Equal Rights For All Coalition

Equal Rights For All Coalition

Background

Fundamental human rights for citizens of Kosovo are de jure guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is however a considerable gap between legislation and de facto access to and protection of fundamental rights. Vulnerable and marginalised groups, including minority communities, women, youth, and LGBT are particularly restricted when exercising their fundamental rights. Thus, A Coalition comprising seven (7) non-governmental organisations was established and developed a project “Equal Rights for All Coalition”which is funded by the European Union and managed by the European Union Office in Kosovo.

The Coalition will organise its activities around a number of fundamental rights that have been identified by the Coalition partners and international actors as particularly problematic for VMGs which are as following:

  1. Equality before the Law; Right to fair and impartial trial; Right to Legal Remedy

Major shortcomings concern the access to justice for youth, women, and the LGBT community. The complex integration of the Serbian judiciary system within the Kosovo system, the inadequate translation of laws into Serbian, and the lack of qualified Serbian-speaking lawyers particularly affect the right to equality before the law of minority communities in Kosovo.

  1. Right to Liberty and Security

Recent political tensions have been accompanied by the rise of ethnic tensions and have illustrated that the security of non-majority communities remains fragile. Moreover, threats and cases of hate speech targeting women and LGBT continue and are rarely investigated and preventive measures scarce. Great challenges also remain in the field of domestic violence and gender-based violence.

  1. Freedom of expression; Right to access of public documents; Freedom of media

The institutional framework guaranteeing freedom of media and expression remains fragmentary and effective handling against threats, attacks, and hate speech against VMGs in media persist. Women are underrepresented and discriminated against in media. Furthermore, the implementation of Kosovo’s language legislation remains insufficient.

  1. Right to education

Members of non-majority communities who wish to pursue education in Serbian have no alternative but to attend the parallel Serbian system. Students from the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities have lower registration rates, higher dropout rates, and poor levels of academic performance. Women are strongly underrepresented in education staff and material.

  1. Right to work and exercise profession

Members of non-majority communities are underrepresented in the civil service, particularly at managerial position and in publically owned enterprises. Youth and women unemployment are particularly high, and women’s representation remains low in senior positions in both the private and public sector.

  1. Health and social protection

In many areas inhabited by non-majority communities, health care and social protection are services exclusively offered by parallel Serbian institutions. Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities face major challenges as a result of weak health care and access to social protection. Awareness and access to health care treatment for diseases that affect women in particular remain far below the EU standards. The same applies for members of the LGBT community.

Objectives of the Equal Rights for All Coalition

Equal Rights for All Coalition project objectives are to establish and maintain an effective coalition that aims to strengthen the capacities of participating CSOs to advocate for the promotion and protection of fundamental rights of selected vulnerable and marginalised groups (VMGs). In particular, the Coalitionwill:

  1. Form a cooperative mechanism to provide aid and support to members of VMGs whose fundamental rights are not guaranteed or protected;
  2. Establish meaningful and informed participation in the government’s decision- and policy-making processes on the promotion and protection of fundamental rights of VMGs on the basis of multi-disciplinary policy research;
  3. Strengthen the institutional capacities and interdisciplinary skills of participating CSOs;
  4. Raise awareness about the role of civil society in enhancing access to fundamental rights for all.

Main Activities of the Coalition

  1. Establishment and management of a cooperative CSO network for case-to-case aid and assistance to members of VMGs with limited access to fundamental rights;
  2. Development and communication of recommendations for policy- and decision-making based on structural policy research and monitoring of access to six (6) fundamental rights for VMGs;
  3. Internal capacity-building of participating CSOs;
  4. Public awareness campaigns.

Estimated results

  1. An effective cooperative mechanism for support in cases of limited access to fundamental rights for members of VMGs is functional;
  2. Structural dialogue is in place for meaningful and informed civil society contributions to the government’s policy- and decision-making processes to address shortcomings in the implementation of the relevant legislative framework;
  3. The institutional capacities, interdisciplinary skills, and professional networks of participating CSOs are strengthened;
  4. Public awareness is increased on the crucial role of civil society within participatory democracy.

Coalition Members

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Donor
 

Equal Rights for All Coalition project is funded by the European Union and managed by the European Union Office in Kosovo.

Contact person

Jeta B. Bakija

Project Manager

jeta@ecmikosovo.org

+381 (0) 38 224 473

 
 
 
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