(Extracts)

The Kosovo Serb community did not formally participate in the constitutional process. Other minority communities, such as Roma, complained they were not or insufficiently involved and consulted.

Significant numbers of children lack birth registration documents, especially among Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.

The municipal authorities in Mitrovica/Mitrovicë consider two former residential areas within the ‘Roma Mahala’ as public property, which is delaying the regularisation and return process. Cadastre departments of Kosovo’s municipalities lack property documentation, and archives have not been harmonised, which results in complications for the verification of property rights of displaced people and Kosovo Albanians.

Radio Television Kosovo (RTK) broadcasts in the Serbian, Bosnian, Turkish and Roma languages, in line with legal provisions. RTK covers 78% of Kosovo territory. The remaining territory is not covered by the RTK signal due to a poor distribution network and includes most Bosniaks, Turks, Gorani and Serbs living in Kosovo. This is an obstacle to minorities’ rights to information.

The implementation of the 2006 Law on the Use of Official Languages at central and local level is hampered by the absence of municipal regulations and appropriate resources. The Language Commission and focal points are not working effectively. The Ministry of Public Services and the Ministry for Local Government have not carried out public awareness activities. Members of minority communities are not informed of the provisions of the law, especially in rural areas. The Roma language continues to be ignored in educational establishments and in local administration.

Members of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities remain marginalised. The strategy to improve the education of children in September 2007 is not influencing school attendance by Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children, which remains very low, especially for girls. The level of employment of these communities is still much lower than the average. The majority does not benefit from social welfare and has only limited access to health care. Up to 40% of the estimated 34,000-strong community are not registered as residents of Kosovo, which prevents them from benefiting from administrative and social services. The strategy and action plan for their integration have not been adopted yet. Informal settlements remain a problem and living conditions are extremely precarious. Inhabitants of some camps for Roma IDPs suffer significant lead contamination, in particular in northern Kosovo where the relevant authorities failed to provide treatment and relocate the endangered population. Security remains a concern and incidents continue to go unreported. The conditions set to receive Kosovo citizenship are difficult to meet for members of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.

Overall, the situation of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in Kosovo remains worrying and requires the full attention of the Kosovo authorities.

Among the long-term unemployed, the most disadvantaged groups are women, Roma,

Ashkali, Egyptians and persons with disabilities.

There has been no progress as regards the inclusion of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities into the mainstream education system.

The full report is available here.