The Mandate of Human Rights Sector
The Sector for Human Rights directs, coordinates and plans all activities intertwisted with mission to promote respect for human rights and liberties and to offer assistance and legal advice for advancement and protection of rights of victims of torture.
Within the mandate to promote and advance respect for human rights of persons deprived of liberty, this sector undertakes regular monitoring activities at places of detention, such as: prisons, detention centers, detention cells at police stations, mental health institutions and promotes good practices and legislative standards for protection and advancement of human rights of persons deprived of liberty.
Main activities of Human Rights Sector
– monitoring correctional and detention centers;
– monitoring police stations, riots and different gatherings;
– monitoring centers and mental health institutions;
– providing legal assistance for persons deprived of their liberty;
– monitoring the judiciary system on implementation of human rights ;
– conducting advocacy and awareness raising activities within the mandate of sector.
Monitoring: within the mandate of Sector for Human Rights and Advocacy, the main activity is monitoring of detention institutions (where persons deprived of liberty are placed) to asses objectively and systematically human rights situation at these institutions. KRCT teams carried out regular monitoring visits at correctional institutions, police stations and mental health institutions.
Recommendations: through recommendations addressed to different responsibility levels at correctional institutions, KRCT aims to increase level of respect for human rights recommending improvements or concrete changes in the ways of treating persons deprived of liberty.
Reporting: as part of monitoring methodology, KRCT continuously reports to responsible authorities on human rights situation at these institutions, paying attention especially to most problematic and important aspects of prison life.
Press releases: KRCT in continuity has promoted its activities through printing and electronic media. After each important activity conducted, such as yearly conferences, awareness raising campaigns, human rights anniversaries, KRCT drafts and issues press releases through media.
Annual conferences: as part of annual closing activities, within the spectrum of advocacy to improve human rights situation and to show level of respect for human rights, the main activity of KRCT is organization of annual conferences. The purpose of such conferences is to bring together representatives of relevant institutions and other international and local stakeholders to discuss about human rights situation at detention places, assessed by professional monitoring teams of KRCT during their monitoring work.
Capacity building: Members of KRCT monitoring teams did participate in many training programs within the organization and outside. In this regard, it is worth mentioning cascade training organized by European Council as part of project “ Advancement of Respect for Human Rights in Kosovo”, which focused especially on case law and practice of European Court for Human Rights. In addition, members of Sector have benefited from another six training sessions on “Strategic Litigation” organized by Civil Rights Defenders (CRD) in Kosovo.
Other activities within the Sector
KRCT has formed a working group composed by officials of Ministry of Health, representatives of Special Institute in Shtime (SISH), Center for Integration and Rehabilitation of Psychiatric Chronically ill persons, and also independent experts that finalized the draft of Protocol on Professional and Therapeutic reaction to disordered behaviors. This protocol or guideline will serve mental health institutions with procedures and forms of reactions when dealing with cases of disordered behaviors.
Being that mandate of KRCT is unique in the field of human rights, with specific mission to combat torture through monitoring and documenting violation of human rights, by providing assistance to victims of torture through its rehabilitation programs based on experience from monitoring of detention facilities in Kosovo and by applying a methodology based on international standards of professionalism, impartiality and objectivism, KRCT has become a reference for international and local institutions and organizations dealing with human rights of persons deprived of liberty. Lately, the KRCT monitoring reports and publications have been in continuity cited by US State Department, Progress Report of Commission of European Union, and European Committee for Prevention of Torture.
Steering Committee for initiation of establishment of National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture (Task Force)
Consolidation efforts of joint monitoring Task Force (KRCT, OIK, and CDHRF) continued for establishment of National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture. Thus, the Task Force has undertaken three joint monitoring visits and some other activities to promote the initiative. Among other activities, members of Task Force that conduct monitoring activities at places of detention, did participate in different trainings such as: monitoring and reporting about detention institutions, riots monitoring (right of assembly) etc.
In remark of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, June 2013, the Task Force organized a conference in which were presented the reports and recommendations from three visits at correctional institutions. In late 2013, a comprehensive report was published from these visits and distributed to correctional institutions and responsible central authorities.
The monitoring Task Force has further strengthened with initiation of project at correctional center in Lipjan in cooperation with Netherlands Helsinki Committee in late 2013. This Project is anticipated to continue until 2016 and aims to improve prison conditions for juveniles placed at this institution. The role of the Task Force will be to monitor and evaluate implementation of the project.