Ombudsperson Institution of Kosovo

The Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo sets forth the role and competencies of the Ombudsperson as to monitor and protect human rights and freedoms of legal and natural persons from unlawful and irregular actions or inactions of the public authorities.

The Ombudsperson Institution of Kosovo
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The Ombudsperson Institutions of Kosovo (OIK) conducts investigations, issues recommendations, publishes reports, and provides services free of charge and public advocacy to all citizens of Kosovo. Where investigations conducted by OIK legal advisers result in human rights violations, the institution may seek additional information from public authorities. The institution may also issue recommendations to relevant public authorities and publish reports on different issues. In particular cases, the Ombudsperson may do so through media.

The OIK can also offer legal services regarding complaints of citizens of Kosovo addressing public authorities outside of Kosovo. The institution does so by forwarding these complaints to relevant institutions, in most cases to homologue institutions in other countries.

The OIK is independent in exercising its duty and does not accept instructions or interferences by state bodies, institutions or other bodies exercising authority in the Republic of Kosovo. The institution has a mandate can investigate alleged human rights violations without individual complaint, based on the suspicion of a violation (ex officio investigation). Another task of the Ombudsperson is to monitor policies and laws adopted by the local authorities to ensure compliance of these policies and laws with the international human rights standards and to meet requirements of good governance.

In July, 2015 three basic new human rights laws entered into force: Law on the Ombudsperson, Law for Protection from Discrimination and Law on Gender Equality, which vested new mandates and additional competences to the Ombudsperson Institution of Kosovo. These laws have foreseen a faster procedure for handling complaints, establishing a Mechanism for Prevention of Torture, receiving complaints not only against public authorities, but also private ones on the grounds of discrimination, sanctions for non-cooperation with the Ombudsperson, initiating judicial procedures from the Ombudsperson, and acting as Amicus Curiae in judicial processes that are related to human rights, equality and protection from discrimination.