Thank you, Mr. President. Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of Albania Centre for Population and Development and the Sexual Rights Initiative.
Despite the commitments made by Albania during its second review, and the positive developments since, specific obstacles to the realization of the right to health and to sexual and reproductive health services by vulnerable groups persist throughout Albania.
Persons facing multiple and intersecting forms of oppression, particularly rural women, Roma and Egyptian persons, as well as persons with non-normative sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, sex workers, men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs experience limited access to healthcare services generally and sexual and reproductive health services in particular. We therefore welcome Albania’s acceptance of recommendations relating to ensuring non discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, age, gender, HIV status among other grounds, for individuals accessing healthcare services. We also welcome Albania’s acceptance of a recommendation calling for sexuality education as part of increasing access to healthcare services and prevention programs. This will require Albania to address the many structural and institutional barriers to healthcare as well as the social stigma and discrimination that arises out of harmful gender norms and beliefs.
With regard to the implementation of the recommendation on Comprehensive Sexuality Education - Albania must ensure that CSE extends to children and young people based in non-formal or out of school settings including young people on the margins.. Many young persons from key populations are not in school, often as a result of the discrimination they experience in schools, and are not reached by school-based programs.
In order for these recommendations to be truly effective, Albania must ensure consistent and meaningful participation of persons affected by discrimination and oppression in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of programs and services.