10.06.2023. » 14:54 | ACDC
On June 8th, in Pristina, the NGO ACDC organized a conference focused on addressing the issue of discrimination in Kosovo.
On June 8th, in Pristina, the NGO ACDC organized a conference focused on addressing the issue of discrimination in Kosovo. The panelists included Frank Power, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Pristina, Art Vula, Program Coordinator at the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR), and Dusan Radakovic, Executive Director of ACDC.
During the opening remarks, Dusan Radakovic presented the research on Discrimination in North Mitrovica, conducted by ACDC in April 2023. The analysis aimed to address discrimination issues in North Mitrovica and provided insights into citizens' perceptions and knowledge of existing anti-discrimination legislation. During his presentation, Radakovic highlighted the research findings, indicating that the survey respondents expressed a low level of trust in Kosovo institutions, with discrimination being most prevalent in the police forces. The research analysis also included recommendations to local and central authorities, as well as non-governmental and international organizations, regarding combating discrimination.
Radakovic further announced plans for a comprehensive analysis of citizens' trust in the police and judiciary, specifically after the departure of Serbs from Kosovo's institutions in November 2022.
Frank Power, the Head of the Council of Europe Office in Pristina, presented the project "Promoting human rights and non-discrimination principles at the local level," supported by UNMIK, which aims to contribute to the improvement of human rights. Power stated that the Committee for the Protection of Minority Communities within the Council of Europe is there to strengthen the Serbian community and include them in the reconciliation process, enhance the capacity development of its members, and improve compliance with the Law on the use of Language.
Art Vula from the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Kosovo presented a a summary of the key findings of the Civil Society Report on Human Rights in Kosovo in 2022. Vula emphasized that the implementation of the Law on Protection from Discrimination, although in line with European standards, is limited, and discrimination based on ethnic affiliation remains a major issue in Kosovo.
Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Emilija Redzepi, also addressed the attendees, emphasizing the importance of fighting against discrimination, condemning hate speech, and fostering the development of a harmonious society.
Minister Redzepi expressed concern about the persistence of prejudices towards different ethnic groups in Kosovo and highlighted the need to break down these prejudices through institutional efforts, potentially including stricter penalties for those engaging in discriminatory behavior.
The conference was organized within the project "Promoting human rights and non-discrimination principles at the local level, conducted by NGO ACDC and supported by the Council of Europe Office in Pristina.