Information and capacity building

Kosovo Albanian youth attend Serbian language classes organized by the OSCE Mission, Obiliq/Obilić, 26 June 2019. (OSCE/Besfort Oruci)

Kosovo Albanian youth attend Serbian language classes organized by the OSCE Mission, Obiliq/Obilić, 26 June 2019. (OSCE/Besfort Oruci)

OSCE field operations provide information and capacity building to government officials and civil society representatives. This is often achieved in the form of technical assistance and training on such topics as anti-corruption, border management, connectivity, climate change, electoral reform, human rights, rule of law, freedom of the media, hate crime, minorities’ rights, police practices in a democratic society, and VERLT. 

OSCE Mission in Kosovo (OMIK)

The OMIK builds the capacity of law enforcement in the procedures for enforcing human rights principles. For example, the Mission continues to enhance the capacities of local law enforcement institutions in tackling hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents, following up on the Co-operation Agreement in Addressing Hate Crimes, signed in 2018 upon Mission facilitation. The Agreement was signed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Kosovo Police, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, and the Kosovo Judicial Council, and entails measures aimed to enhance early identification and the adequate prosecution of hate and bias-motivated crimes. The Mission held round-table discussions where it facilitated discussions on the investigation of hate crimes for police and Police Inspectorate of Kosovo officers. A set of workshops were organized targeting police officers and prosecutors to discuss the recently amended Criminal Code and challenges in qualification of hate crimes. The Mission also printed and distributed pocket size cards with relevant information related to hate crime and bias indicators to assist the police in identifying such crimes in the field. The impact of these activities was demonstrated through effective police action on a bias-motivated crime in a municipality. A Kosovo Albanian suspect physically assaulted a five-year old Kosovo Ashkali girl, driven by his hatred toward beggars and this Ashkali community. The police responded to the case, detained the suspect, and identified the bias motive of the perpetrator, processing the case accordingly. Both the police officer and the prosecutor involved in the case had attended Mission training on hate crimes.

Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan (PCUz) 

The PCUz has been building the relationship and providing technical assistance on women and supporting media in response to the Uzbek government’s requests. The PCUz has worked to support the government on strengthening its legislative framework and capacity to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings (CTHB). Over 2018-2020, such support included the organization of a conference on the role of the judiciary in combating trafficking in human beings, together with the Office of the Special Representative on CTHB; educational presentations on World Anti-trafficking Day, opened by Tanzila Narbaeva, the Chairperson of the Senate of Uzbekistan; study visits and training for government officials, prosecutors, law enforcement and civil society are organized by ODIHR and PCUz, as well as the NRM Inter-Agency Group and community governments (mahallas). Recommendations from an ODIHR assessment on strengthening the National Referral Mechanisms (NRMs) in the Republic of Uzbekistan were adopted by a Presidential Decree in 2019. This was followed by a focused on the implementation of the Presidential Decree and on draft anti-trafficking legislation, co-organized by the PCUz, ODIHR, the Uzbek National Anti-trafficking Commission and UNODC, as well as an ODIHR legislative review for a draft Anti-Trafficking Bill. The work resulted in an amended Anti-Trafficking law, which was signed by the Uzbek President and came into force in 2020.

Programme Office in Dushanbe (POiD)

The POiD works with Tajik government and civil society partners to build the capacity and resilience of communities in preventing and countering violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism (VERLT), in line with the National Strategy. Law enforcement officers and representatives of the judiciary, youth, teachers and parents have improved their knowledge in areas such as countering the use of the internet for terrorist purposes, strengthening rule-of-law compliant criminal justice responses to terrorism, countering terrorism financing, and enhancing community resilience against violent extremism at the grassroots level. 

These activities led to fruitful discussions on countering violent extremism and terrorism online while upholding fundamental freedoms and human rights and resulted in a set of actionable policy responses and recommendations that are expected to be considered and integrated in day-to-day operations at the executive level. The Office supported the first plenary session of a working group from the Office of the Prosecutor General on the development of a new national strategy on countering violent extremism and terrorism (2021-2025).