PRISHTINË/PRIŠTINA, 1 November 2012 – Despite encouraging developments in the policy and institutional framework for the protection and promotion of the rights of displaced persons and returnees, security incidents at a number of returns sites continue to negatively affect the returns process, concludes an OSCE Mission in Kosovo report issued today.
The report welcomes efforts by Kosovo institutions to enhance coordination of the returns process through the establishment of Municipal Offices for Communities and Returns in most municipalities.
However, it also documents an increase in security incidents affecting returnees and their property, including frequent burglaries and looting, and damage to places of religious or cultural significance.
“Burglaries, looting and damage to symbolic sites seriously harm the returns process and perceptions of security among returnees and displaced persons. While some municipalities have reacted decisively to such incidents, expressing their support for affected communities through statements of condemnation and regular outreach activities, others have failed to take any action,” said the Acting Head of the Mission’s Human Rights and Communities Department, Eduard Pesendorfer.
“We strongly encourage all relevant institutions, including those from the public safety sector, to take appropriate action and work together to enhance dialogue between communities and reinvigorate the returns process.”
The full report can be accessed at http://www.osce.org/kosovo/96805.
The OSCE Mission in Kosovo is mandated with human rights protection and promotion, democratization and public safety sector development.