Kosovo authorities assumed responsibilities on asylum from UNHCR in 2008 after adoption of asylum related legislative framework and followed by gradual establishment of the institutional capacity for its implementation. Legislation was further amended and harmonised with International standards and EU Acquis in 2011, 2013 and in 2018. All 1,225 individual asylum claims submitted from 2009 up to date were provided access to procedures including accommodation and services. The responsible authorities have continuously improved their efficiency and quality in adjudicating cases. Of total claims, authorities brought 1,173 decisions, of which 1,159 negative, namely 976 for procedural reasons, 144 based on merits of the claim and 39 upon voluntary withdrawal of applications. As regards to positive decisions, 14 asylum seekers were granted subsidiary protection status. Kosovo disposes a modern and functional reception centre for asylum seekers which was funded by EU and functionalised in March 2012. It can accommodate 50 asylum seekers and is equipped with separate facilities for men and women, recreational areas, inside and outside the premises, including spaces for children. Basic medical services are also provided by visiting doctors, meals are served three times a day and hygienic items are provided upon accommodation. Asylum seekers enjoy the freedom of movement within and outside the reception centre.
The legislative framework governing the area of statelessness is aligned with the international standards, through inclusion of the provisions from 1954 and 1961 Conventions, as well as regional conventions. UNHCR continuously provided its legal expertise through a constant support in drafting/ amending of the legislative acts in accordance with the international standards. In 2015, with support of UNHCR, the authorities have developed and endorsed the Procedures on Statelessness Status Determination.
UNHCR in Kosovo through its legal partner since 2006 provided free legal aid, counselling and in-court representation to some 20,000 Persons of Concern to UNHCR ensuring late birth registration, identity documentation and other documents that enabled access to socio-economic rights. The constant efforts of UNHCR since 2006 up to date, jointly with other operational partners, have resulted with the decrease of the number of unregistered persons which was confirmed with the fully fledged survey conducted in 2015, under the umbrella of Civil Registration Agency, with a specific focus on the most vulnerable Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities’. The survey revealed that out of 24,532 surveyed persons approximately 600 persons (2.5 per cent) are undocumented.
UNHCR has been engaged on the durable solution processes with regards to Kosovo displaced population ensuring adequate information on return conditions is available for the displaced minorities in view of bringing individual and voluntary decision to return. Protection monitoring enabled evidence based advocacy and immediate support and referral of vulnerable returnees to responsible institutions. UNHCR has recorded all the returnees in its database and also as of 2009 established a regional mechanism for displaced persons to express assisted return willingness and register durable solutions needs, vulnerabilities and capacities. UNHCR has provided the bases for the guidelines for provision of assistance. In 2010 with UNHCR initiative and support a Regulation for Municipal Offices for Communities and Return (MOCR) was approved and the offices at municipal level were established. Advocacy on the need for legal framework on displacement and durable solutions resulted with finalisation of Regulation on Return of Displaced Persons and Durable Solutions, which was approved in 2018.