High level of violence against children

High level of violence against children

Violence and punishment of children in Kosovo remains a social norm which is accepted and applied from parents as an educational measure for their children.70 There is a great need for programs and services for good parenting and for the prevention of violence in families and institutions. Although the Law on Child Protection has foreseen that Government, upon proposal of Ministry of Education, shall issue an Administrative Instruction to ensure programs that promote education, increase awareness regarding degrading consequences of corporal punishment and parenting programs that promote non-violent manners of discipline in family and school,71 this Administrative Instruction has not been approved. Our country continues to lack programs or services that support parents for children wellbeing or positive parenting, thus, public institutions do not have data on the number of parents which have benefited from positive parenting programs.72 Exceptions are some initiatives of civil society organizations which have provided training for positive parenting, counseling and family services in order to strengthen the family.

Currently, there are no assigned institutions or special services for empowering parents on the wellbeing of children. The situation can be improved with the implementation of new Law on Social and Family Services, which foresees the establishment of preventive services, including services for good parenting and counseling centers in municipalities, that will aim to empower parents in wellbeing of children and prevention of children punishment forms.

Identification, reporting and self-reporting of children in situations of violence as a first step toward child protection, are still problematic issues. The Law on Child Protection has provided the establishment of the free-of-charge telephone line for children who need to ask and receive advice regarding their rights and to report cases of violence, abuse, neglect and trafficking. However, even though the free telephone line has been initiated as a process by the Office of Good Governance, Office of the Prime Minister, the free of-charge telephone line has not been established.

Legislation obliges all officials and professionals whose duty is to take care of children in health, education and justice sectors, to report suspicions of violence to the respective Center for Social Work or to Kosovo police authorities. Despite the legal obligation, referrals from these institutions remain at a low level, especially in cases of violence in schools. As for the latter, according to Kosovo Police, there has been a large increase of violence incidents, compared to the previous years. During 2022, a total of 592 cases of incidents in and around schools, were reported. The protocol regarding prevention and referral of violence in pre-university education institutions, is being partially implemented, without any supervision. This is also evidenced from the very small number of cases of violence reported in the Education Management Information System – EMIS, only 39 cases of violence in schools were reported during 2021/22 school year. Meanwhile, during the 2022/23 school year, only 44 cases were reported. Data of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation show that reporting in Education Management Information System – EMIS is low, considering that not all cases are reported.

In many schools in Kosovo, the mediation program between peers is being practiced, which has given positive effects in preventing violence in schools and increasing reporting. In 2022, 130 schools in 19 municipalities have practiced the mediation program.

Services for protection of children victims of violence are accessible, such as basic services within the Centers for Social Work and shelters. During 2022, Centers for Social Work have managed 523 cases of children victims of domestic violence, directly or indirectly involved. One part of these cases has benefited from services provided by 10 shelters for protection from violence, managed by the non-governmental sector. 875 cases of domestic violence were sheltered, treated and received rehabilitation services in shelters (mothers and children). During sheltering and accommodation, victims were offered medical, pharmaceutical, psychological and social services.

Law on Child Protection Law foresees issuing of an administrative instruction on establishing Child Protection Houses, however, this administrative instruction has not been issued and child protection houses have not been established.

In the recent years, there have been concerns regarding the treatment of cases of criminal offenses against the sexual integrity of children, such as rape, sexual assault, degradation of sexual integrity and child pornography. Criminal offenses against sexual integrity of children are occurring in environments such as families, communities, as well as in institutions mandated for the protection of children, such as educational institutions, schools, etc. Civil society has expressed its deep indignation regarding the creation of non-punitive occurrence for perpetrators of sexual crimes against children, which has influenced incitement of an unsafe social environment, where basic rights of children are violated, violation of their physical, moral and sexual integrity becomes a common phenomenon and not an exception.

In order to increase awareness to report violence, the campaign “16 days of activism against gender-based violence” has been organized under the leadership of the Ministry of Justice, which mainly focused on violence against girls.

In Kosovo, we currently have a fragmented child protection system. Therefore, services between the education, welfare and health sectors are not integrated. The institutions’ interventions and services are isolated, uncoordinated and do not meet one of the fundamental principles for dealing with violence, that is the multidisciplinary approach.


  • Implement the legislation on child protection, with focus on the implementation of the Law on Child Protection and Protocol on Prevention and Reference of Violence in Institutions of Pre – University education;
  • Establish and provide programs and services for good parenting, strengthening the family and preventing domestic violence;
  • Establish and implement of programs dedicated to children from the age of early childhood. Programs should aim at recognizing situations and forms of violence, not accepting violence, reporting these cases, accepting diversity to prevent bullying, etc.;
  • Implementation of activities regarding capacity building and increasing teachers and educational staff awareness on the prevention of violence and treatment of these cases;
  • Increase reporting of child violence cases, identified by public institutions;
  • Establishment of the free of charge child helpline, as provided for in the Law on Child Protection, to facilitate and increase reporting of cases of violence;
  • Establish the child protection houses;
  • Create a friendly and supportive environment within the school, so that the problem of violence is not only treated with a reactive approach, but has full coherence in the development of activities related to prevention, response and reporting;
  • Ensure sustainable funding for residential social services provided by shelters that shelter children victims of violence and organizations that provide social services in family and community in order to prevent and protect children from violence;
  • Create a data base of persons convicted of criminal offenses against sexual integrity of children and consequently prohibit their access to children, according to existing models in European Union and based on the Law on Child Protection;
  • Inspection the treatment of cases of sexual violence against children from the state institutions, including treatment of perpetrators with offenses related to sexual violence during the last five years, in order to identify systematic problems in the treatment of violence cases and addressing these problems.