MDAC started working in Kosovo in April 2010 and has held two capacity-building events with the Kosova Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims (KRCT) to train monitors of psychiatric and social care institutions. MDAC’s sole focus in Kosovo is on monitoring institutions so as to promote the right to be free from ill-treatment and the right to live in the community.


Current situation

While a small number of community-based alternatives exist, the overwhelming majority of persons with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities in Kosovo are denied their right to live in the community and are instead placed in large institutions.

KRCT published its first report on the ‘Human Rights Situation in Mental Health Institution’ in April 2011. The report reveals that the human rights of persons with disabilities living in institutions are systematically violated and ill-treatment often occurs. Institutions are overcrowded; often lacking basic items, such as blankets, sheets, toothbrushes, and personal objects; having sanitary facilities in terrible conditions; lacking sufficient number of staff; failing to provide possibilities for the residents to spend their days participating in meaningful activities and appropriate rehabilitation programs or to have contact with the outside world; lacking effective and accessible complaint mechanisms. 

The United Nations has not yet recognised Kosovo as a State and therefore Kosovo cannot ratify any UN human rights conventions. However the country has been proactive in ensuring its legal framework complies with international human rights standards. There is currently no mental health law in Kosovo. The relevant provisions of the general health law are scheduled to be amended.


MDAC activities

Capacity-building:MDAC has carried out capacity-building activities in Kosovo and co-hosted two workshops with the NGO, the Kosova Rehabilitation of Torture Victims. The first workshop on monitoring human rights in mental health and social care institutions was held for the monitoring team of KRCT in April 2010. The second workshop on monitoring methodology was held in February 2011 for representatives of the Ombudsman’s Office and two NGOs: KRCT and the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms.

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