Minority Rights and the Republic of Albania: Missing the Implementation
Abstract: Albania has started its way to reform the newly established democratic system, since the early 90's. The legal system was one between others to be modified in compliance with the international standards set up in the international instruments. Among the reforms, the most important one was the establishment of the human rights standards, especially concerning minority rights, which is the focus of this thesis. The thesis firstly gives a descriptive survey of the minority groups living in Albania and aims at defining the minority groups. It will also point out the issue of no recognition of two minority groups namely, Egyptian and Bosnian, which are considered as communities by the Albanian government. The thesis emphasises that the existence of the minority group is a matter of fact and not depending on the state's recognition. In that perspective, it recommends that the government should reconsider its policy towards the two aforementioned groups and it should confer them in the future the minority rights. Furthermore, the issue of the lack of information about the accurate number of the members of the minority groups living in Albania will be examined. Bearing in mind the importance of such data with regard to the implementation and monitoring procedure of the minority rights, the thesis recommends that the Albanian government should undertake as soon as possible a general census including the ethnic data in it. Afterwards the thesis surveys the international minority rights instruments, for instance ICCPR, ICESC, ICERD, Declaration of the Minority Rights, FCNM, ECHR etc., aiming at indicating the international standard-settings and the international tendency towards the protection of the minority groups, which in turn Albania should respect as far as it ratified those instruments and committed itself to such international provisions. After describing the international standards, the thesis shifts to the domestic legal framework on minority rights. Hence, it analyzes the national legal rules and examines the deficiencies and gaps in it. Keeping in mind that the ensuring of the full enjoyment and realization of minority rights goes beyond the setting of the standards, the most important part of the thesis is the analysis of the actual implementation of those rights. The survey shows that Albania is missing the implementation of the minority rights in practice. It also indicates that the minority groups do not enjoy on the same footing, minority rights provided for them. Bearing in mind that the primary responsibility to ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of minority rights lies with the state, the thesis at the end gives some recommendations aiming to improve the current situation.
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