The Kosovo Assembly includes Domestic Violence in the Criminal Code

In September 2017, Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) was informed that the Ministry of Justice embarked on amending the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo. On this occasion, KWN along with members from the Gender Equality and Security Group (GESG) sent a proposal to include the definition of Domestic Violence in the Criminal Code.
Since then, KWN and GESG initiated advocacy meetings, including meetings with the Women’s Caucus, to encourage Members of the Assembly to support including the definition of domestic violence in the Criminal Code through their vote.
Furthermore, in April of this year, KWN was informed that the proposal sent by KWN and GESG was included in the Criminal Code, and since that time, KWN has participated in two meetings organized with Members of Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, as part of the Working Group on the Draft Criminal Code.
The next meeting of the Working Group on the Draft Criminal Code in the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo is scheduled for September 2018. KWN is grateful for the contribution of Members of Assembly of this Caucus for including Domestic Violence definition in the Criminal Code and the willingness to involve all relevant stakeholders in the working groups. KWC encourages Kosovo Members of Assembly to vote this proposal, as this would directly contribute to effective protection from domestic violence.
Also, KWN recalls that in accordance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), in our Constitution, the state should protect women in both private and public spheres. We believe that the proposed changes to the Criminal Code will help address impunity and lack of access to justice for persons who have suffered domestic violence, especially women. Moreover, the proposed changes are in line with the Istanbul Convention and the best European practices.