Minister Çitaku’s speech in the conference on the rights of the LGBT community in Kosovo:
Honoured ladies and gentleman
Representatives of national and international institutions;
Representatives of the LGBT community, media, civil society etc,.
“Today I want to talk on the work that we should do in order to protect the rights of a group of people who are still denied their human rights in many countries of the world. In many ways they are an invisible minority. They are being arrested, beaten, terrorized and even executed. They are treated with hate and violence by their fellow citizens while authorities that should protect them not only that they don’t protect them but often joins the hate and violence. They are denied of opportunities to work and learn, driven out of their homes and places and they are forced to hide and deny who they are in order to protect from violence. ”
These are historical words of former Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton, in her historical speech held in the December of 2011 on the occasion of the Day of human rights and freedoms.
I remember that when I heard this speech I cried. But on the other hand I felt proud that today Republic of Kosovo every day and more is showing a positive approach in the building of equal policies, stimulation of the elections that ensure and promote diversity and creation of an equal atmosphere for all of its citizens.
Kosovo is one of the first countries in the region that in 2004 drafted and adopted the law against discrimination. Promotion of the equality and prohibition of discrimination are raised in the highest level of legislation of the Republic of Kosovo.
The Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo in the article 27 [Equality before the Law], defines and guarantees that: All are equal in front of the law. Everyone enjoys the right to equal legal protection, without discrimination. No one shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, and religion, political and other opinion national or social origin relation to any community, property, economic and social condition, sexual orientation, birth, disability or other personal status. Principles of equal legal protection do not prevent setting of necessary measures for protection and advancement of the individual and group rights that are in unequal position. Such measures shall be implemented only until the purpose for what they were set is achieved.
International law has also set very clear stances on the promotion and protection of equality and punishment of any form of discrimination. The principles of equality and non-discrimination represent the basis and essential component of the general international law on human rights.
Simply, ratification of the international documents and acceptation of the obligations arising from the same by the states is estimated as insufficient and inefficient in dealing with various forms of the discrimination in the national level. For the real fight of the discrimination and setting of the equality system and equal treatment for all, from the countries it is not required at all to adopt only general provisions by which discrimination is prohibited as phenomenon but it necessary to adopt specific legislation, as specific and comprehensive one that will promote and ensure equality and prevent and sanction discrimination.
People take their decisions based on what they distinguish and know. Therefore, if the information they have is not accurate then the decision that they will make won’t be fair. People don’t want the truth when it’s complicated. They don’t want to debate over an issue for years. People want the homogenized truth, sanitarized one and above all simplified in the terms that they understand. The Governments are usually criticized because they move slowly, but precisely these mature and calculated moves show their real strength.
We have taken the directions and newest initiatives in the development of the legislation for equality and equal opportunities, i.e. anti discrimination legislation. These initiatives and directions stem from and are connected with EU directives, recommendations of the European Council and UN recommendations.
Modern development of the anti- discriminating legislation is already not satisfied with a simple reactive role in the situations where victims that face discrimination complaint and seek assistance and legal protection. New trends ask for the acceptation from the state, as well as private sector the positive obligation for promotion of equality and equal treatment in the public life.
Public institutions, enterprises and employers are obliged to be more proactive, to undertake initiatives and research existing structures aiming to eliminate obstacles to equality and to promote policies and new practices that ensure equality m equal treatment and prevent discrimination.
Fortunately, Kosovo is building the necessary legal infrastructure which is in conformity with principles, European and International standards for the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of protection and promotion of the rights of the persons with different sexual orientation. Knowing the irreplaceable importance that you carry as officials of institutions, local organisations that you represent, your participation and contribution in Conference would impact in alleviation of the challenges presented toward the fulfilment of our vision for a democratic society without discrimination.
Honoured ladies and gentleman, representatives and members of the LGBT community in Kosovo I want to end my speech by quoting Prime Minister Thaqi in his speech during the declaration of Independence:
”No intimidation, discrimination or unequal treatment of anyone, won’t be allowed, and that all discriminatory practices will be punished by our state institutions. Instead, we will appreciate benefits that diversity brings to all of us.”
Last modified: August 16, 2022