127, Criminal Code. Unlawfully taking the child. States that it is a crime to unlawfully take a child from the person exercising parental authority or entrusted to raise and educate him, as well as not giving the child to the other parent in breach of the court order. This crime is punishable by a fine or up to six months of imprisonment.
  • Article 128/b, Criminal Code. Trafficking of Minors. This Article states that the recruitment, transport, transfer, hiding or reception of minors with the purpose of exploitation for prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced services or work, slavery or forms similar to slavery, putting to use or transplanting organs, as well as other forms of exploitation, are punished with imprisonment for a term of between seven to fifteen years and a fine of between 4,000,000 to 6,000,000 lek. An aggravated penalty of imprisonment for between fifteen and 20 years and a fine between 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 lek will apply for the organization, management and financing of the trafficking of minors. Where this offense is committed jointly by more than one person or more than once, or is accompanied by mistreatment and making the victim commit various actions through physical or psychological force, or brings serious consequences to health, an increased penalty of imprisonment for no less than fifteen years and a fine between 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 lek will be imposed. If the victim dies as a result of the crime, the offender will be liable to a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment or imprisonment for life, as well as to a fine ranging from 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 lek. The Article also states that where the offense is committed through the utilization of a state function or public service, the punishment of imprisonment and the fines are increased by one fourth of the punishment given.

2002 - The Albanian parliament ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, requiring an immediate need for Albanian authorities to direct attention to the issue. As a result, Albanian authorities moved to amend their criminal code according to the requirements of the Council.

2008/2009 - Albanian authorities again amended the Criminal Code to reflect new developments in the area of cybercrime and cybersecurity. Additionally, the Council of Ministers approved The Cross-cutting Strategy on Information Society 2008-2013 (CSIS), a strategic document that defined objectives for the development of information society over the period 2008–2013. Although child victimization was not explicitly mentioned, cyber security and online privacy were cited as a priorities in the government’s goal of establishing an e-government framework.

2011 - Established the National Agency for Computer Security (ALCIRT) with the mission of identifying and anticipating cyber threats, which identified major gaps in legislation regarding cybercrime that inhibit proper proper response to such threats.

2012 - Albania became a member of the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online (launched by EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström and US Attorney General Eric Holder). Alliance countries commit themselves to developing policies and initiatives that: - Enhance efforts to identify victims and ensuring that they receive the necessary assistance, support and protection; - Enhance efforts to investigate cases of child sexual abuse online and to identify and prosecute offenders; - Increase children’s awareness of online risks, and; - Reduce the availability of child pornography online and the re-victimization of children.

2013 - Created a Code of Conduct, under which the largest Albanian electronic communications companies and the IT association company AITA pledged to deliver technical filtration techniques and parental advice for the protection of youth from harmful electronic communications.

2014 - In their 2014 report to the Global Alliance, Albania reported that they had taken the following steps to combat online victimization:

Training sessions were conducted by through the School of Magistrates for judges, prosecutors and judicial police officers regarding computer-related criminal offences, new definitions of cybercrimes, computer-related fraud counterfeiting, and computer-related crimes connected with offences such as child pornography, xenophobia, racism, intellectual property, court decisions.

Attorney General Adriatik Llalla signed into effect and order “On the organization and functioning of Cyber Crime Division”, which created a Cybercrime sector within the Prosecutor General’s office. The Cybercrime sector has a primary focus on addressing the crime of pornography, as well as educating prosecutors about the development of cyber investigations and the management of digital evidence.

Minister of the Interior approved a reorganization of the State Police, under which the Sector for Computer-Related Crimes will not be under the subordination of the Directorate for Economic and Financial Crime but it will be directly subordinate from the Police Deputy Director General for Organized Crime and Serious Crimes (to better support all departments), and will not include seven topical specialists and an IT specialist. The unit has a primary focus of investigating abusive materials involving juveniles online.

Held conferences, public awareness campaigns, and workshops for teachers and administrators on how to combat child online exploitation.

Created a hotline in partnership between the Ministry of Welfare, Youth and Sports and the Civil Society and the Ministry of Interior, for reporting cases of child images of child sexual abuse.

2015 - Published The Cross-cutting Strategy on Information Society 2015-2020 which reported progress since the first Strategy in 2008 and communicated goals and challenges for the continued development of cybersecurity and safer internet practices. The report specifically noted the education of youth in safe internet practices as a priority of education and the protection of children’s rights as a priority of law enforcement.