Strengthening control, administration, and social attitudes towards SALW
The Project Strengthening control, administration, and social attitudes towards SALW aims to strengthen national institutions and systems and improve collaboration and coordination between relevant institutions and affected communities for meaningful progress for an effective and efficient response to SALW/firearms threats.
The proposed interventions will contribute to consolidate and modernize the national register on firearms, enable full automated and enriched information allowing for better analytical assessments, mark further progress in the proper and safe administration of firearms and increase public awareness inviting the public to contribute and collaborate for an overall improvement of SALW control in Albania.
By the end of the Project:
- All natural or legal person possessing a weapon will be registered in the weapons system.
- The weapons system will be updated.
- All those possesing a weapon will be equipped with a digital card containing all weapon and personal data necessary for an efficient and effective verification at all times.
- The share of ASP weapons storages meeting minimum standards of storage, safety and administration of firearms, ammo. and explosives, will be increased by refurbishing 10 priority storages.
- Civic engagement in strengthening SALW control in order to significantly reduce the supply, demand and misuse of firearms will be increased by conducting an Awareness campaign about the dangers of illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of SALW.
The Western Balkan countries have agreed to abide by and implement a joint Roadmap for a sustainable solution to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition, to address challenges related to the arms proliferation and the different and deficient control frameworks in the Western Balkans.
The roadmap envisages a comprehensive approach to SALW control from updating and harmonization of the legal frameworks, improved regional cooperation and information exchange, enhanced interoperability of intelligence-led investigations, due public awareness on the dangers of weapons, gender mainstreaming in SALW control to strengthened physical security and safety of weapons storages.
Albania is fully committed to implementing the Regional Roadmap for SALW Control in the Western Balkans, as part of the country’s strategic priorities in the fight against crime and the consolidation of the rule of law, which are key priorities to be met by Albania along the EU membership process.
The roadmap provides for a comprehensive approach to SALW Control, starting with the harmonization and updating of the legal framework, improving cooperation and information exchange at the regional level, increasing interoperability in investigations led by intelligence information, raising public awareness on the risk of weapons, integration of gender in SALW Control, and safety and security of firearms storage facilities in accordance with international standards.
In Albania, as in the broader Western Balkans area, there is still a huge work ahead to establish and consolidate an appropriate SALW control framework, harmonize legislation and practices and reach compliance with EU directives and international best practices, while, at the same time, there is still a significant number of illegal weapons held by civilians as well as a significant number of firearms incidents.
To address these challenges and counter these phenomena, Albania has embarked on an ambitious Action Plan, with concrete actions and capacity building measures to be implemented along until 2024. This Plan is fundamentally based on Albania’s commitment, but it requires human and physical capacities and building a consolidated culture of the rule of law where the public is both subject and participant and contributor as well as collaboration and external support, if the outcomes are to be attained.
Building on the country’s commitment to achieve sustainable solutions to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of SALW and ammunition, and in response to priorities expressed by the Albanian State Police, the present project proposes to addressing several interlinked measures identified in the national Action Plan as of relevance and priority SALW-related practices for the national authorities and for building a positive community culture against illegal possession and misuse of firearms.
In this respect, the project intends to:
- improving and modernizing the registration of all legally possessed firearms in the Republic of Albania,
- further progress in bringing to acceptable storage and safety standards of an additional 10% of firearms & ammunition storages of the Albanian State Police,
- support a comprehensive awareness campaign on the dangers of illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of firearms.
These combined interventions are expected to have a dual impact: on one hand, they will strengthen the analytical base and the efficiency and effectiveness of SALW control by the State Police, and on the other hand, enhance the public awareness and behaviors vis-à-vis illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of firearms.
The project intends to support the Government initiative of re-registration of all legally possessed weapons and digitalization of all firearms-related data within a single national database, where the information is easily retrievable and appropriate for analytical work, and spot checks become efficient and effective.
The increased safety and standards of firearms and ammunition storages will also contribute to prevent the risks of illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of firearms, which potentially could leak from police storages, if the latter are left in the current status.
A comprehensive awareness campaign, involving and carried out in collaboration with the Albanian State Police, will target the broad public and specifically the vulnerable categories, with the aim to reduce the demand and misuse of firearms, prevent GBV and family crime, and increase confidence in security institutions. The implementation will be carried out in close collaboration with the Albanian State Police and lead civil society organizations and media, including specifically women and youth organizations.
- Completed delivery of IT equipment - 58 PCs, 54 printers and 2 Laptops - to support the expanded police workforce involved in the firearms registration process.
- Initiated the procurement process of IT equipment needed for the production of 100,000 digital cards for firearm owners
- Completed the selection of a Design and Supervision company that will prepare the upgrade designs and inputs for the procurement of works, as well as supervise the works execution at 10 selected weapons storage facilities.
- Completed Desk review of SALW Control situation in Albania
- Completed the national survey on SALW misuse problems in Albania
Component 1: Improved weapons registration in accordance with EU Directive on firearms and national legislation
Component 2: Improved Albanian State Police weapons storage management
Component 3: Increased awareness of dangers and risks of misuse of SALW