PRESS RELEASE: LAUNCH OF THE FIRST JOINT CIVIL SOCIETY REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN KOSOVO

Pristina, 30 June 2020: We are pleased to announce the official publication of the first joint civil society human rights report in Kosovo. The report provides an overview of the human rights situation in Kosovo in 2019, including of the main problems and challenges to realizing human rights as well as human rights violations. It assesses civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; human rights issues relating to specific groups and persons in vulnerable situations; and several cross-cutting human rights topics, such as transitional justice and the right to truth as well as the environment and human rights.

Twenty-one civil society organizations (CSOs) working on protecting and promoting human rights in Kosovo have joined forces to draft this ground-breaking report. In addition to further enhancing cooperation and coordination between civil society actors from different backgrounds, this report seeks to fill an existing gap in joint monitoring and reporting on human rights in Kosovo at the local and international levels. The report addresses the most pressing human rights issues and challenges in Kosovo that were chosen after a thorough consideration of the local context during a consultative process with a number of human rights CSOs. It is intended that similar reports will be produced in the future on an annual basis to ensure joint and systemic reporting by CSOs on the human rights situation in Kosovo.

CSOs contributing to this report call on Kosovo institutions and other relevant stakeholders to take appropriate actions and measures to address the human rights concerns and problems identified and presented in the report. Unless addressed, these concerns and problems will most likely persist or even deepen, continuing to hinder the enjoyment of human rights in Kosovo as guaranteed by Kosovo’s Constitution, legislation and several directly applicable international and regional human rights instruments.

As some of these human rights challenges have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and measures to contain it, we also call on Kosovo authorities and all other actors to place human rights front and center in the COVID-19 response and recovery.

The following 21 CSOs contributed to the referred report: Alternative Dispute Resolution Center (ADRC), Advancing Together (AT), AKTIV, Balkan Sunflowers Kosova, Center for 2 Social Groups Development (CSGD), Centre for Equality and Liberty (CEL), Centre for Peace and Tolerance (CPT), Civil Rights Program Kosovo (CRP/K), FOL Movement, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), Integra, Kosovo Advocacy Group (KAG), Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (KRCT), Kosovar Gender Studies Center (KGSC), Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), Kosovo Young Lawyers (KYL), Missing Persons Resource Center (MPRC), Terre des Hommes Kosovo, Youth Initiative for Human Rights Kosovo (YIHR KS) and Youth Educational Club Synergy North Mitrovica (Synergy).