The Dimensions of the Best Interest of the Child in Albania
Keywords:Child, Best interest, Primary, Protection, Rights
The principle of the best interest of the child is a fundamental principle in international and national law, which requires that in all actions concerning children, their best interests must be a primary consideration. Albania is still a patriarchal society, and traditional cultural norms and practices sometimes conflict with children's rights and welfare. The aim of this paper is to address the challenges related to cultural and social norms and to fully implement the principle in Albanian context. In Albania, this principle is enshrined in various legal instruments, including the Constitution, the Family Code, and the Law on the Protection of Children's Rights etc. As a result, the paper analyses the principal of best interest of the child in custody and guardianship cases, adoption proceedings, divorce process and child protection cases. In this context, the paper is focused in “Balancing the elements in the best-interests assessment”. However, despite these legal and institutional frameworks, Albania still faces challenges in fully implementing the principle of the best interest of the child. One of the main challenges is the lack of resources and capacities to adequately protect and promote children's rights, particularly for marginalized and vulnerable children. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated these challenges, with increased reports of child abuse and neglect. In these conditions, the paper presents appropriate recommendations in order to have full implementation of this principle in Albania.
Received: 4 January 2023 / Accepted: 25 February 2023 / Published: 20 March 2023
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