Conclusions of the Council on Democracy on actions against gender-based violence

The Council on Democracy and Human Rights, at the meeting held on December 2nd, 2022, released as conclusions the specific recommendations on the issues listed below, which relate to gender-based violence. This document will be further supplemented with an action plan. The recommendations are as follows:


Creating or expedition of the review of special procedures in the Police, prosecutor's offices, courts, institutions for the protection of victims and social workers in order for them to deal with domestic violence, gender-based violence and sexual violence (being aware that these three forms of gender-based crime are mutually intertwined). This includes but is not limited to:
implementation of the State Protocol for treatment of cases of sexual violence within the Strategy and Action Plan against domestic violence and violence against women;
appointment of a coordinator for domestic violence and violence against women and girls in basic prosecutor's offices;
implementation of the curriculum on the treatment of abusers within the Strategy and Action Plan against domestic violence and violence against women;
Advanced and specialized training of the members of the Police force, prosecutor's offices and courts  dealing with cases of gender-based violence;
Increase of the logistical capacity of the Kosovo Police for teams monitoring and handling cases of gender-based violence, including the establishment of relevant units where currently unavailable;
To provide victims of violence with free legal aid, regardless of their socio-economic status, and at the same time to increase cooperation in order to make victims aware of the availability of free legal aid.
To eliminate bureaucratic procedures for compensation to victims, as provided by the legislation in force;
Continuation of regular meetings of the Council on Democracy and Human Rights and the Inter-ministerial Group for the treatment of gender-based violence;
A special module for human rights and gender equality, with a special focus on issues related to gender-based violence. This module will be taught at pre-university level education
Review of textbooks in the spirit of gender equality and removal of any content that contradicts the gender equality values.
Adoption of by-laws that ensure that all educational institutions, at all levels, pass internal normative acts for the prevention and reporting of sexual harassment;
Increase the number of psychologists and pedagogues in schools;
Increase the capacity of the Inspectorate of Education;
Allocation of adequate budgetary funds for the implementation of the National Strategy for protection against domestic violence and violence against women;
Drafting of special sectoral policies on sexual harassment for the private sector as well, including those for the prevention of sexual harassment, but also protocols for reporting harassment in that sector and their mandatory treatment;
Increase the level of the functional organization of the domestic violence sector of the relevant Directorate within the Kosovo Police;
Continuation of creation of “friendly rooms” for victims of domestic violence within the Kosovo Police;
Create an adequate cooperation mechanism with the IT sector, NGOs and the media in order to take concrete action in relation to sexist speech and violence expressed on social networks;
Provide expertise for the Draft Law on protection against domestic violence and violence against women and girls;
Supplement the standard operating procedures and their full alignment with legal changes, such as changes in the Criminal Code and constitutional changes related to the inclusion of the Istanbul Convention, which is directly enforceable in Kosovo. Also, consideration of standard operating procedures after the adoption of the relevant legislation;
License public health institutions which would standardize the practice in response to citizens' requests;
Allocation of the budget required for electronic monitoring;
Placing of a signal bracelet tagging the physical movements of a person who has been reported for violence against women and domestic violence;
Increase safety in public health institutions;
Review of the relevant legislation related to prevention, protection and rehabilitation from gender-based violence.
Consideration for the implementation of the Protocol on preventing and addressing violence at pre-university institutions through an inter-institutional group managed by MONTI.

Inter-institutional cooperation

Creation or review of special coordination protocols between the Police, prosecutor's offices, courts and centers for housing of victims of gender-based violence.
These lines and protocols must also include the healthcare sector in order to standardize the reaction and reporting of suspicions of violence or domestic violence by health workers. This can be realized through the implementation of Integrated Health Care, which includes somatic, psychological and financial care services for the victim;
Appointment of officers in the Kosovo Police responsible for regular communication and cooperation with MONTI, representatives of HUCSK or other regional hospitals, civil society organizations and representatives of municipalities in connection with the reporting of sexual harassment and gender-based violence;
Creation of a task force within MONTI (with the participation and representation of parents' councils and centers for social work)in the fighting of sexual violence in schools;
Direct cooperation of the Kosovo Police with local security mechanisms in the community and strengthening of the Police in the community;
Creation of coordination mechanisms for protection against domestic violence and violence against women at the municipal levels managed by municipal presidents;
Regular meetings with municipality mayors;

The use of recording devices by the Kosovo Police during the taking of the initial statements of the victims, as long as the legislation in force allows for it. These recordings are stored on a secure and centralized server. It is also recommended to ensure the presence of a psychologist during the taking of the initial statement

Punitive Penal policies

More frequent imposition of the report to the police station measures, house arrest and searches by courts against persons suspected of domestic violence or gender-based violence;
Changing and amending of theCriminal Code and the Code of  Criminal Procedure, including the establishment of the  legal basis that investigations and trials for acts of gender-based violence do not last longer than one year, publication of the name of the perpetrator and other punitive measures;
Review/expansion of the instructions for damage measurement in cases of sexual violence and gender-based violence;
Compilation of a report/analysis that identifies trends related to these phenomena by the Kosovo Police, KPC and KJC for all criminal cases of gender-based violence;
Tightening of disciplinary and other procedures against officers of the Police, prosecutor's offices and courts, who do not act in a proper manner in cases of gender-based violence.

Assistance to the victims

establishment of a task force or a specialized team (psychologist, doctor, pedagogue) to help in the immediate and long-term rehabilitation of victims of domestic violence and gender-based violence;
Strengthening of social work centers; increasing the number of employees, raising their current capacities, guaranteeing the necessary budgetary support;
To guarantee social housing for survivors of violence at the municipal level. When social housing is not available, apply the practice of “bonus housing” which is guaranteed by legislation, where the municipality pays rent to the victim;
Increase the budget for subsidizing NGOs that deal with the protection and women's rights, by all relevant institutions;
Constant financial assistance (monthly) to women and children- victims of domestic violence;
Constant medical services for women and children – victims of domestic violence and gender-based violence;
Creation of a (monetary) fund within the Kosovo Police that would serve to support the victims, at least in the first 48 hours;
 Using victims' stories about the impact of events on their lives, in order to influence public information and awareness.

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