Kosovo Youth Through Art… of Reconciliation

Between early February and the end of March 2021, twenty young individuals aged from 13 to 22 years old and belonging to the Kosovo Albanian, Kosovo Roma and Kosovo Serb took part in the project activity Youth Check In, within the framework of the project Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation which is financed by the EU Office in Kosovo.

Many participants, across different communities of belonging, portrayed in their own creative way numerous issues – poverty and the environment above all – that still plague Kosovo society as a whole. This gives a hint about the sense of commonality and civic engagement that brings them together despite their community affiliation.


Feminist Spring School 2021 – Second part

4-7 November, 2021.

“Young women building peace” is the motto under which took place the second part of the Feminist Spring School 2021, gathering 18 girls from Kosovo and Serbia from 4-7 November, 2021.

Given the stagnant situation of the dialogue process between Kosovo and Serbia, the recently created tensions between the two countries and the great impact that the situation plays on the daily life of the population of both countries, as well as the effect it all has in their interethnic relations, initiatives like Feminist Spring School undoubtedly play a key role in constructing a narrative without political distortions within the bigger picture of peace building among the citizens of Kosovo and Serbia.

The program of Feminist Spring School is created in such a way that it includes activist and feminist trainers and guests, from Kosovo and Serbia, who present their work to the participating girls. And this year’s program was no exception.

During the four days of our (informal) school / seminar that brought together young women from Kosovo and Serbia we tackled different topics, engaging participants in practical learning processes and exploring more about themselves, their feminist future and the peace building process.

From ‘law and feminism’ to ‘peace and activisms’ to ‘transitional justice and reconciliation’ to ‘women’s contribution in peace and security’ to ‘women’s movement since the 1990s’ to ‘women climbers breaking taboos’ to ‘women at the negotiating table in Kosovo’ were the topics that enriched the program of the second part of the Feminist Spring School 2021.

Well-known names of activists and institutions’ representatives including Nasrin Pourghazian, Ariana Qosaj Mustafa, Valdete Idrizi, Kaltrina Shala, Donika Emini, Igballe Rogova, Mrika Nikçi and Jovana Radosavljevic lectured on the aforementioned topics.

Creating a safe environment for participants to express themselves and enabling them to do it in their own respective language are among the core principles of the Feminist Spring School that of course came to the fore this year as well.

Below we will enumerate some short sentences of evaluation answers to the question “What’s the feeling you are concluding the Feminist Spring School with?”

“Inspired, empowered and loved.” – Valëza

“I am leaving this training highly motivated to work even harder for women and girls.” – Drenueta

“I am leaving with more knowledge about the importance of women’s history and I cannot wait to share this knowledge I have.”- Jelena C.

“If we ever forget how strong and knowledgeable, we are, or because of the circumstances in which we live we are sometimes discouraged, I think that trainings like these remind us of many things and give us courage to continue.”- Saranda

The project “Young Women Build Peace in Kosovo and Serbia” is implemented in cooperation with Artpolis – Art and Community Center and the “Alternativni centar za devojke” while supported by the European Union in Kosovo and Kvinna till Kvinna foundation.


Workshop and Forum Theater Performance “Rokada”


“On 29-31 October in Prizren the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation organized a Forum Theatre Training workshop with young people from different communities in Kosovo. This workshop is one of the activities under the project 2018/404-549 “Transforming conflicting perceptions through increased civic and community engagement in Kosovo”.

The workshop was held under the mentoring of Filip Pajic, a psychologist and amateur theatre director. 15 young people (9 women and 6 men) from the Albanian and Serbian communities participated. The training was developed with a focus on theatre knowledge, theatrical techniques and improvisation. The main topic covered was the cooperation of young people. How young people should cooperate with each other in order to achieve a common goal, understanding each other, breaking stereotypes and getting to know the differences as a process of reconciliation. The participants responded very well to the training and the commitment was at a high level.

As a result of the training, participants organized Forum Theater performance held on November 5 at the CEC Center in North Mitrovica.

The play focuses on the stereotypes that prevail in Kosovo society and how these stereotypes affect young people.

The story of four young people who were previously in mixed relationships but broke up due to differences in origin and religion, was the topic of the play and the discussion that followed.

#aktiv #kcr #artpolis #hlck


Maximum sentence for Goran Stanisic accused for war crimes in the villages of Sllovi/Slovinje and Tërbovc/Trbovce


The Trial Panel of the Special Department of the Basic Court of Prishtinë/Priština (presided by Judge Valon Kurtaj1), on October 5, 2021, found the accused Goran Stanišić guilty of war crimes against the civilian population and sentenced him to imprisonment of twenty (20) years, which is the maximum sentence for this criminal offense, according to the SFRY Criminal Law, which is more favorable in this case.

The Humanitarian Law Center in Kosovo (HLCK) has systematically monitored the trial against the accused Stanišić. Based on the monitoring of the trial, the HLCK finds that the trial was fair and the rights of the parties during the proceedings were respected, despite the difficulties in organizing the trial due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The verdict was announced after 15 court hearings, where 22 witnesses were heard, among them the injured party A1.2
Upon the process of evidence presentation during the main trial some prosecution witnesses have identified the presence of the defendant at the place and time of the deportation and killing of Albanian civilians. However, the statements of some eyewitnesses given to the UNMIK Mission, and later to the Special Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo (SPRK), were inconsistent regarding the participation of defendant Stanišić in the killing of civilians.

HLCK is reluctant to comment on the verdict and the extent of the sentence at this point until receiving the verdict in writing along with the reasoning for this verdict. Upon the announcement of the verdict, the trial panel did not provide any reasoning regarding the announced verdict. It is therefore unknown what evidence the trial panel relied on when making its decision on the defendant’s conviction. The lack of a reasoning for the decision on

convicting the defendant is contrary to Article 366, paragraph 2 of the CPCRK. This article stipulates that after the public reading of the enacting clause of the verdict, the reasoning of the verdict must be briefly announced, respectively the evidence on which the Trial Panel was based. It is also necessary that in this case, the Trial Panel gives a reasoning regarding the aggravating or mitigating circumstances, which have influenced the defendant to be found guilty and sentenced to maximum imprisonment.
On February 6, 2020, the SPRK3 has filed an indictment against Goran Stanišić, accused of having been a member of the reserve police force of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, who during the period of 15 and 16 April 1999, as part of a broad and systematic attack by Serbian military, paramilitary and police forces against the Albanian civilian population in the villages of Sllovi/Slovinje and Tërbovc/Trbovce in the Municipality of Lipjan/Lipljane, and in cooperation with other members of this unit, participated in the deportation of the Albanian civilian population, committing the murders of 13 Albanian civilians and wounding A1. The first instance court found him guilty on all counts of the indictment.
The parties have the right to appeal against this verdict in the Court of Appeals.


‘War crime cases before the Kosovo courts’


HLCK publishes the newsletter on ‘War crime cases before the Kosovo courts’ for the period January – June 2021.

In this newsletter, you can find information related to the war crime cases before the Kosovo courts together with the HLCK observations.



Midterm evaluation of an ongoing project

Transforming conflict perceptions through increased civic and community engagement in Kosovo

January 2019 – June 2021

As soon as possible or latest 1st of October 2021


Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation (KCR) was established in January 2019, by HLCK, Artpolis, NGO Aktiv and Documenta, through the support of the European Union Office in Kosovo with the project “Transforming conflicting perceptions through increased civic and community engagement in Kosovo”.

KCR seeks to contribute to overall improvement of ethnic relations in Kosovo and increase understanding and participation of grass-root community actors in initiatives fostering the reconciliation process in Kosovo. Through vigorous efforts in facilitation of respectful ethnic dialogue, promotion of cultural diversity values, increased opportunities for inter-ethnic cooperation in promotion of peace and tolerance and amplified inclusion women and youth groups in reconciliation process in Kosovo, KCR aspires to introduce genuine and sustainable changes in reconciliation dynamics in Kosovo. 

The selected expert/consultant will have to conduct a programmatic evaluation, which will autonomously measure overall progress of the project, assess the indicator fulfillment, collect and review quantitative and qualitative data to determine evidence of the project impact and suggest the changes/amendments that lead to better result delivery in the continuation of efforts. This will have to be done in close cooperation with the programme manager and the KCR members. 

After more than 2 years of work, the Coalition seeks to engage an external expert who will work closely with us to:

  • Carefully review the work of the KCR for the period of 1st of January 2019 – 30th of June 2021.
  • Prepare and conduct a midterm evaluation of the partnered organizations, based on meetings with HLCK, Artpolis, NGO Aktiv, the expert’s own research and feedback collected from stakeholders and discuss the findings with the organizations.
  • Explore and recommend which interventions are most appropriate at which level(s) to achieve the desired change.
  • Analyze which organizational capacities should be strengthened in order to improve the implementation and the results of the project.
  • Define all necessary adaptations for the future project design.
  • Deliver a final report on findings and recommendations for internal use for the KCR.


  • No less than five (5) years of professional experience working in the civil-society sector in Kosovo and region.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with Transitional Justice and Dealing with the Past concepts and demonstrated experience in these field.
  • Past experience in evaluating projects.
  • Fluency in English and local languages.

Interested parties should submit the following documentation to office@hlc-kosovo.org no later than the 20th of September 2021:

  • A detailed curriculum vitae;
  • A letter of interest outlining the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for the position and examples of past similar work;
  • A proposed methodology and timeline for the completion of work;
  • A financial offer;

Deadline for questions and further clarifications for the open call is 13th of September 2021 via email. All questions and answers will be available for all applicants no later than 15th of September 20201 on the webpage of KCR.

Grupi 1 - foto 2

Young women in Kosovo and Serbia engage in peacebuilding, seeking participation in dialogue


Insjaderi.org; KultPlus.com; Alsat.mk

Women in Kosovo and Serbia seek to contribute to the bilateral dialogue that began ten years ago, just as they contribute to their communities on a daily basis.

An initiative of special importance regarding this process has been launched by Artpolis- Art and Community Center, from Kosovo and the Alternative Center for Girls from Serbia, supported by Kvinna till Kvinna.

These two organizations dealing with human rights, in particular women’s rights, in several online meetings have brought together young women from Kosovo and Serbia, to discuss, propose and draw conclusions and recommendations about the dialogue process and what role women will have in this. With knowledge of feminism and ready to build peace, these young women have been part of the six editions of the Feminist Spring School, which takes place twice a year in Kosovo and Serbia under the organization of Artpolis and the Alternative Girls’ Center.

One of the organizers says that political orientation is not important, but rather it is important that young women have gathered to present their ideas for the dialogue process, to compile recommendations that are handed over to the various decision makers.

“We as a women’s rights organization have been dealing with this issue for years, but unfortunately neither Serbia nor Kosovo have had any point of discussion on this. So, we are gathered here to discuss these topics freely and to present things that are proposed by you and to come up with a document that is worth talking about. Maybe we do not know what exactly the points of the talks contain, but our goal is to give you a proposal regarding the rights of women in Serbia and Kosovo”, she said.

Transparency is a feature of the ten-year dialogue, according one of the participants, who says that this process is a bit mystic, as they do not know much about it and the information from the media leaves much to be desired.

An interesting proposal for dialogue with Serbia came from her, which stated that Serbs living in Kosovo should also be part of the Serbian delegation, emphasizing that there should also be women.

“I believe that Kosovo Serbs should also be included in the dialogue, I think that this government has an interest in it. Why not be a woman from the Serb community who lives in Kosovo and is a political activist”, she said.

And the project manager in Artpolis, Venera Ismaili, showed that this organization has already taken concrete steps to include women in the Kosovo delegation.

Ismaili stated that they have the support of the President, Vjosa Osmani, for women to be included in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, while emphasizing that Artpolis has created a document in protest, addressed to the Norwegian Embassy, ​​as technical support of this process, in which case the involvement of women was requested.

“We have prepared this letter to send to the Norwegian Embassy, ​​as technical support in the dialogue process. This letter is expected to include other organizations and will be sent to the relevant institutions for this issue“, said Ismaili, on which occasion she warned that all this will be made public very soon.

“On the side of Kosovo, the girls all agree that Kosovo and Serbia should agree but without ignoring the search for justice, killings, disappearances, rapes (either on both sides). Both sides agree that they are not informed by politicians, but only by the media which receive information from the context of what is presented to the public. Both sides agree that the information should be direct, perhaps directly from the negotiating table, because in this way the media does not distribute disinformation and does not manipulate the public,” said Ismaili.

At the very end, all participants gave their opinion on this discussion.

There was a need for women to be informed as much as possible about the dialogue and to be involved in the process, as their judgment does not include at all the nationality and political grudges that these two countries have had over the years.

These discussions were conducted in the framework of the activity “Young women for participation in peace building”, which aims to unite young women interested in contributing to peace policies in the region and creating a document of recommendations in order to contribute to culture of peace from a gender perspective that supports the strengthening of democracy in Kosovo and Serbia and the building of a cross-border dialogue between young women activists.

All this was made possible by the Alternative Girls’ Center from Serbia and Artpolis- Art and Community Center, supported by Kvinna till Kvinna.

Insjaderi.org: https://bit.ly/3fDEwGW

KultPlus.com: https://bit.ly/3s04mcV

Alsat.mk: https://bit.ly/3fCLAUc



Pristina, 08.07.2021

Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo and Youth Initiative for Human Rights Kosovo express their concern regarding the situation created on the occasion of the return of Mrs. Dragica Gašić in the city of Gjakova and in particular for the legal actions undertaken by the Municipality of Gjakova towards her.

On July 6, 2021, the Municipality of Gjakova filed a lawsuit in the Basic Court of Gjakova, where the object of this lawsuit was “the request for annulment of the contract for renting the apartment with a request for temporary measures.” At the same time, the Municipality of Gjakova requested that the respondent be assigned a temporary legal representative, as their place of residence is not known.

We consider that such actions are not in line with the legislation in force and is not in the spirit of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, namely, it violates Article 156, entitled “Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons”, which states that The Republic of Kosovo should promote and facilitate the safe and dignified return of refugees and internally displaced persons and assists them in the return of their property and possessions. Mrs. Gašić possesses the necessary documents, with which she confirms her right to use the property, a right which was given to her by the decision of the Kosovo Agency for Comparison and Verification of Property. This Agency based on the request of Mrs. Gašić, on June 9, 2021 had vacated her apartment by removing the family that had been there, to enable the return of Mrs. Gašić in that property.

Given that the actions of Mrs. Gašić have been in accordance with the procedures for returnees, without harming or endangering any other person, we consider that the situation created as a result of her arrival and for the legal action that were taken, are in contradiction with the democratic and multiethnic spirit of the state of the Republic of Kosovo and does not contribute to the process of dealing with the past.

Therefore, we call on the local authorities of Gjakova to act in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo by withdrawing the lawsuit against Mrs. Gašić, and facilitating her safe return and stay in Gjakova.


Milena P

Multiethnicity through institutions in Kosovo

Multiethnicity in Kosovo is one of the great challenges which the entire population of this area faces. The multicultural population in Kosovo consists, in addition to the Albanian community representing the majority, of Serbs and other non-majority communities, such as Roma, Egyptians, Ashkali, Turks, and others. In such a multiethnic society, it is important to regulate relations within communities and respect the rights of non-majority communities guaranteed by the Constitution of Kosovo and certain laws, so that based on the very democratic principle of this society, the rights of all citizens in Kosovo should be equally respected.

The biggest challenge in such a society is the functioning of the Albanian and Serbian communities, as two completely different peoples, with relations destroyed during the previous war and other political conflicts, which share the same territory and live, cooperate, often depend on each other. Their diversity is reflected, first of all in language, then in culture, customs, and history. At first glance, they do not seem to have any similarities, but there is something connecting such two different peoples that makes their lives and existence itself, and that is the same territory in which they live, the same goals related to the future in the places where they live, striving for progress, and calmer and better life. These two peoples also share what their existence depends on the most, and that is work because they want to work or are already working on the same jobs, in the same institutions, and they probably spend most of the day together. In this everyday life, the lack of knowledge of the language of these peoples is one of the biggest problems and the most important conditions for successful communication and cooperation. Younger populations almost do not feel the need to know the languages of communities, but also the culture of different peoples. Moreover, they are often hostile to the customs, culture, and language of different peoples. However, what has been a source of hope for the improvement of this situation in Kosovo in the last few years is precisely the sharing of the same jobs and the improvement of the economic aspect of the citizens. Members of different communities who work in the same jobs have only one goal, and that is to do their job the best they can to keep it and get paid, on which the quality of their lives depends the most. In order to achieve that, it is necessary for their communication and cooperation to be at the highest possible level, and that also means knowing each other better. Joint cooperation and work make them get closer to each other and get to know the culture and history of different people better. WIthout their mutual interaction, they would not be able to achieve any of that and it would be difficult to overcome the barriers and prejudices that have existed for years. Mutual respect and esteem are necessary for normal functioning, but it is necessary to create enough space to accept diversity. Therefore, influence from all levels of government is important, in order to create a pleasant environment for all communities in Kosovo.

The integration, which took place in certain institutions in Kosovo, the most important of which is the judiciary, contributed to all this. Many young people from the Serbian community, including myself, were given the opportunity to work or do internships in these institutions, together with colleagues who are of Albanian nationality. In the beginning, there were a lot of problems with language skills and mutual communication, it was not possible to talk without the presence of a translator or other colleagues who know the language of another nationality, but the desire to work and personal development was stronger than all barriers. Considering that the workers in these institutions are mostly older people, the knowledge of the Serbian or Albanian language by certain workers who have been there before, made it much easier for young people to get to know each other and has enabled mutual communication. This is exactly what motivated young people to learn the language of another nation better at work and to get to know their culture better. In the beginning, there was writing down the words necessary to read and communicate, and later merging those words into sentences. As a worker in the judicial system of Kosovo, I needed to master the Albanian language as well as possible in order to do my job more efficiently, and I also wanted to “absorb” the experience of all my colleagues as much as possible. Working in a pleasant environment is necessary in order to achieve the best results at work, and that means better personal contact, bringing the cultures and customs of both nations closer. Mutual help at work is also of great importance and allows us to better cooperate and achieve the desired goals. During the previous years of working together, as long as the integration lasts, the experiences of many are positive, progress has been made on the issue of language, so many of my colleagues have learned the language and no longer need assistance in communicating with workers of other nationalities; work in certain segments is done faster and more efficiently, even the parties have more confidence in the integrated institutions in Kosovo.

Aware of the fact that we share space, work, and spend time together, we become more interested in the customs and culture of another nation, for better mutual acquaintance and respect. I have witnessed positive examples also when it comes to religious holidays and their mutual respect, culture is now better known and differences are accepted. Through doing business together, we managed to find a way to better accept each other and give a chance to our relationships. We have the confidence to turn to each other for help beyond business life, but work is the basis of our relationship, which has helped us build it better.

Because of all this, I think that work gave us a good chance to meet and if there are more such opportunities, most will go in the same direction, so in addition to improving the quality of life, there will be a more pleasant environment for mutual functioning and socializing in the future. It is a society to strive for because only in such conditions is it possible to better organize our lives, get to know the people who live next to us, and work together to help each other build better lives. I see just such a future – through creating more opportunities for employment in a multiethnic society, among which is the integration of certain institutions that took place in Kosovo and which resulted in good opportunities for many, especially young but also older citizens of this society.

Milena Petković, lawyer

Milena Petković was born on June 1, 1992. in Gjilan. She enrolled in the Law School in 2011 at the University of Pristina with temporary headquarters in Mitrovica and graduated in 2016 with a high average. She has been active in the integrated judiciary in Kosovo since 2017 and passed the bar exam in Pristina in 2019. She is now actively involved in the fight against domestic violence and cooperates with the non-governmental sector.