Kosovo: Action Plan on Domestic Violence Launched

On Friday, 25 November 2011, Kosovo President Atifete Jahajaga spoke at the launch of the country’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The offices of the President and the Prime Minister, in conjunction with the Agency for Gender Equality, sponsored this event to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. The event also launched the Kosovo Program and Domestic Violence Action Plan 2011–2014.

This advocacy program builds on domestic violence legislation recently passed by the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo. Passed in 2010, the law On Protection Against Domestic Violence provides for protection orders (including emergency protection orders), property protection measures, and explicit responsibilities for police forces in responding to reports of domestic violence. Additionally, the law broadly defines domestic violence to include use of physical violence or threat of physical violence, psychological suffering, intimidation, and property damage or threat of property damage.

Kosovo has been addressing issues of gender equality and domestic violence in a number of ways over recent years. The Agency for Gender Equality was established in 2004 as a part of the Office of the Prime Minister. Originally named Gender Equality Office, the Agency for Gender Equality works with public institutions, the European Union, international governments, and nongovernmental organizations to advocate for gender equality. Further, every municipality has appointed a Gender Affairs Officer.

Even with this national-level advocacy, recent statistics published by the Statistical Office of Kosovo indicate that gender disparities still exist. The report on Women and Men in Kosovo issued by the Statistical Office of Kosovo states that in 2009 over 900 cases of domestic violence were reported by women. This was a slight increase from the approximate 830 cases reported in 2008.

 

Compiled from: On Protection Against Domestic Violence, Law No. 03/L—182, 10 August 2010 (PDF, 17 pages); Women and Men in Kosovo, Population Statistics Department (PDF, 63 pages).