How can International and European human rights instruments be used in Kosovo in order to improve the concrete situation of persons with disabilities ? This question was in the center of the Sixth online workshop launched by the Kosovo Women's network (KWN) and the European Women lawyers Association (EWLA) on the 27th of January. 15 partner organizations based in Kosovo , representing women and men with a variety of disabilities, participated in the interactive workshop and shared their projects and needs for future actions.
Challenges and obstacles in the access to education, public transport, voting, employment or culture were impressively described and discussed.
Katharina Miller, lawyer and president of EWLA based in Madrid, Chiara Seitz, trainee lawyer based in Munich and Sylvia Cleff Le Divellec, lawyer and co-founder of Cabinet ELAGE and expert in European anti-discrimination based in Paris, introduced the participants in the existing legal instruments and good practices of inclusion on the national, EU and International level.
Strategic litigation is of need in Kosovo, where the anti-discrimination law adopted in 2015 fulfills EU standards with regard to discrimination in a quiet extensive way but where case law is almost non existent and persons with disabilities are struggling very hard in their lives for inclusion in education, employment, public transport or access to the cultural life.
In concrete application of the inclusive and person-related approach of the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD), the person with her/his disability was in the center of the discussion and shared his/her experiences, struggles, needs and achievements in Kosovo.
The Kosovo Women's Network (KWN) is a network of more than 160 diverse women rights organizations throughout Kosovo. Its mission is to support, protect and promote the rights and interests of women and girls in Kosovo regardless of their political or religious belief, age , level of education, sexual orientation or abilities. KWN is implementing an Action called "Strengthening Women's participation in Kosovo, a four year project (2019-2022) supported by the European Union Office in Kosovo. It forms the framework of the cooperation with EWLA which enters in its fourth year.
Katharina Miller and Sylvia Cleff Le Divellec support the KWN members and women politicians on behalf of EWLA since 2019 in furthering their capacities to understand and influence the EU accession process.
Each of our workshops is an inspiring source of mutual exchange of experiences on the legal, political and practical context regarding the situation in Kosovo, France, Germany, Spain and the EU in the broader sens.
We are looking forward to follow up with our partner KWN on this important topic.