Temporary shelters set up to quarantine safely domestic violence survivors in Kosovo

UN Women and the UN Population Fund respond to a rise in domestic violence during COVID-19 by supporting temporary quarantine facilities in Kosovo with essential supplies to ease comfort and safety of domestic violence survivors.

Date: Friday, May 8, 2020

UNDC Ulrika Richardson during the hand over process of essential items to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice. Photo: Kosovo Ministry of Health
UNDC Ulrika Richardson during the hand over process of essential items to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice. Photo: Kosovo Ministry of Health.

In response to a rise in domestic violence cases under COVID-19 lockdown, The Ministry of Health in Kosovo[1] and Ministry of Justice in Kosovo opened a temporary safe space to shelter survivors of domestic and gender-based violence until their two-week quarantine ends and they can be placed in Kosovo government-funded facilities.

UN Women and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) are providing essential hygiene packages, clothes, personal protection equipment (PPE) and other items to the temporary quarantine facilities.

The provisional quarantine spaces were established after UN Women and UNFPA initiated a multi-sectoral dialogue with Kosovo’s ministries of Health, Justice and Internal Affairs and the Agency for Gender Equality of the Prime Minister’s Office led to new legal provisions to create the temporary emergency facilities.

“Data show that domestic violence is increasing during this pandemic. Therefore, the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice has secured a space where all women survivors can reside. Through the support of UN Women and UNFPA people residing in this space will have safe conditions,” said Minister of Health Dr Arben Vitia at a handover ceremony on April 29th, 2020 for a temporary shelter.

Survivors of domestic violence can seek assistance during lockdown hours and are exempt from strict new Ministry of Health curfew measures and restrictions on movement. The UN in Kosovo has been active in mitigating domestic violence and the gender-based impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kosovo.

“The impacts of COVID-19 on women and children must be central to any COVID-19 response plan,” said Ms. Ulrika Richardson, UN Development Coordinator. “The growing cases of domestic and gender-based violence is of great concern. Today, with support from UN Women and UNFPA, shelters for victims of domestic violence have received essential goods and services so they can remain accessible and operational during the lockdown.”

The handover ceremony was done for a temporary shelter which will house 40 people, providing survivors with high security, food, sanitary hygiene, and other assistance.

“This facility will temporarily shelter victims of domestic and gender-based violence until the quarantine period is over and they can move to shelters funded by Kosovo institutions,” said Edi Gusia, Chief Executive of the Agency for Gender Equality. “The Ministry of Health will manage it according to its quarantine management protocol and in compliance with standard operating procedures for protection from domestic violence, to provide security and protect life. We thank UNFPA and UN Women for their support and continued cooperation.”


[1] All references to Kosovo on this website should be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).