More than thousand Albanian immigrants are stateless, UNHCR says

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 9, 2018 15:38

More than thousand Albanian immigrants are stateless, UNHCR says

Story Highlights

  • More than half of them were born from unmarried parents, or at homes and maternity wards that did not keep accurate record of the parents.

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TIRANA, June 9 – According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Tirana Legal Aid Association, at least 1,300 people, mostly children born in Greece, are stateless in Albania, thus losing any state service.

More than half of them were born from unmarried parents, or at homes and maternity wards that did not keep accurate record of the parents.

Among the persons born outside Albanian territory are mainly Roma and Egyptian children born in Greece.

The report on the number of population endangered by statelessness in the country says these persons are mainly Albanian immigrants born in other states that were not registered and are now facing difficulties confirming their statehood.

“The UNHCR and TLAS aims to identify and register stateless people. We reduced the number from thousands to hundred, but we need authorities’ help to move on,” said Raimonda Bozo, head of the TLAS.

Meanwhile, Roma community activists claim the number might be even higher than what records show, as stateless persons are difficult to identify.

“The actual number is bigger both for the children of the majority and those of national minorities. There is a need for political will to go over these barriers that prevent minorities’ children from gaining an education and leading a normal life. They are stateless for some generations, starting from their mothers and grandmothers and this is an open wound,” Ferit Milaj, from the Roma Union of Albanians said.

The initiative is bringing together the ministry of foreign affairs, the interior minister and the health and education ministries for an improved registration of stateless people and their eventual re-entering to the social benefits system.

Different studies prove Albanian law does not address the legal, social and political discrimination experienced by Roma minorities, which begins from the non-registration of their children to leaving them out of the system of social services for many years.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 9, 2018 15:38