Against racizm!

On May 17, 2022, while the Celebration of ABC was being held in Peja with first-grade children from Kosovo, Albania, Northern Macedonia, and Presevo, in the part of the seats behind a net were sitting a group of 10 children from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities. Set aside, they were watching their peers downstairs. In the video published by the media, these children clearly express the desire to celebrate together with the other children, while their teacher justified this separation in a meaningless way. This is a horrific, painful case of segregation and discrimination against communities that are systematically discriminated against and excluded.
This shameful event perpetrated by the school, took place in the presence of representatives of central and local institutions such as: Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Municipality of Peja.
Human Rights Network, together with other CSOs who have signed this letter, strongly condemns such exclusionary and discriminatory actions towards members of the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, especially when it comes to children, as the most sensitive and clearly vulnerable category of our society. Therefore, we request that this case be treated on the basis of the Law on Protection from Discrimination, which guarantees equal treatment without any direct or indirect discrimination. Discrimination is any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference on any ground, which has the purpose or impact of depreciation or violation of the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and other applicable legislation of the Republic of Kosovo. In addition, Article 8 of the Law on Child Protection states that “all institutions, service providers, child protection professionals, must take all appropriate measures in order for the child to be protected from all forms of discrimination. ”
Actions by MESTI and the Municipal Directorate of Education in Peja should be urgent and effective in taking adequate disciplinary measures against the teacher, the staff of the respective school, but in general, all other similar cases that have a negative impact on these communities and perception of society at large. It is of high importance to not only react on days with cruel events like these and other days to pass quietly and without action and fight against discrimination. We call on the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo to work hard in preventing such segregating cases and to work in terms of public awareness. At the same time, we demand institutional responsibility and taking appropriate measures for the case in question, encouraging substantial involvement and monitoring by the Inspectorate of Education, the Ombudsman, and the institutions responsible for implementing the Law on Protection from Discrimination and the Law on Child Protection.
Human Rights Network (HRN) organizations:
Youth Initiative for Human Rights - Kosovo (YIHR KS)
Association of Paraplegics and Paralyzed Children of Kosovo HANDIKOS
Center for Equality and Liberty (CEL) Cel Kosovo
Kosovo Law Institute (KLI)
Kosova Women's Network (KWN)
New Social Initiative - Nova društvena inicijativa (NSI)
Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (VoRAE)
Organizations supporting this letter:
Junior Chamber International Prizren - JCI Prizren
Shoqata e gruas "Jeta në Kastriot"
Fondacioni Jeshil
Fondacioni Lumbardhi
BONEVET Prishtina
Action for Mothers and Children
Rrjeti Demokracia Fillon Këtu-DFK
Balkan Forum
Fondacioni Kosovar i Arkitektures
Fondacioni Shtatëmbëdhjetë
Open Data Kosovo
Center for Political Courage (CPC)
YMCA Movement
Debate Center
Asociacioni Nacional i Autizmit në Kosovë - ANAK
The Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims - KRCT
Activism Roots
Qendra per Promovimin e Drejtave te Grave ne Drenas - QPDG Drenas
Civil Rights Program – Kosovo (CRP/K)
Instituti GAP
Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS)
Roma Versitas Kosovo - RVK
Instituti për Politika Zhvillimore - INDEP
Center for Affirmative Social Actions - CASA
Levizja FOL
Advancing Together
Community Building Mitrovica
Fondi për të Drejtën Humanitare Kosovë
Medica Kosova
Terre des hommes Kosovo
OJQ Social Housing and Property Rights
NGO Domovik
Qendra Kosovare për Studime Gjinore (QKSGJ)
Rrograek - Network of Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian Women Organizations of Kosovo
Democracy4Development | Demokraci për Zhvillim (D4D)
Youth Association - Young Active Gracanica
Kosova Young Lawyers - KYL
Koalicioni K10
Kosovo Advocacy Group-KAG
Democracy+ (D+)
Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS)
Këshilli Rinor Kosovar
Qendra per Zhvillimin e Grupeve Shoqerore (CSGD)
Missing Persons Resource Center (MPRC)
Aplikimi i Demokracise ne Kosove
OJQ Vullnetarët e Qytetit (VEQ - Gjilan)
REC - Reconciliation Empowering Communities
Qendra Rinore Obiliq
Centar Manjinske Zajednice - CMZ from Gracanica
HANDIKOS Malisheva
Iniciativa Kosovare per Stabilitet - IKS
Nevo Koncepti
Instituti për Mirëadministrim dhe të Drejtat e Njeriut (IMADNJ)
Drejtësi Për Të Gjithë
MODT (Multiethnic Organization for Development and Training)
Ojq Bliri
ISDY - Institute for Sustainability and Development of Youth
Instituti për Studime Evropiane dhe Globale - ISEG

We call on the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo to work hard in preventing such segregating cases and to work in terms of public awareness.