No matter how life’s journey has shaped the perception of the world surrounding them, the dignity and kindness have remained untouched.
Meet the Kadrija family from village Tërstenik/Trstenik, Peja/Peć municipality, where they live in poor living conditions, though happy despite facing basic obstacles to establish a legal identity for Ana and ensure civil registration for their lovely daughters.
The life was not very keen to Ana since the childhood. In the aftermath of the 1999 conflict in Kosovo she was found wandering on the streets, without personal documentation, alone and frightened. Since the early childhood, Ana had to deal with the illness, lack of parental care and being sheltered in the special institute for abandoned children with the special needs for mental health. At age of 34 she arrived in Kosovo with influx of refugees from Croatia where she found shelter.. Unfortunately, she remained in-between the cracks of the system back then, without any protection when her current common law husband provided her with a shelter and family warmth.. Upon discussion, she could not provide an information on number of life events. She knows no information about her name and let alone parents.
In 2000 and 2003 she gave a birth to two daughters which could not be registered at birth as their mother was without a legal identity. Despite the number of legal efforts to equip Ana and her daughters with personal documentation it was “a mission impossible” to ensure their legal identity. Even the local and appeal courts have refused to provide solution through a late birth registration procedure to her children due to lack of mother’s identity.
Due to non-possession of any identity document, Ana could not undertake any medical check and eventually obtain the appropriate treatment. Same fate is following one of her daughters which has inherited mother’s health condition which also remains untreated due to lack of birth registration.
During a visit to the Kadrija family, Bajram, her spouse, expressed his courage and thanked UNHCR for the continuous support to provide a legal solution to this vital problem. During the conversation Bajram reiterated:
“Now that Ana is provided with an ID card it will make our lives easier, first she will have access to health services, then we will be able to register our daughters”
Family lives with a minimal income, mainly provided by common-law spouse, through collection of secondary raw material. The lack of the documentation for Ana and inability to register their daughters in civil status registry have prevented the family to apply for social assistance and obtain more inclusive health care.
“One thing that will make us very happy after the registration of our children is that our eldest daughter Lauresa, who is recently married, will have the opportunity to formalize her marriage and become a mother, so Anna and I will have the opportunity to become grandparents.” Said Bajram.
With the extensive advocacy and help of UNHCR Office of the Chief of Mission in Pristina and its legal partner Civil Rights Program Kosovo, in January 2021 a request for recognition of stateless status was filed.
At age of 50, in June 2021 a positive decision was granted to Ana, and now she has a legal identity card of a person with stateless status with a prospect in five years period time to regularize her legal status further. Positive aspect of the granted legal status will enable late birth registration of her children and nieces and nephews in the future. Possession of personal civil status documentation will enable, both Ana and Laureta, initially access to appropriate free health care, as well as to all other services available to documented persons.
 All references to Kosovo shall be understood in accordance with UNSCR 1244(1999)