DAY 8 // DECEMBER 2, 2012
Child Marriage and Violence
DECEMBER 3, 2012
The reality of non-majority groups
Non-majority groups can be based on one or more observable human characteristics, including, for example, ethnic, national, religious, linguistic or cultural affiliation, who either do not hold the majority of positions of social power in a society, or are numerically smaller than the rest of the population.

Members of non-majority communities can be subject to a range of problems that stem from their distinct characteristics. For example, groups that speak a different language from the majority will have more difficulty accessing essential public services such as education and health care, and will find it harder to compete for jobs in a professional environment that is dominated by the majority language.

The difficulty in accessing public services is even worse for women survivors of domestic violence who belong to non-majority groups. Because of this, women members of non-majority groups who are subject to violence are even more vulnerable. Non-majority groups are also often proportionally under-represented in legislative, executive and judicial institutions, which can limit their influence over decisions that directly affect their lives and hamper their effective participation in political, economic and social life.

The development and implementation of communities’ rights is a way of ‘levelling the playing field’ for non-majority groups in relation to the majority community. For example, communities’ rights ensure that members of linguistic communities can communicate effectively with public institutions, thereby guaranteeing them equal access to public services. There are also rights that enhance participation of non-majority groups in public life, for example through reserved parliamentary seats or positive action measures aimed at achieving equitable representation of communities in the civil service.

What does the legal framework in Kosovo say about non-majority groups?

Kosovo now has one of the most advanced legal frameworks for the protection of non-majority communities in the world. However, despite extensive legal provisions, members of non-majority communities continue to face serious problems in accessing their essential rights. For example, they remain under-represented in all areas of public life and experience consistently higher levels of unemployment than the majority population. Moreover, despite the fact that the Albanian and Serbian languages have equal official status, in many cases members of Serbian-speaking communities are not provided with adequate translation, limiting their ability to communicate with public institutions.

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DAY 10 // DECEMBER 4, 2012
Violence against children
DAY 12 // DECEMBER 6, 2012
The role of Education