Combating discrimination and promoting and defending minority property rights in Kosovo

State: Completed | Number of beneficiaries: 5 900 of which 900 direct beneficiaries

Duration of the project: 2004 – 2010

Local partner

D.E.A Mitrovica, Democratization, Education, Advocacy, is a local NGO created by former PADEM employees in Kosovo.

The problem

The hostility between Albanians and Serbs is still present and this situation undermines the protection of other communities in Kosovo, including the Roma, who are in a particularly difficult situation.

Serbs have their fundamental rights, including freedom of movement and freedom of expression, at risk, and discrimination and intolerance against persons belonging to minority communities continues. Security concerns, coupled with limited job prospects and the problem of recovering property, including real estate, are a real obstacle to the sustainable return of people forcibly displaced by interethnic violence.

There are legal tools in Kosovo such as the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the Anti-Discrimination Act, but these tools are very little known and used. The Anti-Discrimination Act provides important guarantees against direct and indirect discrimination in both the public and private spheres. It has rarely been invoked in court by persons belonging to minorities. This may be partly due to the lack of awareness and access to justice in Kosovo, including lack of access to legal aid. People belonging to minority communities are also significantly underrepresented in the judiciary, particularly among judges and staff, making it difficult to build trust in the justice of minority communities.

The Advisory Report on the Framework Convention on the Protection of Minorities of 25 November 2005 is concerned about the de facto discrimination suffered by persons belonging to minority communities in Kosovo.

Individuals have trouble finding a contact person to address their legitimate concerns. Much of the daily manifestations of interethnic hostility and harassment are not reported to the police, and this is often due to a lack of trust in institutions and the effectiveness of available remedies.

Objectives / Activities

The objective of the project was to promote and defend the property rights of the displaced populations of the Municipality of Leposavic and Mitrovica.

Activities carried out:

  • Reception and legal advice to fight discrimination of minorities: access to work, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, …
  • Legal aid in terms of property rights:
  • Collection of property documents
  • Legal mediation for the respect of the rights or in the case of a resale of a property
  • Organization of training and information seminars
  • Networking of key North-South legal actors to resolve ownership issues


  • Direct beneficiaries: 900 beneficiaries in total.
  • Indirect beneficiaries: about 5000 people.