The Ombudsperson published a recommendation report for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Justice regarding the right to education of convicted persons.
On 5 July 2018, the Ombudsperson admitted the complaint of Mr. E. B. against the Kosovo Correctional Service (KCS), who complains on behalf of his son V.B., who is serving a prison sentence at Correctional Center in Lipjan concerning the inability to proceed further with university studies.
The Ombudsperson reiterates that education of convicted juveniles and adults, residing in Correctional Institutions, is one of the main liabilities of the competent Institutions of the Republic of Kosovo deriving from the Constitution, the laws at force and international legal instruments. As such, this institutions’ liability to accomplish one of the fundamental human rights, such as providing access to education for young people, cannot be passed over either for minors who are in Correctional Centers, as is the case of CCL.
The right of all persons on education is enshrined in Article 26, paragraph 1 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to education…”. Further attention to the right to education is given in the “United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Liberty”, in the “European Prison Rules”, and also in the "Recommendation No. R (89) 12 on Education in Prison", adopted by the EC Committee of Ministers.
The right to education, as a fundamental human right, is also defined in the legislation of the Republic of Kosovo. Thus, the Ombudsperson draws attention on the fact that decisions of Kosovo Republic Institutions, specifically of MEST, should be on the best interest of young people, even when it comes to organizing of educational process in the CCL. This principle is defined in the Constitution as well. Article 50, para. 4 stipulates that: “All actions undertaken by public or private authorities concerning children shall be in the best interest of the children.” The same definition is enshrined in the European Convention on Rights of Child.
Furthemore, the Juvenile Justice Code (JJC) stipulates in Article 119 that: “If there are no lessons of a certain kind or educational level in the educational-correctional institution, a minor shall be permitted to attend lessons outside the educational-correctional institution if such attendance is not harmful to the execution of the educational measure and the decision is justified by the minor’s previous educational progress.”
Further, the Law on Execution of Penal Sanctions, in Article 84 paragraph 1 stipulates that: “The director of the correctional facility shall allow special arrangements to enable the convicted person to receive primary, secondary, university and other education. The convicted person shall pay the expenses of such special arrangements.”
On the basis of such ascertainments, the Ombudsperson recommends the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as well as the Ministry of Justice to issue sub-legal act pursuant with the Law on Pre-University Education and the Law on Execution of Penal Sanctions which would precisely stipulate the form of accomplishment of the right to university education for sentenced juveniles and adults.
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Source: The Ombudsperson Institution, Kosovo