BLOG “Current situation faced by young people in Albania”


Albania, mainly in recent years, has seen a development both in infrastructure and in the alignment of legislation and policies with the countries of the European Union. But, despite continuous efforts to build a state with a functional democracy, which protects, respects and listens to its citizens as well as promotes human rights, we are still faced with the lack of mechanisms that would make it possible to increase citizen participation, mainly of young people in decision-making processes, consultation and listening to their voice.

Young people in our country make up about 23% of the population, thus becoming the most vital part of society, as well as indisputable potential for development both intellectually and economically. Despite this, young people in Albania have faced and continue to face challenges and difficulties, which have had and continue to have a very negative impact on their well-being.

In this context, referring to the National Observation “Youth: Regression or Progress?” (August 2022) are a number of reasons and factors that have influenced the decrease in their well-being, as well as the increase in the desire to leave the country for a better life and future.

Therefore, Security Issues in the country are considered by young people as one of the main problems, where about 80% of young people surveyed state that they  feel little or not at all safe in the school/university where they study; 80% of young people surveyed in employment state that they feel somewhat or not at all safe in their workplace; 87% of young people surveyed state that they feel somewhat or not at all safe in the community where they live.

While among the main factors which have influenced the reduction of security in the country are listed:
• Lack of implementation of the Law;
• Crime in the country;
• Lack of punishment;
• Corruption.

On the other hand, the well-being of young people has decreased significantly in recent years, taking into account the challenges and difficulties that young people faced as a result of the pandemic and post-pandemic of Covid 19. Also, the effects of the war in Ukraine have affected not few young Albanians, who were facing difficulties in meeting the costs of living. In this context, 97% of the young people surveyed say that the increase in prices has affected their well-being a lot or somehow, while 89% of the young people surveyed say that with the increase in prices they find it impossible or very difficult to afford the cost of living!

Education in Albania is another priority area which young people seem to have "left in the classroom". 77% of the surveyed young people consider  the education system to be of low quality and comprehensive, while 74% of the surveyed young people say that their problems and challenges are not taken into account by the educational institutions in Albania.

Young people in Albania list the following factors as having a negative impact on the quality of education in the country:
• Lack of infrastructure;
• Lack of meritocracy;
• Corruption;
• Poor quality of teaching;
• Lack of quality teaching curricula.

Employment in Albania, especially for young people, has already become one of the main reasons for their departure from the country. In this context, 85% of the young people surveyed say that it is very difficult to find a job in the profession after completing their studies, meanwhile 55% of the other young people say that meritocracy does not work in Albania to find a job , as well as 58% of young people say that young people are not treated with dignity at all, in cases where they are employed.

On the other hand, the emigration of young people has become a scourge of Albanian society. Our country is facing, especially in recent years, an extraordinary wave of young immigrants. Chronicles often tell us that our young people are ready to risk their lives, just to leave the country. In the last 10 years alone, over 140,000 young people have left the country. Meanwhile, 76% of the young people surveyed say that they see their future away from Albania, and 58% of the young people surveyed say that they would not return to Albania after leaving.

Of course, the factors mentioned above are some of the driving factors for young people to leave, but they are not the only ones. Young Albanians seem to have lost the credibility that positive changes for them can come from Political Parties, much less from Civil Society Organizations. Therefore, when young people were asked about the level of trust they have in political parties, 95% of them stated that they have little or no trust in political parties, and 96% of them stated that political parties had little or no will to solving their problems. As a result, 40% of the surveyed young people say that they will not vote in the 2023 local elections.

The situation is so gloomy for Civil Society Organizations, for which 92% of young people do not trust the work of CSOs. Meanwhile, another 89% of young people say that there are few or no organizations that really work with and for young people.

The influence of politics seems to have affected the level of trust that young people have in CSOs, and in this respect 93% of other young people say that CSOs are little or not independent from politics, as well as 80 % of young people think that civil society organizations work more for their interest than for the real solution of young people’s problems.

According to the above, all the above-mentioned factors seek to bring to the attention of the decision-making institutions, all the problems and challenges faced by young people in Albania, encouraging a stable dialogue between the central and local authorities with a focus on laws, policies and strategies for young people. The real voice of every young person in the country's 61 Municipalities must be heard in order to properly understand their situation in the community where they live! There is a lot of talk about young people, but is youth really the main focus?!

* This publication was funded by the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Youth Act Center and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.