|SC||Variations of sex characteristics|
|GR1||Legal gender recognition without self-determination|
|GR2||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (over 16)|
|GR3||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (under 16)|
|FPN||LGBTI focal points network|
|CA||Ministerial call to action|
The Law on pre-university education (2012, art. 4) grants the right to education for all people, without discrimination in terms of gender identity or sexual orientation. Moreover, the Law on protection from discrimination (2010) states that discrimination on these grounds is prohibited, emphasising the role of the Ministry of Education and the duties imposed on the directors of educational institutions across the country. According to the law, the Council of Ministers and the Minister of Education and Science are each responsible for taking measures of a positive nature in order to combat discrimination in connection with the right to education and the inclusion of anti-discrimination concepts and practices in the relevant teaching curriculums. The directors of educational institutions are responsible for fighting against models of behaviour that constitute or encourage discrimination within the institution; taking necessary measures, including disciplinary measures, for the protection of employees from discrimination and victimisation (which actions are to be taken within one month of receiving knowledge thereof); handling of complaints about discrimination in the institution, examining every complaint within 30 days from its submission; and imposing disciplinary measures against any person who is confirmed as having performed a discriminatory act when such a measure is appropriate, proportional and in conformity with the of such directors.
In July 2015, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth of Albania held a consultative meeting on LGBTI rights, with the participation of educational experts, LGBTI and human rights organisations, and all the relevant ministries and organisations involved in the promotion of equal rights, to present and provide inputs on the action plan for non-discrimination of LGBTI people. As a result of this meeting, a national action plan on LGBTI issues was presented. The National Action Plan on LGBTI People 2016-2020 defines the inclusion of LGBTI issues in the field of legislation and policy development, safety and protection of rights and access to service. This document provides specific indicators for the Ministry of Education and Sport.
In 2015-2016, Albania specifically coordinated a national action plan to foster the engagement of the school, families, the community, state institutions and civil society organisations to prevent and deal with cases of violence in schools, the protection of children’s rights, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. The plan Stop violence in schools specifically mentions homophobic and transphobic bullying, following the advice of PINK Embassy to the Ministry of Education. The document specifies many different areas of work, such as preventing violence, raising awareness, and teaching school staff. Among other measures, the plan states that the government must cooperate with civil society organisations, conduct a national study on the elimination of violence in schools, organise extracurricular activities, and support learners’ and parents’ communities for campaigns to tackle bullying in schools.
The National Action Plan on LGBTI People 2016-2020 states that schools should ensure inclusive curricula and teacher training. However, civil society organisations report that this is still not properly implemented.At this stage, the subjects of history, civic education and Albanian language classes have some basic information on human rights and discrimination. LGBTQI topics, however, are not addressed explicitly.
Likewise, the Law on Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS/STIs (2008, Art. 13) compels the Ministry of Education and Science to include curricula and text books regarding the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in the national education program on sexual and reproductive health. Local organisations, however, report that the extent to which these materials must be inclusive of LGBTQI people is not mentioned.
Although the National Action Plan on LGBTI People 2016-2020 (see Education curricula) establishes teacher training should be in place, this is currently not mandatory and, according to civil society organisations, teachers are not adequately prepared to deal with bullying and harassment. Furthermore, it is reported that some teachers still make homophobic, biphobic, transphobic or interphobic statements. The Action Plan states that the Ministry of Education is obliged to reduce discrimination of LGBTI people in education by reviewing the curricula at all educational levels and training educational employees (objective 3.2) and to prepare the training curriculum for pre-university education teachers (objective 3.2.4).
Some universities and civil society organisations offer affirming teacher training on LGBTQI awareness. In particular, PINK Embassy signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Education and Sports to raise awareness of teachers and youth in Albanian schools in relation to bullying and discrimination present tools on how to tackle it, and to assist the government in its efforts to review school curricula and education programs.
There are no clear legal or administrative proceedings to change name or gender marker.
The Law on protection from discrimination (2010) appoints a Commissioner to serve for a five-year term and submit an annual report. The Commissioner is entitled to examine complaints, take polls in connection with discrimination, publish reports, make recommendations and meet with civil society organisations. LGBTQI organisations have complained on the performance of the Commissioner for lack of substantial work on LGBTQI rights.
A study was carried out by the organisation Pink Embassy (supported by the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination and the Ministry of Education and Sports) in 2016. The Adolescent experiences of discrimination at school (2016) report is the first national study with a large sample size. According to this research, 1 in 4 adolescents would not accept the sexual orientation or gender identity of their LGBTQI peers, and 64% of adolescents said they did not respect their LGBTQI friends at school. On the other hand, 5% of learners said reported feeling discriminated because of their gender identity. Finally, 82.3% of the students knew about the Law on Protection from Discrimination2010, but only 5.3% thought that it protected the LGBTQI community.
LGBTQI learners who have experienced violence, have the possibility to report it to the Commissioner for Protection from Discrimination. Likewise, ALO 116 is a national helpline run by an NGO that provides assistance to children and adolescents on LGBTQI issues, including bullying and violence. Students know they can access these two services.
There is no specific information or guidelines for LGBTQI learners.
In November 2014, PINK Embassy signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Education and Sports to report on the situation of LGBTQI learners at school and to implement training for teachers and students. Civil society organisations, however, report that the government provides little support to NGOs overall.
– Albania signed the Call for Action by Ministers – Inclusive and equitable education for all learners in an environment free from discrimination and violence.
– Albania is member of the European Governmental LGBTI Focal Points Network.
Fighting homophobic and transphobic bullying in Albanian schools
Covers: SO, GIE and SC
This project is being carried out by PINK Embassy and LGBT Pro, and its main goal is to increase the awareness of education institutions and the community of students and parents about the importance of safe environments free of violence and bullying, and to assess the level of homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination in school environments in Tirana, Durres, Elbasan and Shkodra.