Post-conflict recovery is Kosovo is dependent on inter-ethnic cooperation and the full and effective integration of women into peace and reconciliation processes. During the Kosovo War (1998-1999), approximately 20,000 women were the targets of systematic rape, and rates of sexual and gender-based violence, including domestic violence, and trafficking have remained high since the end of the crisis. Obstacles remain for survivors who seek justice, including limited freedoms, few decision-making roles held by women, and strong social stigma associated with rape. Little compliance and few enforcement mechanisms have hindered the progress made by Kosovo when it incorporated the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) into its constitution, formulated domestic laws in order to comply with European Union requirements on gender equality, and set forth a National Action Plan in compliance with Resolution 1325 in 2014. Based on the work of NGOWG members and their partners, the NGOWG urges the Security Council to address women’s unequal access to economic resources, education, public services, and post-conflict peacebuilding programs.
JanuaryAs the Security Council considers the report of the Secretary-General on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Council members must continue to support women’s full participation in post-conflict peacebuilding, decision-making processes and projects to advance women’s human rights. This includes full implementation of the NAP on Women, Peace and Security, strengthening Kosovo’s civil society capacity to monitor and advise on governmental commitments to women, peace and security and providing protective services to survivors of domestic violence. Though Kosovo’s legal framework and mechanisms for gender equality are relatively comprehensive, implementation is uneven, and de facto discrimination against women and girls persists. The Council must address women’s unequal access to economic resources, education, public services, and post-conflict peacebuilding programs. Women and women’s organizations must be given the opportunity to participate in the prevention and countering of violent extremism. Post-conflict recovery in Kosovo is dependent on inter-ethnic cooperation. The Council must, therefore, support measures that ensure equitable access to justice and human rights for marginalized groups from all intersectional backgrounds, including ethnic minority women from the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, LGBTI persons and the disabled.
AprilWhen discussing the expected UNMIK report, the Council should request information on the advancement of human rights, as mandated by the Security Council (SCR 1244 OP11; and SCR 1889, OP5). This includes women’s right to political participation, and the prosecution of war crimes, including crimes of sexual violence, as well as the need for protection of witnesses. Given the concerns surrounding the safety of women’s human rights, including recent attacks on women’s human rights defenders, the Council should ensure it inquires into efforts regarding investigations and the State Prosecutor to ensure that an independent, impartial and thorough investigation is carried out into such assaults, and into the threats made women human rights defenders. The Council should also inquire into efforts to urge the State Prosecutor to provide immediate and appropriate protection to women human rights defenders, as set out in the Law on Witness Protection, and take further measures to guarantee human rights defenders their right to freedom of expression, and inquire as to steps taken by the Prime Minister to ensure the government implements immediately in law, policy and in practice the provisions of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders.
AprilNeither the previous reports on Kosovo (S/2010/562 and S/2011/43), nor the last report on the international security presence in Kosovo (S/2011/105) assessed the protection and promotion of women’s human rights, as required by the Security Council (SCR 1244 OP11j and SCR 1889, OP5). In discussing the Kosovo report expected in April, the Council should insist such information be provided, including on progress made in women’s political participation, and the prosecution of war crimes, including crimes of sexual violence and the protection of witnesses. The Council should support the opening of an immediate investigation by the international mission in Kosovo into the alleged complicity of Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi in crimes committed in the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict, including the abduction of women exploited for sex.
OctoberWhen discussing the expected UNMIK report, the Council should request information on the advancement of human rights, as required by the Security Council (SCR 1244 OP11; and SCR 1889, OP5). This includes women’s right to political participation, and the prosecution of war crimes, including crimes of sexual violence, as well as the need for protection of witnesses.
December 20, 2010