THE ROUND TABLE “STOP TO DISCRIMINATION – EQUALITY FOR ALL”
2 December 2011 – On the occasion of marking the International Day for Persons with disabilities, the Ombudsperson Institution (OIK) organized the round table on the topic “Stop to discrimination – equality for all”.
The round table provided possibilities for a joint discussion between the Ombudsperson, the non-governmental organizations, which deal with protection, representation and advocacy of the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as the respondent parties of state mechanisms at the central and local level regarding challenges and achievements in the field of education, employment, as well as access of the persons with disabilities in all spheres of life in Kosovo. Also, present were Ms. Jerina Dampier and Ms. Valbona Dermaku on behalf of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.
The Ombudsperson, Mr. Sami Kurteshi, during his speech, said that Kosovo has a series of laws related to persons with disabilities, but there is a lack of implementation of these laws and lack ob by legal acts which enable practical implementation of the laws. Also, he mentioned the fact that non-inclusion of the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo impacted the direct protection for the persons with disabilities as a particular category stipulated by the Constitution. Some of the forms when the discrimination is obvious are: lack of road infrastructure for assisting tools for movement of these persons, free access to written and spoken media (lack of interpreters), access to health and education facilities, financial support to the families of the children with permanent disabilities, as well as the problem of unemployment and disengagement of these persons in the sectors in which persons with disabilities can be engaged. This is an inappropriate discrimination in this field.
The Ombudsperson also informed the participants that the institution which he leads, having intention to pass from a simple verbal support to the persons with disabilities, it has established the Unit for Persons with Disabilities, and also invited them to be a part of a joint work in the points where they can give their contribution in this aspect.
The leaders and representatives of the non-governmental organizations which are engaged in protection and advocacy for the rights of persons with disabilities delivered their speeches during this round table: HANDIKOS (Afrim Maliqi), Asociation of Def People (Enver Kutalani), Mexhid Foniqi (Association Blind People), Driton Bajrakttari (Down Syndrom Kosova), Nysret Shillova e Driton Krasniqi (Club Dëshira), Behxhet Binaku ( HANDIKOS), Zamira Hyseni Dermaku ( The organization for persons with mental disabilities), Ramadan Salihu (FIVKOS), Ramiz Bajrami (OPFAKOS-Deçan) dhe Raze Aliqkaj ( SHPMPF).
All these representatives, depending on the segment in which they are active, displayed obstacles and challenges that persons with disabilities face on a daily basis. Also, they gave their recommendations regarding certain issues, either legal or practical, so that the persons with disabilities don’t remain discriminated and feel as a equal part of the society.
While, the respondent parties of the local and central government that contributed to this round table were represented by: Mr. Habit Hajredinaj( Prime Minister’s Office for Good Governance), Mr. Xhavit Dakaj (secretary general in MEST) and Akif Sheholli ( Director of Urbanism at the Municipality of Prishtina.
Despite the invitation to join this round table, none of the members of the Parliamentary Commission for Human Rights, the Ministry of MSWL, MH, MPA and Municipal Directorate for Education of Prishtina Municipality, were present.
Recommendations and suggestions summarized from this round table will be forwarded by the Ombudsperson to the respondent public institutions.