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New National Strategy on Migration of the Republic of Albania to be fully rooted in the GCM

In response to the call by the President of the GA, the Coordinator of the UN Network on Migration and the Principals of the Network's Executive Committee, the pledge of the Government of Albania is to develop the next National Strategy on Migration and Action Plan fully rooted in the GCM, prioritizing the GCM objectives as per country context, through a whole of government and whole of society approach.

The National Strategy on Migration and Action Plan 2023 onwards represents the Government of Albania’s ongoing commitment to facilitate and promote regular and prevent irregular migration (GCM obj. 3, 4 & 5), paying attention to addressing the needs of those exposed to vulnerabilities (GCM obj. 2, 7, 9, 10), improving labour migration policy (GCM obj. 5 & 6), as well as capitalizing on benefits of good migration governance, enhancing its development impact to the benefit of migrants, cohesive societies and sustainable development (GCM obj. 16, 18, 19, 20 & 22).

Albania is a country of emigration, with one third of the population living outside. The majority of migrants are present in neighbouring countries, Italy and Greece, accounted for almost 75% of emigrants in 2019, although there is a growing trend residing in other European countries as well as North America. The Household Migration Survey conducted by National Institute of Statistics and IOM (2020) estimated that the net migration out of Albania was 364,034 persons between 2011 and 2019. As of 2020, INSTAT (2020b) estimated the Albanian emigration stock living abroad at 1.68 million people, equivalent to 59% of the current resident population.

Albania is increasingly becoming a country of destination. This includes migrants in search of employment, students, asylum seekers and refugees. Although numbers are relatively small, the Government recognizes the importance of migrants’ rights and how their integration benefits societies. Accordingly, Albania has dedicated a chapter to migrants’ rights and integration in the current Strategy (GCM obj. 15, 16 & 17).

Albania is affected by mixed migration flows transiting the country and the region and there is a need for relevant information on rights and obligations under national laws and procedures, including entry and stay, forms of protection, as well as options for return and reintegration, to be appropriately, promptly and effectively communicated and accessible. The management of these flows with a protection sensitive focus is one of the priorities of the border authorities and other stakeholders providing support services (GCM obj. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 21).

The new strategy will be a step towards more effective migration governance, following the efforts to improve migration data and evidence (GCM obj. 1), address migration related challenges and enhance the development impact of migration, contributing to achieving GCM objectives in close partnership with international partners (GCM obj. 21).

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).