On 13 April 2018, at the initiative of the former Ombudsperson Igli Totozani, the Albanian Parliament, in cooperation with the Council of Europe and the European Union, hosted a high level roundtable on protection mechanism for human rights defenders. Over 60 senior representatives of the key Albanian state institutions, civil society, media, academia and international community exchanged on the legal and practical aspects pertaining to human rights defenders in Albania and how to foster their protection.
All speakers highlighted the challenges faced worldwide by human rights defenders and pressed for the responsibility of the State to encourage and create favorable conditions for human rights defenders to participate in public life, dialogue with the authorities and co-operation with national and international stakeholders.
The event concluded that a follow up resolution in the light of the UN Declaration shall be prepared and submitted for approval in the Albanian Assembly.
(Source: Council of Europe, see https://www.coe.int/en/web/tirana/news/-/asset_publisher/SENehJ2ESZrW/content/initiative-to-support-human-rights-defenders-in-albania )
On 3 March 2019, the Parliament of Albania passed a resolution in support of the Activity of Human Rights Defenders towards the promotion, and protection of Human Rights and strengthening of the Rule of Law and Democracy in Albania. Amongst others, the resolution recognises the challenges that human rights defenders face regarding protection of rights of marginalised groups, including women, children, disabled people, victims of violence and trafficking, minorities and LGBTIQ people or those who belong to these groups, the right of migrants or displaced people.
On 12 May, the European Parliament’s Sub-committee for Human Rights carried out a consultation table on this resolution, gathering many actors from various institutions, UN agencies, international organisations and civil society organisations involved with and working for the protection of human rights.
Following this consultation table, the Sub-committee for Human Rights of Albanian Parliament shall develop a report regarding the current situation, challenges and recommendations for the future of the work of human rights defenders with the input from all actors and shall submit it to the Parliamentary Committee for Legal Issues, Public Administration and Human Rights.
(Source: The European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, see https://www.epfweb.org/node/424)
No further public information are available about eventual steps taken towards setting up a HRD protection mechanism, as initially discussed by the Albanian Parliament (see above).