International Day on Elimination of Violence against Women is being marked with the intention to prevent violence against women, which is one of the gravest human rights violations. Though speaking against violence, we break the chain of silence with which domestic violence is fastened, and directly impacts on prevention of expending the violence within all other spheres, especially for the most vulnerable groups, women and children of this society.
Violence against women is one of the gravest human rights violations and remains a huge obstacle in accomplishment of equality, prosperity and peace in society. For the Ombudsperson, domestic violence, especially directed towards women, continues to be an obvious problem of our society. Only a small number of cases of domestic violence are reported to the competent authorities, but there is a perception actually that this number is much bigger. Social position of women, especially in rural areas, is obviously dependable on men and the society lacks awareness on concept of gender equality. In majority of cases victims of domestic violation are children, women and elder people.
On occasion of International Day on Elimination of Violence against Women, the Ombudsperson draws attention on the necessity of prompt and appropriate reaction of competent authorities, especially when such incident occurs in the family. Inaction of competent relevant authorities or their failure to act in order to protect the victims of such violation is unjustifiable. There are some cases known to the public, including those occurred this year, in which as a consequence of domestic violence and of inactivity of competent authorities, lives have been lost.
Lives lost should be an alarm for all responsible social institutions. In cases of domestic violence state’s mechanisms ought to guarantee social, economic, health and psychological protection for victims of domestic violence. There is a solid legal base for protection from domestic violence in Kosovo, including here also the Law on Crime Victim Compensation No. 05/L -036, which regardless the fact that recognizes the right on financial compensation to the victims of domestic violence, as victims of violent criminal offence, remains inapplicable.
The Ombudsperson considers as necessity inclusion of the Convention of the Council of Europe (Istanbul Convention) into the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo which proclaims combating violence against women and domestic violence, which entered into force in August 2014. Such call is also made in the Strategy for Enlargement of the European Commission.
The Ombudsperson emphasizes that closer cooperation between state institutions, civil society and society as a whole, for the prevention of violence against women is compulsory, in order to prevent violence against women and to craft an overall environment where violence against women is unacceptable and intolerable.
General Assembly of the United Nations has designated 25 November as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in commemoration and tribute to Mirabel sisters, who were brutally killed in the Dominican Republic in 1960. This day also marks commencement of 16 days of Activism against the Violence towards Women.
Since 2005 Ombudsperson Institution, pursuant with the Law on Gender Equality established the Unit of Gender Equality in order to handle and receive complaints dealing with gender based discrimination as well as to monitor and promote gender equality. At the same time responsibility of this Unit is to receive, investigate and decide regarding complaints that deal with violence against women.
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