Find the complete speech of Minister Çitaku: Access to Justice for victims of rape, their legal protection and importance of punishing the perpetrators”.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Themes with the nature of this conference are more complex, complicated and emotional. Therefore, as always, talking on issues of dealing with the past, and transitional justice in post-war countries, is a difficult and at the same time is a sensitive issue. But, on the other hand, in this moment that we are speaking for this topic and confronting the past, we are slowly starting to build a vision for the future. We are a country in transition. Moreover, we are a country with multiple parallel transitions: from a region with a disastrous war into a post-war society, from a form of dictatorial socialism of economy to wild capitalism, and then to a better economic adjustment of the free market. From a closed and man dominated society, to a public discourse of a more open and liberal country led from a progressive Constitution.
It is true that there is lack of information, discussion and dialogue for the past, or people often hesitate to talk regarding such topics, for different reasons.
Kosovo is still building its institutions and in order to strengthen democracy in all levels, has to use confrontation with the past as an instrument in promoting new social provisions in all fields of justice, good governance, and human rights.
In particular, topics with the nature of war, or specific topics dedicated to women and girls raped during the War in Kosovo. For this reason, this conference has particular importance, because the elaboration and significance of this topic, implicates many factors, and at the same time has to transmit a very clear and powerful message beyond the boundaries, both domestic and external; in order to sensitize the public, because this particular category needs to be provided with all necessary legal, social, economic, health and political means, in order to be part of Kosovo`s society and institutions, thus an integral part of state-building and state-formation of the Republic of Kosovo.
In this regard, there will be a range of initiatives on programmes respectively development projects for advancement of this category, although sometimes this category if I may say or express myself in this way were “forgotten” by the society, family and institutions. Since the post war time, the situation of these women not only in material terms but also in the social, health, legal and spiritually has been and remained miserable. We as a society and as institutions must face this situation and find a solution for these women.
Thereupon, the purpose of these projects will be an opportunity for dignity and prosperity for this category of women. Because, we are convinced that the situation of women and girls, victims of rape is not going to improve only with aid, but with concrete project and laws that have to do with development, education, training and emancipation. Only in this way we’ll reduce to a lower level the unemployment and poverty and in this manner we will increase the welfare of this category.
For this reason, me as Minister for European Integration in cooperation with Kosovo Women’s Network Groups since June of this year will initiate society awareness campaign, (for women and girls that were raped during the war in Kosovo) that raped women are war victims of the war, and they are not only “someone’s wife or daughter” but they are our mothers, sisters and our daughters and above all heroines of this nation: for which, under one: we must seek justice for all women and girls raped during the war and that criminals should be prosecuted and punished for the crimes committed during the war, and under two : to stand close to them as in legal, social as well as human aspect.
Main task of the institutions and Ministry of Integration is to promote, initiate and protect the rights of the women, and in this case the rights of raped women during the war in Kosovo. Meaning that the political will is very strong in order to support and assist this category in all aspects, especially in the legal aspects, and thus institutional and social care will be maximal, productive, practical and efficient.
Thank you for your attention!
Last modified: August 16, 2022