Research materials

“Gli occhi della guerra” talks about the phenomenon of blood feuds

“Families which are supposed to take revenge sometimes, do not even mean to do it, but there is a social obligation that pushes them to take action. We believe that these families are victims of this phenomenon twice: in addition to the loss of a loved one, their members are regarded as potential assassins by the rest of society. We do our best to stand by both parts involved in the feud. Every day we visit these families in order to bring them some positivity and thereby defuse the tension. This is not easy. It is a long and challenging process.”

When talking about the phenomenon of the blood feuds in Albania, there is the risk to address superficially an issue that, actually, is difficult to grasp.
First of all, in order to understand the vendettas, it is essential to consider the Albanian socio-political context. At the beginning of the 90’s, Albania came out of a ferocious dictatorship, which lasted for about 50 years and attempted to make disappear several traditions of the country. Paradoxically, for this reason, nowadays the blood feud practices are so hard to eradicate. Indeed, despite the strides forward Albania has made in the last 20 years, the legacy of the previous regime, as well as the weaknesses of the democratic institutions and the shortcomings of their judiciary system, have created the conditions where traditional values and customs are practiced and carried out in a distorted way. (more…)

Blood feuds on Italian TV

During the past days, in Italy, Blood Feuds have been a topic of discussion due to a report broadcasted by the Italian tv show “le Iene”. Without going into the details of the report, Operazione Colomba wants to take the chance to appeal to the Albanian institutions and civil society so that they urgently cope with this social issue.
For years, Operazione Colomba volunteers and other local associations have been asking for the application of the law n. 9389 of 4/5/2005, which foresees the creation and the functioning of a Coordination Council for the eradication of the Blood Feuds phenomenon.
In this regard, in order to carry on with the ongoing awareness-raising action against this phenomenon, Operazione Colomba invites everyone to join the campaign #KundërGjakmarrjes (against Blood Feuds), which promotes the application of restorative justice and non˗violent means to tackle this phenomenon.

Albanian People’s Advocate (Ombudsman) publishes our triennial report

Avokati_i_Popullit.svgWe thank the institution of the People’s Advocate (Ombudsman) for publishing on the website our three-year report “Descriptive document on the phenomenon of ‘hakmarrja’ and ‘gjakmarrja’ to raise awareness among Albanian and international institutions – III edition -“. For us, the collaboration with this important institution is strategic in order to safeguard the fundamental rights of the people affected by the phenomenon of blood feuds.

The report is available in English here.


report belgaIn March, the Federal Board that receives and decides upon asylum claims in Belgium has met Operazione Colomba’s volunteers in Shkodër, Albania. Over the last few years, many Albanians have asked for asylum in Belgium because of their involvement in the blood feud’s phenomenon. Therefore, two members of the research department of the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons in Belgium took part to a fact finding mission in Albania in order to update their information and understanding of the phenomenon of “gjakmarrja/hakmarrja”. During the meeting, the belgian delegation had the chance to know more about  Operazione Colomba’s activities against this phenomenon in Albania and its field experience in order to understand how that practice works nowadays, which is its geographical/quantitative distribution and which could be its solution. (more…)