Albania: National security and the protection of human rights during emergency situations

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Albania: National security and the protection of human rights during emergency situations

April 27th, 2021

Last year, many countries were faced with COVID-19 pandemic that provoked serious emergency health and national crises. Managing the pandemic and its consequences has been the most important task of the governments across the globe.  Most countries implemented temporary measures of quarantine that limited certain human rights. In particular, the freedom of movement and assembly were directly affected by governments’ responses to the pandemic. The COVID 19 is responsible for the excessive mortality rates of the world’s population and the right to life is directly endangered by this infectious disease.

In the Albanian context, the COVID-19 pandemic is treated as a national (public) security threat, as it poses risks to the security and wellbeing of the population. This pandemic has demonstrated that the scope of what is understood to be included in national security must be expanded to encompass wider security threats such as environmental and global public health crises.

To limit the spread of the virus, the governments are empowered to take extraordinary measures that would temporarily limit human rights. However, democratic governments must be held accountable for any tradeoffs made in terms of civil liberties and human rights that are authorized in the name of national (public) security.

To better understand this dynamic, a research study was carried out in Albania to contextualize and compare country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic within a framework of national security and human rights perspectives. Furthermore, the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Albania is compared with other countries in the region, including Serbia, and North Macedonia, Slovenia and Greece.

To that aim, the research was guided by four established democratic principles: legality; a bounded timeframe for emergency measures; necessity; and distributed power with legislative and judicial actions and checks on executive actions taken during the first six months of the pandemic.

– Where does Albania stand in complying with the four established democratic principles?

– What is the situation with the other countries?

– Is any difference between the established democracies and hybrid regimes?

– Which country complied with all the democratic principles and which are the main takeaways in managing such a crisis?

To learn more, please read below the research commissioned by WFD Albania.  

“National Security vs Protection of Human Rights in Emergency” (English)

“Siguria Publike vs Mbrojtja së të Drejtave të Njeriut në Situata Emergjente” (Shqip)

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