Tuesday, 6 September, 2016

Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights paid a three day visit to Albania. During her visit the Deputy High Commissioner Gilmore attended the International Conference: “Challenges for Ombudsman Institutions with respect to mixed migration flows”. The Conference was organized by the Association of the Mediterranean Ombudsmen, Association des Ombudsmans et Médiateurs de la Francophonie and the International Ombudsman Institute. The Conference was also supported by the UN in Albania, and focused on the protection of human rights in countries of origin, transit and destination. 
At the Conference, amongst others, Ms. Gilmore highlighted: “OHCHR`s own research highlights a tragic irony that people who move out of necessity rather than from true free choice, are at greater risk of human rights violations for the duration of their journey and at their destination. And in countries across the world, the public rhetoric about their rights? It increasingly is divisive, discriminatory and xenophobic. And in this toxicity, increasingly States and their representatives have become complicit. Friends, there is no “no-go zone” for rights. No amber suspension in which rights hang fossilised and beyond the reach or call of people who are on the move. No terrain cordoned off from rights, onto which the hapless or the desperate may wander inadvertently. Rights are not gifts to be dispensed – they are inherent dignities – they cannot be removed, suspended or denied. They are innate dignities - birth-rights. Inalienable. They do not exist separately from the fact of our existence – they rather are our very best and internationally agreed definition of what it is to exist as a human being! So even when huddled in the narrow confines of border lines drawn neat on our maps of national sovereignties – even when poised at those international borders – even then every one of us is entitled to rights”.
A statement called `Tirana Statement” was adopted at the end of the ConferenceDuring her visit in Albania, the Deputy High Commissioner had meetings with government counterparts, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and international development partners to exchange views on the human rights situation in the country and discuss areas of cooperation.
Ms. Gilmore also met with the United Nations Country team in Albania.