BIRN Publishes 2023 Report on Handling of Workers’ Rights Cases in Kosovo

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On December 14, BIRN held a conference in Kosovo to launch a report, “Victims of Injustice”, which covers the performance of institutions such as the judiciary and the Labour Inspectorate in handling workers’ rights in Kosovo.

Photo: Naser Fejza - KALLXO

The report is drawn from direct monitoring of workplace accidents and an analysis of records archived in both the Labour Inspectorate and the Kosovo courts.

The findings reveal that the authorities and the judiciary have made little progress in addressing issues related to labour rights, especially related to safety at work regulations, while fatal accidents in the country continue to increase.

Between 2021 and 2023, a total of 33 workers died from 763 accidents at work. The statistics for the first half of 2023 alone reveal nine workplace fatalities, indicating an increase in worker fatalities as a result of workplace accidents.

The conference started with speaker notes from Jeta Xharra, Executive Director at BIRN Kosovo, and Johannes Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the EU in Kosovo.

Madsen said that “the protection of labour rights is not an option, it is a commitment to the principles that define a just and humane society”.

The findings of the report were presented by Kreshnik Gashi, Managing Editor at and Jetlira Buzhala, a monitor and researcher at BIRN. Afterwards, the report was also discussed by a panel, including different actors from public institutions and civil society.

The panel included: Hekuran Nikçi, Chief of the Labor Inspectorate, Eros Gashi, Advisor at Ministry of Justice, Adnan Konushevci, Head of the Civil Department at the Basic Court of Prishtina, Fahret Vellija, Member of the Kosovo Judicial Council and Arif Kadriu, Project Manager at Solidar Suisse.

A total of 51 participants took part in the conference, 19 of whom were women.

The report was published under the “Protection and Promotion of the Labour Rights of Vulnerable Groups in the Labour Market” Project, financed by the European Union Office in Kosovo.

This aims to improve the working conditions for vulnerable categories of workers in Kosovo, especially within the private sector, including health and safety in the workplace for women and men, through the promotion of social dialogue between workers and duty bearers.

The overall report can be found at these links:

Report in English language

Report in Albanian language

Report in Serbian language