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UNTF in Albania

Following the successful completion of the first project in Albania financed by the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women (UN Trust Fund), during November 2007-March 2010, the Network Against Gender-Based Violence and Trafficking has embarked on an expanded effort in support of the implementation of the law against domestic violence in Albania.

The current three-year project under the UN Trust Fund, which is administered by UNIFEM as part of UN Women, began in July 2010. It is being implemented in close partnership with local authorities and NGOs in ten municipalities, and with the support of central government. It continues the work in the five municipalities from the first UN Trust Fund project, i.e.: Shkodër, Rrëshen, Berat, Vlorë and Pogradec, and expands in: Pukë, Lezhë, Elbasan, Manzë, and Tirana District 6.

The goal of the project is to produce a significant and sustainable imprint in addressing violence against women and girls in Albania by:

• Replicating and strengthening the local-government-led Councils Against Domestic Violence, as comprehensive referral and coordinated community response systems for victims of gender-based violence, as well as expanding the use of the accompanying electronic tracking system and database of cases of violence against women, as a tool to map their functioning;
• Supporting skills development of central and local government actors to implement their responsibilities under the law against domestic violence;
• Engaging in the completion of the legal framework for preventing and combating gender-based violence in Albania, in the introduction of needed amendments, and the updating of relevant strategies and work plans;
• Campaigning for the allocation of a permanent and significant budget line at the central and local government institutions to initiatives to prevent and combat domestic and gender-based violence, as well as services for its survivors;
• Advocating for the establishment of the necessary legal and regulatory framework, and work processes, to enable government institutions to subcontract NGOs for services related to combating violence against women in Albania;
• Providing tailored technical assistance to a project-supported network of counseling centers and shelters that support survivors of violence, focused on the adoption of common standards of service, information management, and monitoring and evaluation, making them eligible for subcontracts by government institutions;
• Increasing societal awareness and support in combating violence against women and girls;
• Working with community members, especially men and boys, including religious leaders, teachers, university and high school students, to make gender-based violence socially unacceptable;
• Promoting and advancing the discussion on effective education programs for perpetrators in Albania.

The project implementing partners, members of the Network Against Gender-Based Violence and Trafficking, established in 1998, are: Refleksione Association, the Counseling Line for Women and Girls, the Centre for Legal Civic Initiatives, the Gender Alliance for Development Center, and the Shelter for Abused Women and Girls.