As of September 2021, Albania hosts 115 refugees and 1,528 persons at risk of statelessness. Since 2017 Albania has witnessed a stark increase in the number of refugees and migrants arriving in mixed movements. An estimated 9,000 individuals arrived at the border from January to October 2021.
UNHCR cooperates with the Government of Albania in pursuit of its pledges at the Global Refugee Forum, notably on eliminating legal inconsistencies and administrative barriers preventing refugees and asylum seekers from effectively accessing rights, and ensuring that asylum procedures are fair and efficient, and strengthening the quality of asylum decision making. UNHCR’s main government counterpart in Albania is the Ministry of Interior.
The Office also increasingly cooperates with other line Ministries to improve the inclusion of persons of concern in national systems. Albania adopted a new law on asylum in February 2021, further aligning the asylum system with International and EU standards and reinforcing the framework for integration of refugees. Together with the Albanian government and IOM, UNHCR is advancing towards differentiated, higher-quality pathways and procedures to address mixed movements and ensure efficient management and resource allocation. UNHCR remains engaged with authorities on the restoration of access to the territory and asylum procedure.
UNHCR and partners monitor the arrivals at the border and pre-screening procedures. They aim to improve referrals and services to address the situation of persons with specific needs. The Office also works on overcoming the legal and administrative barriers for employment and enhancing skill development for refugees and asylum-seekers.
In recent years, Albania has also taken significant steps towards addressing the risk of statelessness. Population groups at risk of statelessness in Albania – who are entitled to nationality but experience difficulties in having it confirmed - include Roma and Egyptian minorities and children of Albanian diaspora returnees.
For information about our work in Albania:
Are you a refugee or asylum-seeker in Albania? Find information about your rights and available services on our HELP site.
For legislation, case law and UNHCR policy relating to claims for international protection, visit Refworld.