OSCE Presence, Tirana University Establish Research Centre on Transitional Justice in Albania

The OSCE Presence in Albania and the University of Tirana launched the Centre for Justice and Transformation – a multi-disciplinary research centre in the field of transitional justice – at an online event on 26 November 2020.
This was announced by the press office of OSCE Office in Tirana on Friday.
The Centre will strengthen the scientific research and debate regarding human rights violations during the Communist regime. It will also focus on the impact that transitional justice measures have in advancing human rights and democratization of institutions in Albania. The Centre is a collaboration among the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of History and Philology, and is situated in the premises of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
“We strongly believe that truth-seeking and the collection and dissemination of information on past violations are essential to creating a safe environment for the progressive promotion and protection of the human rights,” said Vincenzo Del Monaco, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, at the launch event. “As a fundamental part of Albanian society, the young generation of students and researchers have the right to participate in the national discourse on dealing with the past. Young people should be provided with the scientific methodological tools for their effective participation in better understanding Albanian history and its effects on the current society and institutional framework. This would pave the way for a society without fear and in full respect of human dignity and rights.”
Artan Hoxha, rector of the University of Tirana, also stressed the importance of young generations to being better informed about Albania’s past. He thanked the Presence for the support, and said that the Centre would serve as a basis for the three faculties involved to have an interdisciplinary programme to be finalized with a Master’s Programme in Transitional Justice.
Representatives of national and international institutions working on transitional justice, faculty deans, lecturers engaged with the project, academia members and diplomatic corps also attended the event.
The Presence initiated the establishment of the Centre as part of its broader efforts to foster research and critical inquiry in the field of transitional justice in Albania, enhance academic analysis and contribute to a better-informed public and academic discourse on how to deal with the past. The project establishing the Centre is funded by the German and Swiss governments.
Since 2015, the OSCE Presence has supported a national dialogue in Albania about the human rights violations under the Communist regime. The efforts brought together various actors and stakeholders, including former-prosecuted people and about 1,500 young people across the country. In 2017 and 2018, the Presence supported the functioning and capacity-building of the newly established authority charged with opening the files of the Communist-era secret service. In 2018, the Presence, in co-operation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, launched its support to the development of a multi-disciplinary research concept on transitional justice, and to promoting its findings.