Fwd: UNHCR/OSCE report: Situation of Ethnic Minorities in Kosovo


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Subject: Fwd: UNHCR/OSCE report: Situation of Ethnic Minorities in Kosovo

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Original sender: Felix Corley <fcorley@mail.ndirect.co.uk>

Fwd: UNHCR/OSCE report: Situation of Ethnic Minorities in
Kosovo


------- Forwarded Message-------
From:  "Ms. Florence Le Clezio" <FLeClezio@osce.org>
Organization:  OSCE Secretariat


            ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION
                            IN EUROPE
                        The Secretariat
            K_rntner Ring 5-7, 1010 Vienna, Austria
           For information - not an official document
                                                   No. 225/00
 
                        PRESS RELEASE
 
Kosovo minorities sidelined from society

PRISTINA, 9 June 2000 - Lack of security and restricted freedom of
movement prevent Kosovo minorities from accessing public services.
This warning came from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees
and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe human
rights department, in a joint report issued today on the Situation of
Ethnic Minorities in Kosovo.
 
The 19-page report, which is the fifth in a series, highlights the
incidents of attacks - murders, arsons and assaults - against
minorities between February and May 2000. The continuing violence, it
says, has an impact on the ability of minority communities to access
public services, such as health care, education, social welfare and
public utilities.
 
"The rights assessed in this report are indivisible," the report
states. "Without basic security and freedom of movement, exercise of
their rights becomes difficult or impossible."
 
The study shows that restricted freedom of movement and
inconsistencies in the use of official languages remain obstacles for
minorities to access social welfare, utilities and other public
services. The report shows few examples of shared health care
facilities. Many minorities, particularly Serbs, are forced to rely on
services outside of Kosovo's normal health care system. The report
also shows a reliance on separate schools for children, without a
common curriculum.
 
The report concludes that in re-establishing public service systems in
Kosovo, it is essential to find creative and practical ways to ensure
that minorities have full access.  A number of recommendations to
improve the current situation are offered in the report, including:
 
* providing outreach services to allow better access to public
services;
* promoting shared school facilities and developing a common
curriculum for all schools in Kosovo, which includes ideas of
tolerance, peace and human rights;
* promoting multi-ethnic staffing, and enforcing a standard practice
code of tolerance and respect at workplace; and
* enforcing a multiple official language policy.
 
A copy of the report is available on the OSCE Mission to Kosovo
website,
http://www.osce.org/kosovo/publications/ethnic_minorities/index.htm
 
For further information, please contact: Maki Shinohara or Paula
Ghedini, UNHCR Kosovo, 381-38-501-509 Roland Bless, OSCE Mission in
Kosovo, 381-38-500-162

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