OSCE Mission Publishes Human Rights Booklet to Assist Kosovo Police
Thursday, October 6, 2005 9:00 AM

PRISTINA, 6 October 2005 - Officers of the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) will now be able to make use of a new human rights booklet, being distributed by the OSCE Mission, which compiles provisions of international human rights instruments and applicable law in Kosovo.

The KPS officers can apply this knowledge to enforce the law while also protecting the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the people they serve.

The pocket-size booklet, 'Human Rights and Law Enforcement', provides a quick reference to the most important human rights standards and applicable criminal legal provisions. It is tailor-made for police work and aims to help KPS officers to better apply criminal procedure and perform their job in a more effective and human rights-compliant manner.

"Police authorities, as part of the executive branch of the government, have a unique role in society," said Henry McGowen, Director of OSCE Mission's Department of Human Rights and Rule of Law. "In having the authority to enforce the law, with force if necessary, the police have a great responsibility to use this authority with due care in order that the rights of all people are protected."

The booklet covers a wide range of topics such as arrest, police investigation, interrogation, treatment of juveniles, discrimination, the right to defence counsel and effective remedy, as well as the freedoms of assembly, association and expression. The last chapter includes a number criminal offences listed in the Provisional Criminal Code of Kosovo which can be committed in the line of official duty including abuse of position, bribery and misuse of property.

The concept for such a reference booklet came when OSCE human rights monitors perceived a gap in the application of criminal procedure by KPS officers. It was compiled as part of an effort to help prevent possible human rights violations and assist with in-service education for the KPS.

The booklet will be distributed to the KPS in the Gjilan/Gnjilane region this week, and then disseminated throughout Kosovo.

Copies of the booklet are available in English, Albanian and Serbian on the OSCE Mission website at http://www.osce.org/kosovo.

For more information please contact:
Sven Lindholm, Spokesperson
OSCE Mission in Kosovo
Belgrade Street 32
38000 Pristina
Serbia and Montenegro
Tel: +377 44 500 254 (mobile) +381 38 500 162
Fax: +381 38 500 188

Published in: "OSCE Mission publishes human rights booklet to assist Kosovo Police," OSCE, 6 October 2005.