19 November 2014, Prishtinë -
CRP/K today in conference for Medias has published the report “Repatriation process and challenges of re-integration in Kosovo”.
Kenan Tora from CRP/K said that “repatriation process is a process that directly influences processes that have been defined as national interest of state of Kosovo such as European Integration related processes and especially process of visa liberalization. Therefore, Kosovo has approved law and administrative instructions and has signed a substantial number of agreements on repatriation with relevant states of European Union, trying also that after repatriation process this category of persons are offered necessary conditions for re-integration.” Furthermore, he added that having in consideration that re-integration process is a multi-dimensional one and asks for engagement of several level of policy making and governance, this report aims to identify and analyze challenges in the process of re-integration based on conditions and criteria defined by judicial instruments of
Republic of Kosovo and to treat practical challenges in realization of the rights within system.
Afterwards, Mirjeta Hyseni continued with main findings and recommendations of the report, as follows:
Repatriation agreements contain mutual obligations to the European Union and third countries to cooperate in the return of illegal immigrants to their countries of origin. These agreements are part of a wider policy of the EU related to return. In addition, main tools for the implementation of a common policy on returning are mutual recognition of decisions on the expulsion of the citizens of third countries, the organization of joint flights, etc;
It is undisputed that illegal immigrants enjoy the protection of human rights. Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights says: "Signatories shall provide the rights and freedoms defined in Part I (which contains the rights and freedoms) of this Convention for everyone under their jurisdiction ";
Repatriation agreements are criticized for not respecting the fundamental rights of returnees. Common offenses for which the repatriation agreements are criticized are the danger that people be subjected to torture or inhuman treat and possible violation of the principle of “non-refoulment” in case a person is in danger. Moreover, the rights of immigrant to claim asylum might be subject of prejudice with respect to the implementation of the agreement on repatriation;
There is a lack of accurate information from the reception offices at the municipal level for repatriated persons. Improvement of information in the reception offices at the municipal level for repatriated persons is recommended;
Although a series of agreements for repatriation with the member states of the EU were signed, emigration to these countries remains in a worrying scale. Building of monitoring capacities at national level regarding the level of migration towards EU countries even after signing of repatriation agreements is recommended;
There is a lack of coordination between central and local level of governance in this field. Increased coordination between municipal offices for Communities and Returns with Department of Re-integration within MIA and the Central Commission for Reintegration is recommended;
Children who are born in the states where they are repatriated from often are returned without possessing international birth certificate and then encounter problems during the civil registration in Kosovo. Implementation of agreements on readmission by portfolios responsible for the reception of repatriated persons by ensuring that children who are born in the countries from where they were repatriated are equipped with international certificates is recommended. Increased coordination between offices for Communities and Returns with the Municipal Directories of Education and the Ministry of Education regarding the registration of repatriated children in schools and specifically for tutoring is also recommended;
The creation of adequate monitoring mechanisms for vulnerable children of repatriated families is recommended;
Repatriated persons encounter major problems related to the registration and verification of properties;In order to facilitate their re-integration into society, the provision of legal aid and relief in property registration procedures in cadastral books and construction of homes for repatriated persons in need and who meet legal requirements is recommended;
Delays in processing decisions about repatriated persons which were identified during the research for this report, does not help in the process of re-integration. Respecting deadlines in handling requests which are followed by the municipal level to the central level and timeframe in processing decisions for re-construction of the municipal commissions and the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning is recommended;
Despite the greater burden of re-integration process falls on the local level of governance, Kosovo municipalities still lack the capacity, human or material, to handle this process. The establishment of municipal offices for re-integration in municipalities that the same are not yet established and budget decentralization from central to local level is recommended;
Housing for families in need of 6 + 6 month period, in the absence of providing shelter continues over the period allowed under the rules, which in some cases could be up to two years. It is recommended to design policies and programs for sustainable settlements;
So far, a substantial number of cases of repatriated persons in need of medical treatments for various diseases which can not be done in Kosovo were identified. It is recommended to improve communication between the sending State and Kosovo authorities in such cases.