PRISHTINË/PRIŠTINA, 24 July 2012 – Vulnerable communities in Kosovo face difficulties with civil registration which continue to hinder their social inclusion, says an OSCE report issued today.
While Kosovo institutions in recent years have improved the legislative framework and have increased the number of civil registration offices, inadequate allocation of financial, logistical and human resources limits proper functioning of the mechanism. Language barriers and a lack of guidance on documents required for civil registration pose further obstacles.
“Through civil registration a person is identified and recognized as part of a society and is able to exercise his or her human rights and gain access to education, heath care and employment,” said Ambassador Werner Almhofer, the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo. “It is of paramount importance that each and every individual is granted access to civil registration.”
To improve compliance with international human rights standards, the OSCE report recommends that Kosovo institutions allocate adequate resources to civil registration offices, reach out to vulnerable communities and ensure affordable registration fees with exemption criteria clearly set out. Institutions are also encouraged to resume the practice of having one month of free-of-charge registration a year.
The OSCE Mission is mandated with human rights protection and promotion, democratization and public safety sector development. It supports social inclusion of all communities living in Kosovo.
The report can be assessed at: www.osce.org/kosovo