Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo (YIHR KS) with the support of the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) during a conference held in Pristina, published the report “Discrimination cases in Kosovo – do they exist?”
The aim of this report is to document cases of discrimination that have been addressed to relevant institutions or ones that have not been reported, in order to raise awareness of instances of discrimination. Additionally, the findings will be used to empower all those dealing with discrimination cases in the future so that such cases can be identified and effectively dealt with.
The conference was opened by Miss. Raba Gjoshi – Executive Director of YIHR KS, who explained the purpose of this project, whereas the findings of the report were presented by Miss. Natyra Avdiu – Human Rights Project Coordinator in YIHR KS. The panelists in the conference were Mr. Sami Kurteshi – Ombudsperson of Kosovo and Mr. Agon Vrenezi, Legal Officer – OHCHR office in Kosovo.
Mr. Vrenezi welcomed the findings and pointed out that discrimination is not new, although the question remains as to what it means for Kosovo society. He referred to a number of existing legal provisions that in turn do not provide legal certainty. Mr. Kurteshi outlined that discrimination is happening at all level of Kosovan society including in the family and the workplace. However, the lack of fines being imposed for such behaviour for the last 10 years is a key obstacle for victims to obtain redress. Further, there is a greater need for awareness raising, which Mr. Kurteshi said that the OIK will work towards. The panellists also discussed the legislative initative to change the current law and called for all stakeholders, particularly civil society to contribute in order to ensure that the new law provides sufficient certainty and protection.
Overall, the publication provided the opportunity to discuss some of the documented cases, as well as issues relating to discrimination in general and the amendment process of the Anti-Discrimination Law that is on-going.