Kosovo

One of the main problems for civil society in Kosovo is the lack of watchdog and monitoring functions. Our priority is to strengthen our partners in this regard. Another important aspect of our work is the issues of dealing with the remnants of the past in order to bring some resolution in order to move forward. The Kosovo Memory Book and the Regional Truth Commission (RECOM), are two projects which aim to target these issues.

Read about the current human rights situation in our country report Human rights in Kosovo

Human Rights the Central Topic at the Regional Roma Summit

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The Regional Roma Summit kicked off on 23 November, in the Kosovar capital Prishtina with an opening speech by Ulrike Lunacek, the Vice President of the European Parliament. The event partly organised by Civil Rights Defenders lasts two days and sees human rights defenders from across Europe gather to discuss and analyse current trends and topics relevant to the Roma community especially when it comes to human rights.

“Justice Remains Unreachable” – Annual Report on Judiciary in Kosovo

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The Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo (HLC Kosovo) a partner of Civil Rights Defenders have just presented their annual report entitled “Justice Remains Unreachable”. The report deals with the monitoring of war crime trials and looks at ethically and politically motivated trials. The report was presented at a roundtable discussion involving the judiciary, prosecutors and law professionals from all over Kosovo.

Human Rights in Kosovo

Kosovo has a sound statutory framework in place for the protection of human rights: the Kosovo Constitution lists a number of directly applicable international human rights instruments. Kosovo has shown great progress when it comes to the adoption of key human rights laws over the past 10 years. However, there remain challenges and issues with regards to the practical implementation of human rights legislation and relevant documents, such as byelaws and National Strategies. Moreover, a functional and effective Ombudsperson and judiciary are yet to emerge. As a consequence, a number of human rights issues including the marginalisation of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities and LGBT persons, hate speech, hate crimes, violence against women, pressure and intimidation to journalists have not been addressed effectively

Media Indicators Report Launched on World Press Freedom Day

Media Indicators Report launched on World Press Freedom Day

On World Press Freedom Day, Civil Rights Defenders and its partners in Kosovo presented the first Media Indicators report on Kosovo. It focuses on journalists’ perception of key media issues, based on indicators of the European Council. “Although a majority of journalists think that the legal framework guarantees freedom of expression, they believe that it is not implemented.”, said Sarah Maliqi at Civil Rights Defenders.

MFA’s reply on human rights defenders

In December, Civil Rights Defenders wrote a letter to the Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and urged him to demand stronger protection for human rights defenders in Kosovo. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has replied that “we are discussing these important issues on a political level. When Prime Minister Hachim Thaci visited Sweden in October, EU integration and the necessary reforms, including human rights, were major themes.”

Kosovo 2.0 – Vibrant news in three languages

Kosovo 2.0 is a web portal and a magazine available in English, Albanian and Serbian. Since the launch in July 2010, it has had around 257,760 unique visitors and more that 1,000 unique visits a day. Civil Rights Defenders collaboration with Kosovo Glocal aims at building up Kosovo 2.0, a comprehensive and vibrant media platform, offering interesting and current news, commentary and information that will contribute to an overall respect of freedom of expression in Kosovo.

Monitoring detention centres and mental health facilities

Public administration has the power to deprive people of their liberty following procedures clearly established by the law. But when detention takes place outside the public scrutiny it opens the door to violations of rights of the inmates, as well as to torture and ill-treatment. Civil Rights Defenders initiated cooperation with Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims in 2007, with the aim to monitor detention facilities and prisons.