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Altin Hazizaj's picture
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Tirana, 29 January 2013 – The Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania (CRCA) presented today at a BECAN National Conference the results of the study “Violence against Children in Albania in the framework of the Balkan Epidemiological Study on Child Abuse and Neglect (B.E.C.A.N). This study aimed the identification of the number of reported and discovered cases of abuse and neglect towards children of nine Balkan countries. With the participation of the Study Research Group, the Board of Ethics, national and international personalities, students and media the conference shed light on the methodology of the study, the research itself and the results.

B.E.C.A.N is one of the largest studies ever conducted in Europe and in the case of the Balkans covers a sample of 30.000 children and parents interviewed. The importance of the study’s results and its innovative character are a novelty because so far there has been no data at disposal on the spread of abuse and neglect in the Balkans overall but also in singular states of the region. The epidemiological study B.E.C.A.N which is being conducted in nine Balkan states; Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Romania and Serbia will map the spread of maltreatment of children from the age group 11-16 years old who are attending school but who have also abandoned it. The population which is object of this study has been studied through representative samples of parent-child couples from each participating country, applying the two I-CAST questionnaires (I Cast_Ch for children and I Cast_P for parents) conducted by the International Society for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect (IPSCAN) with the support of UNICEF.


The number of children included in the study is 4351 from whom 3328 replied to the questionnaire in valid form. Meanwhile 2443 parents became part of the study. The questionnaire was filled in by 54% girls and 46% boys. As it regards socio-demographic characteristics it seems that part of the study where children of the age-group 11, 35.7%, 13, 36.18% and 16, 28%. The study group visited 61 schools all across Albania and 148 classes, 5th, 7th and 10th grades. As for demographics, 46% of respondents live in rural areas and 54% in urban areas.

The results are reported according to prevalence and incidence. Prevalence shows the percentage of children who have experienced at least one of the behaviours, which are considered violence against children. Incidence is the percentage of children who have experience at least once throughout the last year one of the behaviours included in the violence against children category.

The study has focused on identifying the prevalence and incidence of the violence against children in the following forms: psychological violence, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence and the feeling of neglect. The study also reports also on the positive and non-violent forms of educating children and the percentage of cases of children who have had no cases of violence in their lives according to prevalence and incidence.

The study reports the following main findings:


Psychological violence among children: Prevalence 69% / Incidence 62%, meanwhile 28% of children declare that they have never suffered psychological violence.


Physical violence among children: Prevalence 59% / Incidence 48%, meanwhile 38% of children declare that they have never been victims of physical violence in the family.


Sexual harassment among children: Prevalence 11% / Incidence 9%, meanwhile 86% of children declare that they have never had experiences of sexual harassment.


Sexual violence:  Prevalence 4.9% / Incidence 4%, meanwhile 93% of children declare that they have never been victims of sexual violence.


Feeling of negligence: Prevalence 26% / Incidence 22%, meanwhile 71% of children declare that they have never felt abandoned or neglected in their family.

If we see data separated according to gender, we see that girls report a higher degree of violence compared to boys (70% prevalence/63%)/ meanwhile boys report (67% of prevalence and 60% of incidence).

As regards physical violence data do not represent deep changes between boys and girls (prevalence: 61% of girls and 58% of boys). Meanwhile incidence is reported 49% o girls and 48% on boys.

In relation to sexual harassment, the prevalence of sexual harassment is reported 8% on girls and 14% on boys, meanwhile incidence is reported 6% on girls and almost 13% on boys. As regards sexual violence it is reported with 2% prevalence on girls and 8% on boys. Meanwhile incidence is almost 1.5% on girls and 7.5 % on boys.

In relation to the feeling of neglect it is reported mostly on girls than boys. The prevalence on girls is 31% meanwhile boys report only 20%. Meanwhile incidence is 27% on girls and 16% on boys.

According to Mrs. Vera Garvilova, vc. Representative of UNICEF in Albania,“the socio-cultural complexity of these studies is too big. Meanwhile this study will have a great value to compare data with those of other countries from the region.”

Dr. Enila Cenko, Director of the B.E.C.A.N study for Albania, in her presentation added that this study is very important for measures to take in the future, because they measure domestic violence directly which is also supported by a high scientific and methodological standard.

A positive and interesting factor of the study has been the Board of Ethics, headed by Prof. Assoc. Dr. Edlira Haxhiymeri, who in her presentation added that “this study put focus for the first time on ethical issues, especially because it is directed to a group of young people who are also very sensitive to rights.”


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