People’s Advocate (Avokat i Popullit) defends the rights, freedoms and lawful interests of individuals from unlawful and incorrect acts or omissions of public administration bodies as well as third parties acting on its behalf. Established in 2000, its mission is to prevent potential conflicts between public administration and the individual.
The People’s Advocate Institution was mentioned for the first time in the Albanian Constitution adopted in November 1998, while the Law No. 8454 “On the People’s Advocate Institution” (amended later on) was adopted by the Albanian Parliament on 4 February 1999. The Ombudsman is elected by a three-fifths majority of all members of the Assembly for a period of 5 years, with the right to be re- elected.
The Ombudsman acts on the basis of the complaint or request submitted to his office. He also operates on his own initiative, in special occasions, which are communicated to the public. It’s not the Ombudsman who decides directly himself to re-instate the rights of petitioners, but he makes recommendations to remedy the violation of the right by a public administration body which has caused the violation. In cases where the relevant body does not respond to the recommendations of the Ombudsman, the latter may address gradually to higher bodies in hierarchy up to the Assembly (Parliament) with a report proposing concrete measures for restitution of the violated right.
The People’s Advocate Institution is organized in five sections:
- Administration and Citizens Section
- Special Section
- General Section
- Children Rights Protection Section, and
- the National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture (NPM).
The purpose of the NPM section is the implementation of regular visits to all areas of public institutions where the freedom of the individual is limited. To this purpose, inspections, visits and any other form of control concerning the institutions of the State Police, Penitentiary (prisons and jails), Psychiatric and Infectious hospitals, military bases and units, in the Regional Border and Migration Directories and other centres’ housing illegal migrants and trafficked persons, are made to provide a comprehensive coverage of monitoring the situation of human rights in these institutions, to prevent violations and hold an official stand on the problems encountered.
Head of institution
Ms. Erinda Ballanca, People’s Advocate
Blv. Zhan D’Ark, Nr. 2, Tiranë, Albania
Year of establishment
Year of accreditation
Number of staff
- Equality Body Monitoring body under CRPD Art 33(2)
- National Preventive Mechanism under OPCAT Art. 3 (NPM)
- National Rapporteur or equivalent mechanisms on trafficking (under Trafficking Directive Art. 19)
- Forced Return Monitoring Body under Return Directive Art. 8(6)
- Publishing research, recommendations, opinions
- Reporting to international and regional human rights mechanisms
- Complaints handling
- Advising government, parliament and other public bodies
- Supporting the work of human rights defenders
- Cooperation with civil society organisations
- Human rights education and training
- Awareness raising activities