BIRN and Kosovo Women’s Network to Monitor Gender-Based Violence

Posted on

July 2017 marks the beginning of a new initiative to monitor gender-based violence cases in Kosovo. BIRN and Kosovo Women’s Network officially joined forces on July 21st, when representatives from KWN offered a training for BIRN monitors on the best practices for monitoring how gender-based violence is treated in Kosovo. Special focus will be given to domestic and sexual violence against women and girls.

The overall objective of the project is to ensure justice, protection, and rehabilitation for the victims of gender-based violence. Bearing in mind that in Kosovo, women and girls are significantly more affected by different forms of violence just because of their gender, BIRN and KWN will work on mitigating gender-based violence and make up for the poor performance of institutions that are accountable for them.

This project was inspired by the latest findings on the status of gender-based violence in Kosovo conducted by KWN. The latest investigations conducted by BIRN reveal that local institutions have failed to properly offer their services in sensitive cases such as gender-based violence, resulting in women who are victims of such acts receiving little or no support at all from responsible actors. Hence, in order to support victims, BIRN and KWN will begin regularly monitoring these cases to prevent the relevant institutions from manipulating and mistreating them.. The institutions that will be monitored as part of this project include courts, prosecutions, the Kosovo Police, social work centres, and other relevant institutions that exist to properly treat cases of gender-based violence.

The aim of the project is to increase accountability of these institutions while treating cases that include gender-based violence, as well as to increase the awareness of citizens and institutional representatives on the importance of reporting and offering support to victims. Parallel to the implementation of the project, both networks openly invite all citizens to report institutional breaches they run into, or have previously witnessed, if an institution has disregarded or mistreated cases related to gender-based violence. The project is supported by the Austrian Development Agency.