Victim Assistance Workshop in Tirana, Albania
The main objective of the Workshop, organized by the Albanian Mine Action Executive (AMAE) and ITF was to discuss achievements, needs and future plans of Victims Assistance programs in Albania. Participants from a vide range of international institutions such as Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), Conference of Disarmament, Handicap international, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Institute of Rehabilitation of the Republic of Slovenia (IRRS), together with representatives of local governmental and non-governmental institutions engaged in Mine Victims Assistance Programs, addressed the most pressing needs still to overcame in order to further enhance the quality of Albanian Victims Assistance programs.
The Workshop proved to be a creative forum where insights in every day practice in concert with international experiences contribute to determination for change and goal setting.
The mines and UXO threat in North East Albania emanates from the Kosovo* conflict taking place in years from 1996 to 1999. Mine-contaminated strip, with mines reaching up to 400 meters inside Albanian territory, was initially 120 km long and stretching along Albania / Serbia (Kosovo*) border. Initial surveys estimated 15,2 square kilometers of mine-contaminated land. By the end of 2006, over 13 square kilometers, representing some 85% of all estimated mine-contaminated area was relished through demining and technical survey operations. The strategic objective is to declare Albania free from the impact of mines by the end of 2010.