Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo releases seventh Annual Report (2006-2007)
The Ombudsperson Institution’s seventh Annual Report includes an assessment by Acting Ombudsperson Mr. Hilmi Jashari of the most important human rights issues in Kosovo today
The Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo submitted today its seventh Annual Report (2006-2007) to the Assembly of Kosovo
“This has certainly been another challenging year for the Ombudsperson Institution,” Acting Ombudsperson Mr. Hilmi Jashari said at a press conference today. “The international administration continues to operate beyond the reach of the Ombudsperson’s mandate. The Kosovo Assembly has not yet appointed a local Ombudsperson, and its legislation designed to strengthen the role of the Institution has not yet been adopted”.
Whilst recognising the Kosovo Assembly’s achievements over the past year in establishing a proper legal framework for the protection of human rights, Mr. Jashari warned that the problem of ineffective implementation of the rule of law continues. He added that Kosovo’s judicial system is “still regarded with distrust by the people it is meant to serve”, and that the executive branch of the PISG is “still characterised by irresponsibility and a lack of dedication to open and accountable decision-making.”
The Acting Ombudsperson called on the authorities and courts to steer away from political rhetoric and dedicate themselves to confronting the challenges faced by all Kosovans. He concluded with the assessment that “rebuilding trust amongst communities and combating poverty, unemployment, organised crime, discrimination and violence requires fresh, bold, and sustainable policies on the part of the authorities. Most of all, it requires their dedication and respect for the rule of law”.
Today’s press conference was also addressed by Deputy Ombudsperson Mr. Ljubinko Todorović, who presented an overview of the Ombudsperson Institution’s activities and statistics over the past year.
Over 4,600 people contacted the Institution to lodge formal complaints or to ask for advice and assistance; this was almost 500 more than in the previous reporting period. Over 100 Open Days were held in the Institution’s offices throughout Kosovo, and almost 700 complaints were registered.
“Over a third of these complaints were from Serbs or other minority communities,” Mr. Todorović pointed out. “This really demonstrates that the Ombudsperson Institution is striving to protect the rights of all Kosovans. And the fact that the figures are increasing each year says as much about our dedication as it does about the authorities’ lack of it”.
Covering the period from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007, the Ombudsperson Institution’s seventh Annual Report includes an assessment by Acting Ombudsperson Mr. Hilmi Jashari of the most important human rights issues in Kosovo today. It also presents a selection of summaries of the Ombudsperson Institution’s cases and reports, as well as an overview of the past year’s activities and statistics.
The Annual Report is available on the Institution’s new website, which was also launched at today’s press conference. The new site has been posted on the Institution’s existing web address: www.ombudspersonkosovo.org.