KWN Calls for Institutional Accountability in Failing to Protect Victims of Gender-Based Violence

Pristina, 17 June 2023

Yesterday, on June 16th, during the “Udhëve” program broadcasted on Radio Television of Kosovo, another case of institutional failure in addressing gender-based violence was brought to light. This particular incident involved an 11-year-old girl who was residing in a high-security shelter, the sole state shelter supervised by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) expresses profound concern regarding this institutional failure to protect victims of gender-based violence within the shelter’s premises. The fact that an 11-year-old girl experienced a violation while being housed in a high-security shelter is a clear manifestation of institutional negligence and failure. Not only does this institution fail to provide adequate rehabilitation for victims of gender-based violence, but it also further burdens them with criminalization and retraumatization.

While the 11-year-old girl was raped by five different individuals in Arbëria Park, she was sent to the shelter for rehabilitation. However, during her stay at the shelter, when she was supposed to receive the necessary assistance and support to overcome the trauma of violence, she was subjected to yet another rape within the very institution that was meant to help her heal. Additionally, another girl who was also residing in the shelter for the purpose of rehabilitation is now facing charges for a violent crime. These distressing events vividly highlight the institutional failure to ensure the complete safety and security of gender-based violence victims.

KWN calls on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to immediately dismiss the individuals responsible for the high-security shelter and ensure that they face the consequences for the criminal act that occurred within their institution. Additionally, KWN calls on the Prosecutor’s Office to conduct a thorough investigation into the case and ensure that the victim receives the necessary services. It is crucial that justice is fully served, and all those responsible for this criminal act are held accountable under the law. KWN also emphasizes the need for a victim-centered approach in working with the minor, ensuring that she receives proper and essential assistance.

KWN remains committed to cooperation and providing assistance to victims of gender-based violence through free legal counseling and referrals to relevant institutions. If you require free legal assistance for cases of gender-based violence or know someone who does, please contact us at the following number: 038 245 850.