Date: 9 July 2018, Tirana, Albania

In Focus: Protection of National Minorities and the Human Rights Dinamics


On 9 July, the “Qemal Stafa” Foundation held the next panel, focusing on the National Minorities. The guests were: Ms. Vasilika Hysi, Head of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Mr. Igli Totozani, Former Ombudsman, Mrs. Arthur Dralo Deputy Minister, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lisen Bashkurti, President, Diplomatic Academy Tirana. The moderator was Ms. Teuta Vodo, Executive Director of the “Qemal Stafa” Foundation.

The discussion panel was focused on the diversity, tolerance and coexistence among national minorities as an added value of Albanian society, as well as the draft law “On the Protection of National Minorities”, which significantly improves the legal framework for minority protection in our country.

In the last 20 years these minorities have been trying to gain their rights as special minorities. After the entry into force of the Law No.96 / 2017 “On the Protection of National Minorities”, Albanian institutions were involved in an intensive work to improve the sub-legal framework, in accordance with the obligations deriving from this law. It is precisely this law and these by-laws that will enable the effectiveness and validity of these rights.

Mrs. Vasilika Hysi, with a longstanding experience since 2000 as Head of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and as a pedagogue, showed that national minorities have had many potecial young with potential and stressed in particular the need to identify them as a necessity not only in the premise of their culture, but of the whole country. She also spoke about the great influence that will be given by the by-laws as a regulator of the various areas of daily life of minorities, facilitating many procedures. Vasilika Hysi claimed that she would continue to give the most of her contribution to fulfilling all the requirements demanded by national minorities.

It was not left unnoticed the big media noise regarding this law. Mr. Igli Totozani in his extensive experience showed openly how widely the hate speech has characterized this subject, not only for the minorities in our country but also for the Albanian emigrants themselves. It is intolerable to despise those who work hard for the development of Albania.

However Mrs. Artemis Dralo claimed that Albania has lived harmoniously with the minorities, saying this not from the post as deputy minister but as a member of the Greek minority, further clarifying the innovations of the commission, which is a step towards development, where the form of self-declaration will enable national minorities to preserve and develop their distinct identity and not just that, it will serve as the identifier of new minorities. As far as education is concerned, it is thought to be a mechanism for defining the minority pupils and the creation of additional classes for teaching their language, culture and history.

Mr. Lisen Bashkurti called minorities as a capillary that circulate their culture throughout the country, thus as an indispensable part of our culture. Soon our country will no longer have laws for national minorities, but numerous and consolidated laws on Human Rights, equal rights, regardless of religion, language and culture.The purpose of this panel was to highlight the importance that national minorities have as well as their inclusion in public, cultural, social and economic life as individuals with equal rights.

The values ​​and contribution of persons belonging to minorities are undoubtedly a coexistence of the community, but also of Albanian society. Commitment to the promotion and protection of minority rights is a reality but also a challenge for further improvement in accordance with European standards.