From the 2010 World Report on Kosovo:

Inter-ethnic crimes

In September the UN Secretary-General reported on the growing number of security-related incidents affecting minority communities. Inter-ethnic tensions between Kosovo Serbs and ethnic Albanians and attacks continued, especially in Serb-dominated North Mitrovice/a. In July and August Roma were attacked and threatened in Gjilan/Gnjilane and Ferizaj/Uroševac respectively.

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Discrimination – Roma

Discrimination against Roma remained pervasive, including in access to education, health care and employment. Few enjoyed the right to adequate housing. The majority remained without personal documents that would enable them to register their residency and status.

The action plan to implement a Strategy for the Integration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians had yet to be implemented. An estimated 75 per cent of Romani women were illiterate and had little access to protection from domestic violence. In October NGOs alleged discrimination against Roma applicants for “multi-ethnic” apartments in the predominantly Serbian village of Llapje Selle/Laplje Selo.

In June the HRAP declared partially admissible a case brought against UNMIK by 143 displaced Romani, Ashkali and Egyptian residents of UNMIK administered camps in northern Mitrovice/a. The residents alleged they had suffered lead poisoning and other health problems from the Trepce/Trepča smelter and mining complex.

Forcible returns

Several EU member states and Switzerland negotiated bilateral agreements with Kosovo on the forcible return of minorities, including Roma. Kosovo Serbs were forcibly returned from Luxembourg in November. A return and reintegration strategy agreed by the Kosovo authorities and UNMIK in 2007 was not adequately resourced or implemented by government and municipal authorities.

In November UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, in considering needs for international protection, stated that Serbs, Roma and Albanians in a minority situation continued to face persecution or serious harm through cumulative discriminatory acts. During 2009, according to UNHCR, 2,962 individuals were forcibly returned to Kosovo from other European countries, including 2,492 ethnic Albanians and 470 members of minority communities. There were 193 individuals – 47 Serbs, 127 Roma and 19 Albanians (returned to a minority situation) – from communities UNHCR considered to be in need of continued international protection.

The entire country report is available here.

May 2010

Source: Amnesty International

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