Pristina, 9 May 2011 – While there has been progress in some areas, Kosovo institutions still are not creating adequate conditions for integration of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, is a conclusion of report presented today by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.

The report reviewed activities by the central and local institutions to implement the actions foreseen in the 2009-2015 Action Plan on the integration of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo. The three communities continue to face difficulties in access to civil registration, employment and education, as well as participation in public life.

According to the report, the main obstacles to the full implementation of the Action Plan are: insufficient resources, lack in engagement on part of the relevant institutions, and deficiencies in communication between them at the local and central level. The report in particular stresses the need to find a swift solution for those members of the three communities who have been forcefully repatriated to Kosovo from elsewhere.

“Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities are amongst the most disadvantaged groups in Kosovo,” said Ambassador Werner Almhofer, the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo. “More tangible action and efforts are needed to foster the three communities’ integration in the systems of education and employment, as well as promote their participation and representation in social and public life. Unhindered access to personal documents, health care, housing and property are also important matters requiring urgent attention.”

Some modest progress in regularization of informal settlements, support in facilitating returns, and promotion as well as protection of cultural identity of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities have been noted in the report.

“I welcome the efforts made so far, and urge the responsible institutions to further engage in fulfilling the commitments set forth by the Strategy and Action Plan. This is an important step in building a stable democratic society, where the rights of all are recognized and fully respected,” Almhofer concluded.

The report is based on regular monitoring activities carried out by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo. It contains a number of recommendations to the institutions on how to address identified shortcomings, including through allocation of adequate resources, improved communication, and a stronger focus on problematic areas.

The report in English, Romani, Albanian, Serbian languages is available at: http://www.osce.org/kosovo/77413

The OSCE Mission in Kosovo is mandated with promoting and protecting human rights. The OSCE Mission carries out periodic assessments to assess compliance with and respect of the human rights standards by the institutions in Kosovo.

Source: OSCE