ALBANIA - Congress 2004: Call for Social Rights for Disabled Citizens

The Third National Congress of the Association of Labour Invalids of Albania - AALI - held in Tirana on October 8-9, 2004 was a good occasion to reflect

  • the activities since achievement of its official FIMITIC membership in 1994
  • continued exchange of information and experience
  • participation in consultation processes
  • support in the FIMITIC project work "social policy and employability in countries in transition"
  • common political efforts to introduce the needs of Disabled Persons on national level, especially during he European Year of People with Disabilities 2003
  • reaching good examples in the disability allowance for labour invalids besides the invalidity pension, employment of some labour invalids at private public sector companies as ticket clerks and direct tax exemption in Albania.

The year 2004 is of importance for People with Disabilities in Albania while a National Strategy on People with Disabilities has been issued by the Albanian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, developed in co-operation with an inter- Ministerial working group on disabilities issues, Albanian national disability organisations and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe - OSCE - with presence in Albania.

This is a chance to set the basis paper into real implementation into daily life of People with Disabilities. Assistance and solidarity of the international community and readiness of organizations of disabled people with their expertise and important actors however is needed.

Watching this process carefully FIMITIC will further on promote and support the reliable partners in Albania, the concept to 'get on board' should be developed soon for the important opportunity to improve the living conditions in the field of education, employment, support services and free access.

Starting deliberations were already held by the FIMITIC President with representatives of the Albanian Disability Forum - ADF - and of the OSCE on the occasion.

Traditionally a Seminar of delegations of Association of disabled workers from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Slovenia was held in the frame of the Tirana events. A resolution was initiated towards the urgent regulation need of the rights of disabled workers in the region, especially also in Kosovo, where not enough attention is paid to their living conditions and extreme poverty compared to non-disabled citizens.

FIMITIC was represented in the Tirana Congress and Seminar by its President Marija-Lidija Stiglic and its Vice-President Marjan Kroflic.