A United Voice: Kosovo Civil Society Organisations Publish Their Second Joint Annual Human Rights Report with UNMIK and OHCHR Support

1 Jun 2021

A United Voice: Kosovo Civil Society Organisations Publish Their Second Joint Annual Human Rights Report with UNMIK and OHCHR Support

Thirty-four key human rights civil society organisations (CSOs) in Kosovo officially published their second joint report on the human rights situation in Kosovo on 31 May, in follow-up to their first-ever joint report last year. 

The initiative is part of a programme supported by UNMIK’s Human Rights Section and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) entitled “Engaging with civil society on human rights monitoring and reporting.”

The annual human rights report was produced through an inclusive and participatory process facilitated by UNMIK and OHCHR that brought together representatives of CSOs from different ethnic backgrounds in line with the Mission’s ongoing efforts to advance inter-community trust building. More CSOs contributed to this joint report in comparison to last year.

The joint report provides a solid analysis of the human rights situation in Kosovo in 2020, detailing human rights violations, outlining the evolving human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures, and identifying the main challenges to realising human rights in Kosovo.

It assesses and provides recommendations to Kosovo institutions on a wide range of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights; human rights issues relating to specific groups and persons in vulnerable situations; and cross-cutting human rights topics, namely, corruption and human rights, transitional justice, and the environment and human rights.

From left to right: Anton Ndrecaj, Program Director and Senior Legal Adviser of the Center for Legal Aid and Regional Development; Tijana Grujić, Project Manager of NGO Aktiv; Hilmi Jashari, Human Rights Expert and former Ombudsperson of Kosovo; Marigona Shabiu, Executive Director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights; Gloriosa Hisari, Local Integration Officer at the Civil Rights Program Kosovo; and Muhamet Arifi, Executive Director of Balkan Sunflowers Kosova presented the report on 31 May at Pjetër Bogdani Library in Pristina.

“In addition to further enhancing cooperation and coordination between civil society actors from different backgrounds, this report continues to fill a critical gap in human rights monitoring and reporting in Kosovo and now provides concrete recommendations to Kosovo institutions aimed at advancing the realisation of human rights for all people in Kosovo,” Jerome Bouyjou, Chief of UNMIK’s Human Rights Office and Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Kosovo, said.

Marigona Shabiu, Executive Director at the Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo, underscored that “CSOs will utilise these recommendations as the basis for their joint human rights advocacy with various Kosovo institutions and will follow up on their implementation.” 

Tijana Grujić, Project Manager at the NGO Aktiv, emphasised that “the individual efforts of civil society organisations involved in the protection and promotion of human rights have a stronger effect in this kind of joint effort”, which “is especially important when it comes to addressing violations of the rights of non-majority communities, returnees, displaced persons and other marginalized groups whose voices are not usually heard much."

“We commend the contributing CSOs on this important achievement and reiterate our steadfast commitment to continue supporting civil society in their efforts to jointly monitor and report on human rights in Kosovo and advocate with Kosovo institutions on key human rights issues with one voice,”  Mr. Bouyjou added.

You can access the full report on the human rights situation in 2020 in English, Albanian, and Serbian here: