KOMF: Kosovo’s Child Protection Services Under Threat

Our cooperating partner Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo – KOMF organized an awareness-raising march to warn state institutions about the risk of social services closure. In 2024, social service providers are encountering significant financial challenges. With the majority of international donor programs ending in December 2023, there’s been a significant shortfall in funding, leading to closures, reductions, and limitations in services for children. If this trend continues, more closures are likely, posing a serious risk of child protection services collapsing in Kosovo.

“The closure of children’s social services should serve as a wake-up call for municipalities, the government, and the Assembly of Kosovo,” emphasized Donjetë Kelmendi, Executive Director of KOMF. The coalition finds it unacceptable that social services for children are on the brink of closure. While acknowledging the efforts of the Ministry of Justice in providing some financial support, Kelmendi stresses that it has not been sufficient to fully operationalize social service provision. Therefore, she advocates for the implementation of temporary measures within the Economic Recovery Package to activate social services immediately.

This appeal is primarily directed towards municipalities, which have held complete responsibility for ensuring, managing, and financing social services for children and citizens of the municipality since the decentralization of social services in 2009. Given this context, KOMF has urged municipalities to take urgent actions, fulfil their legal obligations, secure funding, and prevent closures. With the increase in the grant for municipalities in 2024, KOMF has demanded that this rise be reflected in the support provided for social services for children and vulnerable families.

In addition to short-term solutions, KOMF emphasizes the need for a sustainable financing framework to ensure the long-term availability of child protection services. This includes the establishment of a Special Grant for Social Services to address the specific needs of children without parental care, victims of violence, abuse, trafficking, and those with disabilities requiring specialized support. Politicians are encouraged to prioritize the allocation of a budget for social services during the revision of the Budget Law in June 2024 to tackle this urgent crisis.

With impactful slogans such as “Walk in my shoes,” “I have a lot to say but I can’t talk,” and “Constitutional rights shouldn’t need begging,” KOMF’s message rings loud and clear: The time for action is now.



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