Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice


During 2022, Centers for Social Work within the frame of protection of this category, have managed 579 cases of minors in conflict with the law under the age of criminal responsibility. Centers for Social Work have very limited capacities to provide the necessary services in accordance with the needs. It is worth mentioning that in this regard, there is a significant lack of services from other providers, such as the non-governmental sector.

Also, another deficiency of the system is the lack of work with family, where again Centers for Social Work lack necessary human resources to carry out work with the family, which in these cases must be developed in parallel with the work that is done with the child.

In addition to the challenge of providing social services, cases when minors have to leave their families due to lack of proper parental care, represents another issue. Regarding these cases, there is no form of specialized foster care, no day care or residential services, which could offer specialized and professional services for their rehabilitation and reintegration.

Establishment of specialized services for children in conflict with the law under the age of criminal responsibility is expected to be done with the approval of the new Law on Social and Family Services.


Kosovo Probation Service in 2022, has processed a total of 700 cases involving minors, where the most dominant offenses included injuries, assaults, thefts, etc. Out of this number, 387 diversity measures, 245 educational measures and 31 cases with orders on community work, were applied.

Implementation of the existing legislation, preparation and implementation of programs on prevention, protection and reintegration of children at risk, still remains challenging, despite the advancement of the legal framework, policies and continuous reforms in the child protection system and justice for children in Kosovo.

Even though the new Juvenile Justice Code has doubled diversity measures from 8 to 16, which play a crucial role in preventing the initiation of court proceedings against minors and promoting their rehabilitation and reintegration in the society, the effective implementation of diversity measures is facing various obstacles and challenges. Moreover, in the recent years, there has been a marked decline of the implementation of these measures within the juvenile justice system, raising concerns about the possible consequences in the lives of juveniles and their chances of successful rehabilitation.

During 2022, out of 2,341 criminal charges against minors with 3,639 persons, Juvenile Justice prosecutors of the Basic Prosecutor’s Office have resolved 1,661 criminal reports with 2,477 minors. Specifically, for 389 or 15.70% of minors, preparatory procedure has not started (principle of opportunity). Mediation procedure has been proposed for 29 or 1.17% of minors. For 182 or 7.34% of minors, preparatory procedure was stopped. Criminal charges were filed against 434 or 17.54% of minors. For 207 or 8.35% of minors, diversity measures were proposed. From this data, it is obvious that we have a drastic reduction of diversity measures imposed by the prosecution, and even more worrying is the fact that new diversity measures are not being implemented at all.

Kosovo Correctional Service, during 2022, received 126 cases of children in conflict with the law, among which 24 light and serious physical injuries, 22 theft and serious theft, 19 robberies, 11 attempted murders and 10 rapes, as well as other crimes. Out of 126 criminal offenses committed by children with criminal responsibility, 25 corrective educational measures were implemented, 2 sentenced to imprisonment for minors and 99 were detained, in the Correctional Center for Juveniles in Lipjan.

Another ongoing concern is the fact that there is no correctional center for female juveniles, and they are placed in the Correctional Center for Women in Lipjan with adult detainees/convicts. In this correctional center there is no specific environment for convicted, detained correctional educational measures female juveniles, so they are placed in wards with convicted and detained adult women.

Lack of professional staff represents a challenge for Kosovo Correctional Service in managing correctional institutions. The Correctional Center has 101 employees, out of this number, 82 are correctional officers, 1 social worker, 1 psychologist, 12 civilian staff and 5 support staff. The number of professional staff and number of correctional officers at Educational-Correctional Centre is 27 employees: 24 correctional officers, 1 education officer, 1 IT instructor and 1 maintenance worker.

While, the educational system has challenges in organizing the learning process, teaching quality and failure to have classes for all school subjects that are in the curricula, which results with a very low level of education.


  • Create sustainable programs on rehabilitation and reintegration of juveniles;
  • Separate female juveniles from convicted adult women, in order to provide suitable environment for the rehabilitation and reintegration of female juveniles with measures and convicted female juveniles;
  • Employ the adequate professional staff such as social workers, psychologists, professional instructors, counselors, etc. There must be sufficient human resources in order to implement individual, rehabilitation and reintegration, and educational programs;
  • Create individual programs adapted to the condition, psychological and physical development of each minor, in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Code; Programs must be prepared by a multidisciplinary team, must include social worker in charge of cases, psychologists, correctional officers, educators, minors, parents or guardians and other relevant institutions;
  • Monitor diversity measures; monitor prosecutor’s offices and courts during entire process, from the beginning of the procedure to its implementation;
  • Review Kosovo Academy of Justice current curricular programs on juvenile justice and child protection in order to assess the needs for improvement/change of current programs;
  • Compile the new curricular programs of the Kosovo Academy of Justice in accordance with international and European Union standards for children’s rights and juvenile justice, interviewing techniques and friendly communication with children during court proceedings;
  • Organize systematic trainings in order to increase capacities of justice system professionals on working with children. Trainings related to new diversity measures as provided for in Juvenile Justice Code.