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National Youth Congress – Statement – #WithStudents

Based on the events happening in Albania with student movements and protests in each city against high university fees, lack of the minimum conditions to study and the low level of student representation in decision-making, we express our full support for the requests made by the students to the government.

The National Youth Congress is the largest and most comprehensive structure of youth organizations and informal youth groups in Albania and as such, we have been protesting every day since the first day of the protest.

As young people, we have been standing outside the doors of the Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office representing ourselves, our relatives and friends because we are all suffering the same lack of possibilities.

As NYC, we have been one of the strongest opposing sides of the Law on Higher Education, and today, four years later, we are witnessing the consequences of a non-adequate decision taken by the policymakers.

This year, we are again trying to prevent the same phenomenon with the Law on Youth and we have the confidence and hope that we will succeed as this week the young people of Albania have shown that they know where, when and how to react.

This protest is only of students, not of organizations, and not of political parties. We totally agree with this approach, this is the reason why we did not want to make public statements in the media, and we decided to protest in the streets.

Unfortunately, today we feel the need to react as some of our youth organizations colleagues have taken the initiative to seek a hearing in parliament on this issue.

We and our 100 organizations part of our network disagree on this fact. The Parliament Hall is too small to fit 25,000 students which are on the streets and do not want to be represented by 10 or 100 people which are not democratically elected. 

Youth organizations in Albania have done a valuable job in capacity building, youth education and advocacy for youth issues, we highly appreciate them because we know the conditions under which they work and the sacrifices they need to make to improve this country, but we judge that in this case we should not intervene as NGOs.

We think that what we can do is to go out on the street with our friends and members, to redirect the situation as it is to international partners and not to use our / their/ the students’ work to promote our mission and work as an organization.

Being every year in every city of Albania, we understand and agree with the 8 requirements of the students, we also know that these are a bit of what we need but we fully agree that at least these are non-negotiable.

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Student Card

For the establishment of the Student Charter as a fundamental right of young people in our country, a strong lobbying by the Youth Congress Office was undertaken against the authorities responsible for its creation. 

After developing and publishing surveys with young people, a number of discussion forums were held with participants from interest groups such as representatives of civil society, student councils, pedagogues, students, journalists. 

At the forum of the final discussion were invited, representatives of the Tirana Municipality and the Ministry of Education and Sport who were absent but after the public denunciation made by the Youth Advocate had official media feedback from both institutions in question where the Ministry of Education and Sports Mrs. Lindita Nikolla promised that the process of implementation of the charter would start after the adoption of the new law on higher education.

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