NON-MINORITY COMMUNITIES REMAIN UNDER-REPRESENTED IN PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYMENT
Members of non-minority communities living in Kosovo for many years complain about the lack of respect for the current legislation regarding their employment in the public sector. According to them, the percentage of their representation in the civil service has not been fulfilled and worse, the institutions do not even offer clear statistics on this issue.
The municipality of Prizren stands out as a multi-ethnic center with rich cultural diversity. However, even in this municipality, members of non-minority communities emphasize that local and central-level institutions do not respect the quota for the employment of ethnic minorities in the public sector. Such concerns have been expressed in various forums, while the efforts of the Communities Committee to sensitize decision-makers towards the implementation of legal obligations have not produced any concrete results.
Representatives of the Turkish community have highlighted the need for publication of statistics by responsible institutions such as the government and municipalities so that non-minority communities have a clear picture and based on this data, orient their commitment to implementing legislation in collaboration with relevant institutions. According to them, institutional reports on this issue are inadequate.
Representatives of the Bosniak community have reminded that according to the current legislation, non-minority communities at the central level should be represented in 10% of the posts, which, according to them, has not been respected not only now but for many years. They also note that the corresponding percentage is not being respected at the municipal level either.
Representatives of the Ashkali community have emphasized that along with the Roma and Egyptian communities, they are in the most disadvantaged position, while adequate measures have not been taken by the institutions for the employment of members of these communities in the public sector, despite their requests.
According to the current legislation, within the framework of civil service in central-level institutions, a minimum of 10% of the posts should be reserved for persons belonging to communities that are not a majority in Kosovo and who meet specific employment criteria, while at the municipal level, the reserved number of job positions is to be in accordance with the proportional representation of non-majority communities in the respective municipality.
At the same time, the Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Communities and their Members in the Republic of Kosovo provides that members of ethnic minorities have the right to equal representation in employment at all levels in public enterprises, public institutions, including the security sector, judiciary, prosecutor's office, government agencies dealing with the administration of justice and correctional services, protection, security, and intelligence.
However, the latest report from the European Union on Kosovo has found that ethnic minorities remain underrepresented in terms of employment in the public sector. "The employment of persons belonging to non-majority communities in the public sector falls below the threshold of 10% provided for by the relevant legislation. These persons remain generally underrepresented in the civil service at all levels," the report says.
In this regard, ethnic minority women are in an even more difficult position, although the law provides for the Republic of Kosovo to ensure equality in employment, as well as the adoption of special measures by institutions against this discrimination.
The latest report from the European Union on Kosovo, regarding non-discrimination in employment and social policy, has emphasized that Kosovo needs to intensify its efforts to address discrimination against women, among other things, by adopting implementing legislation for the Law on the Protection from Discrimination, whereby authorities must address discrimination against women, especially those belonging to non-majority communities.
Therefore, responsible institutions must change their current practices, by publishing accurate data and employment statistics in the public sector, as well as taking concrete action to fulfill legal obligations regarding the employment of non-majority communities in the public sector. Responsible institutions are obligated to implement legal provisions in practice, which emphasize that the Republic of Kosovo guarantees full and effective equality for all citizens, where its national, ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity is considered a source of strength and wealth for the further development of a democratic society based on the rule of law, while active contribution of all persons belonging to communities is encouraged and valued for the development of the Republic of Kosovo.