ARSIS, organisation from Albania, partner on the ARYSE project held panel discussion on 29th december 2018. at Hotel Prince of Lake, Shkodër. The Participants were from: General Department of State Social Service, State Agency for the Protection of Children’s Rights, Ministry of Health and Social Assistance, Department of Social Policies, Regional Department of Education from Shkodra, Municipality of Tirana, Department of Social Services, State Police, Section of Domestic Violence and Minors, Child Protection Units officers, civil society organisations and members of the Roma community.

The main topics for discussion were issues Roma and Egyptian youth integration programmes and the youth and child friendly juvenile justice reform.

Representatives of State Social Service spoke about strategy of social inclusion 2016-2020 and the national reform of social services 2013-2018, the action plan for the inclusion of Roma population, Government’s policy on youth employment, with particular emphasis on opportunities for the young Roma.

Representative of State Agency for the Protection of Children’s Rights spoke about the roles that child protection units play in support of Roma children and their families. They made a general overview on the implementation of the National Agenda for the Rights of Children 2017 – 2020, the Action Plan for the Protection of Children from Economic Exploitation and Support for the Children in Street Situation 2018-2020, the amended Law 18/2017 ‘For the Rights and Protection of Children’; the working groups that are drafting various by-laws that will make this law implementable.

Representative of the Department of Social Care and Inclusion of Municipality of Tirana spoke about the role that the community centers operated by the Municipality of Tirana play in support of the Roma children, youth and their families.

The representative of social services in the Municipality of Tirana spoke about the joint programs of CSOs in support of Roma youth. She emphasised this cooperation on several daily community and drop-in centers for children and youth elderly persons that the Municipality operates jointly with CSOs service providers, capacity building to the employees of Child Protection Units and employees of social services of the Municipality, identification of needs for the Roma population in the frame of the social services reform.

Child Protection Workers spoke about the daily routines of the child protection units, their role on referral of Roma youth to various businesses and vocational centres.

All the participants expressed the pivotal role that the civil society organisations play in supporting Roma children, youth and families.