Blood Feuds in contemporary Albania. Characterisation, Prevalence and Response by the State


Cedoca carried out a fact-finding mission to Albania from 13th March to 21st March 2017 in order to collect information. The information in this report is obtained from Cedoca’s interlocutors during the fact-finding mission and is supplemented with information from various international reports, specialized literature and online sources.

Traditional blood feud killings are a practice that was common in specific regions in Albania for more than 500 years and that was embedded in a socio-cultural matrix that was known and accepted by all the members of the local communities in those regions.

The phenomenon has transformed and the transformation appears to be difficult to define. Even the Albanian penal code does not provide a legal definition. Nevertheless, research has made it possible to enumerate a number of characteristics in this COI Focus that can variably be observed in contemporary blood feud cases.

Furthermore, this COI Focus also provides the most recent official data about the prevalence of contemporary blood feuds.

It describes the strategies that the Albanian authorities have applied in order to curb the phenomenon.

Finally, the COI Focus also addresses the aspect of prevention.


The policy implemented by the Commissioner General is based on a thorough analysis of accurate and up-to-date information on the general situation in the country of origin. This information is collated in a professional manner from various, objective sources, including the EASO, the UNHCR, relevant international human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional literature and coverage in the media. When determining policy, the Commissioner General does not only examine the COI Focuses written by Cedoca and published on this website, as these deal with just one aspect of the general situation in the country of origin. The fact that a COI Focus could be out-of-date does not mean that the policy that is being implemented by the Commissioner General is no longer up-to-date.


When assessing an application for asylum, the Commissioner General not only considers the actual situation in the country of origin at the moment of decision-making, he also takes into account the individual situation and personal circumstances of the applicant for international protection. Every asylum application is examined individually. An applicant must comprehensively demonstrate that he has a well-founded fear of persecution or that there is a clear personal risk of serious harm. He cannot, therefore, simply refer back to the general conditions in his country, but must also present concrete, credible and personal facts.

There is no policy paper for this country available on the website.


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