A round table on anticorruption policies and respect for human rights

20 March 2006

Under the aegis and with financial support of the Soros Foundation in Albania a round table was held on 20 March 2006 to discuss anticorruption measures and ensuing human rights infringements as they represent the mission of such organizations as Albanian Helsinki Committee, the Human Rights Group, the Albanian Center of Human Rights, the Center for Parliamentary Studies and the Center for Civic and Legal Action.

The participants at the round table discussed about the latest instruments proposed by the government to fight corruption. They reiterated that anticorruption policies are important and therefore enjoy the support of civil society and the public at large. These policies are necessary to ensure the country’s development, consolidate democracy and underwrite Albania’s efforts to integrate with the European Union. However, special care should be taken so that governmental policies do not violate fundamental human rights and freedoms. Furthermore, enjoyment of human rights and freedoms in accordance with the Constitution is one of the pre-requisites for the success of these initiatives.

This is the stand also adopted by the society at large and especially by representatives of civil society organizations fighting for democracy and human rights. These organizations have closely followed the government’s exercise of its law making prerogatives particularly those relating to anticorruption. They have systematically sent reports to the Speaker of the Parliament, the members of the law Commission, etc. In their discussions, all of the participants representing the media, academia, and civil society organizations shared the concern of the round table organizers that anti-corruption is important to ensure the country’s development and progress, however it should be waged in accordance with laws protecting human rights and civic liberties.

  1. The following laws were the object of concern:
  2. Draft law concerning “Cooperation of the public in the fight against corruption”;
  3. Decisions of the Council of Ministers concerning the avoidance of nepotism in the civil service, the tax and customs administrations, more specifically the Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 43 dated 27 January 2006 concerning “the control of nepotism and traffic influences in the recruitment and promotion of personnel in the tax administration”; Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 44, dated 27 January 2006 concerning “Nepotism in the civil service”, Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 48, dated 27 January 2006 concerning “Some additions in the Decision No. 205 , dated 13 April 1999 of the Council of Ministers on the approval of applicable provisions of the Customs Code of the republic of Albania” with changes.
    Draft law “For some changes in the law No. 8457, dated 11 February 1999 “On Classified Information”.
  4. Moratorium on sailing vessels.

The meeting ended with a joint statement by the participants calling on the Government and Parliament to respect the country’s laws and constitution as well as the international instruments to which Albania is a party to.

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