This conference aims at public awareness on marginalized groups and advanced care that certain communities need in order to live free and with dignity in Kosovo`s society.
Minister of European Integration, Vlora Çitaku in the capacity of Chairperson of this conference, initially thanked the participants for participating in this conference. She re-emphasized before the panellists in this conference the stance of Kosovo`s institution, she stated that “we will not tolerate anyone to intimidate, discriminate or treat unequally any citizen of Kosovo, and all discriminatory practices will be punished by state institutions”.
In her speech, Minister Çitaku stated that “The goal of any engagement of our institutions and civil society, is to build a place where people live free and in freedom, equal under the law and regulations that we are building in a democratic way.
Democracy in Kosovo, as a new state, is in transition and consolidation. Kosovo is in the process of strengthening and advancing the rule of law in the field of human rights.“
The Minister continued stating that: “The purpose of this conference was to contribute to mutual awareness of both, representatives for the protection of human rights and the community in question, as well the institutional and state security representatives. Awareness of citizens and society in general regarding marginalized groups and additional care that certain communities need to live free, is of the same importance”.
Find the full speech of Minister Çitaku:
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Representatives of local and international institutions,
Initially, allow me that on my behalf, and on the behalf of the Ministry of European Integration and the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, to thank you for your commitment to such a necessary conference. Recalling of such issues, primarily makes us as people and politicians, more cautious.
Therefore, I want you to take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude once again to all international contributors to the advancement of human rights in Kosovo. Has been a very difficult and challenging, but the results were not lacking.
The goal of any engagement of our institutions and civil society, is to build a place where people live free and in freedom, equal under the law and regulations that we are building in a democratic way.
Democracy in Kosovo as a new state is in transition and consolidation. Kosovo is in the process of strengthening and advancing the rule of law in the field of human rights.
The purpose of this conference was to contribute to mutual awareness of both, representatives for the protection of human rights and the community in question, as well as of institutional and state security representatives. Awareness of citizens and society in general regarding marginalized groups and additional care that certain communities need to live free, is of the same importance.
Human rights remain a key priority within the European integration process of Kosovo.
The European Union is founded on the values and principles of respect for human rights. Respect for human rights remains a priority for the Western Balkan countries.
2013 Enlargement Strategy prepared by the European Commission underlined the need that Western Balkan countries should initially address the fundamental issues of a society.
Let`s go back to the issue in specific terms, the integration of the LGBT community or the current state of this community. Regarding the legal aspect, in Kosovo, the legal framework provides guarantees for human rights, including LGBT rights, but to be part of this community means constant struggle for acceptance of equal treatment and personal security.
Therefore, Kosovo institutions cannot allow intimidation, discrimination or unequal treatment of anyone. The spirit of equal treatment before the law, is required and must be carried by all holders of public institutions. In other words is the duty of the institutions of Kosovo to guarantee equal rights for all citizens, especially the marginalized groups.
Kosovo is one of the first countries in the region which in 2004, has developed and adopted a law against discrimination. Promoting equality and prohibition of discrimination were raised in the highest level in the legislation of the Republic of Kosovo.
The Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo in Article 24 [Equality Before the Law], defines and guarantees that: All are equal before the law. Everyone enjoys the right to equal legal protection without discrimination. No one shall be discriminated against on grounds of race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, relation to any community, property, economic and social condition, sexual orientation, birth, disability or other personal status.
We have taken directions and newest initiatives in the development of legislation on equality and equal opportunities, i.e., anti-discrimination legislation. These initiatives and directions are derived and related on EU directives, the recommendations of the Council of Europe and UN recommendations.
Contemporary development of anti-discrimination legislation now is not pleased with simple reactive role in situations where victims who experience discrimination complaint and seek legal assistance and protection. New Trend requires acceptance by the State, but also from the private sector, a positive obligation to promote equality and equal treatment in public life.
Public institutions, enterprises, employers are obliged to be more proactive, take initiative and to explore existing structures in order to eliminate obstacles to equality and promote new policies and practices that ensures equality, equal treatment and prohibit discrimination.
Thankfully, Kosovo is building the necessary legal infrastructure which conforms to the principles, European and international standards for the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of protecting and promoting the rights of people with different sexual orientation.
Considering the irreplaceable importance that You carry as responsible institutions, local organizations which you represent, your contribution will impact on facilitating the challenges posed towards fulfilling our vision for a democratic society and without discrimination.
Last modified: August 15, 2022