Prishtina, December 02, 2015 - The Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo (OIK) and UNICEF Kosovo Office/Innovations Lab Kosovo organized an event with key stakeholders at central and local level, youth, civil society, and media to hand over the “Know Your Rights” Platform from UNICEF to the Ombudsperson Institution.
“Know Your Rights” is an online platform, developed by UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo in cooperation with the Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo, that helps Kosovo’s young people discover and understand their rights and entitlements by providing easily-navigable, easily-understood youth-friendly descriptions of the rights of young people (aged 16-29) under applicable legislation. The platform’s Rights Guide covers key rights in areas prioritized by young people, including: education, health, minority communities, employment, family, the law, community engagement, social benefits and youth empowerment. Accompanying each right is a mapping of the institutions that are responsible to uphold the rights, as well as those to which young people can address complaints if the rights are violated.
The platform contains a section detailing the process of how to address complaints to the Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo (OIK) and provides a mechanism to file reports directly through the “Know Your Rights” platform.
Kosovo is the country with the youngest population in Europe. More than 70% of its people are under the age of 35. In 2014, youth in Kosovo were almost twice as likely to be unemployed compared to adults.
Considering the position of young people in Kosovo, particularly of those coming from marginalized or vulnerable groups they need to be acquainted with their guaranteed rights as the first step to become their own best advocates. To address these needs, UNICEF Innovations Lab worked with young people to design the platform to enable young people to explore their rights and connect with the Ombudsperson in the event of a violation.
Through a close partnership between UNICEF and OIK, the campaign launched a year ago through various events, such as workshops with students in schools throughout Kosovo, roundtables on youth rights with youth and institutional partners, distribution of promotional materials to municipal youth centres etc. The platform already has more than 8 thousand users and has been visited more than 30 thousand times. The usage of the platform has been positive from the outset and it is expected that the usage will steadily increase following the handover of the platform, whereby OIK will continue the promotional campaign with high school students. As an institutional leader in the monitoring and protection of human rights and freedoms, as well as a great partner in the design and implementation of the “Know Your Rights” platform, OIK is set out to promote and apply the platform through the execution of their mission with respect to youth.
### About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with its partners, UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. (www.unicef.org)
### About Innovations Lab
A unit of UNICEF Kosovo, the Innovations Lab, which started in Kosovo in 2010, is home to a multidisciplinary team working across sectors and fields to identify methods, partners, technologies, and tools that promise to unlock new uses of information and technology, effect change through communication, and empower youth to be agents of change and partners in our pursuit of a world more fit for children. The Lab’s programmes are implemented in cooperation with NGO Peer Educators Network (PEN). (www.kosovoinnovations.org)
### About OIK
The Ombudsperson monitors, defends and promotes the rights and freedoms of individuals, here including youth, from unlawful actions or inaction of public authorities.The Ombudsperson has the power to investigate complaints received from any natural or legal person in Kosovo that claims violation of human rights envisaged by Kosovo’s legal framework, which includes international instruments of human rights.(www.ombudspersonkosovo.org)
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