On 26 May, the Head of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, joined the Kosovo Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu, in an informative visit to the “Center for Protection of Women and Children - My Home” in Ferizaj/Uroševac, organized by the Mission’s partner NGO Integra
The Kosovo Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu, reiterated the commitment of Kosovo institutions to fighting gender-based violence, and to supporting survivors, pointing out that, in order for the prevention and response mechanism to effectively work, each single element of the justice chain has to be completely functional, from the police to the prosecution, from to the court to the shelters’ network.
Minister Haxhiu also expressed gratitude to the international community for the relentless support in tackling such an important issue for the entire society.
EULEX’s Head confirmed the Mission’s support to the Kosovo institutions, recalling how the issue of gender-based and domestic violence is, unfortunately, a universal phenomenon, which requires a systemic, victim-centered approach.
Presenting the history and the work of the Center, which offers a safe heaven and legal and psychological support for victims of domestic violence, its Director, Sevdije Kasumi-Bunjaku, and the Director of the Center Liria in Gjilan/Gnjilane, Nazife Januzi, shared the main challenges faced by these types of shelters across Kosovo.
In particular, Kasumi-Bunjaku and Januzi discussed with Minister Haxhiu and Wigemark the issue of funding and sustainably, the need to strengthen cooperation with the Kosovo Police and the Centres for Social Welfare to improve the referral chain mechanism, as well as the importance of developing specific trainings to deal with survivors alongside curricula to support the rehabilitation of perpetrators.
Today’s visit was the fifth outreach activity organized under the EULEX-supported project “Capacity building of civil society implementing the Istanbul Convention standards”, aiming at raising awareness of domestic violence. The project envisages a total of 15 outreach activities organized by the NGO Integra to victims’ shelters, Centres for Social Welfare, and survivors’ families in different locations across Kosovo.