Ombudsperson Kosovo: Establishment of Field Office Gracanica/Gracanicë
The Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo (OIK) was established by UNMIK Regulation 2000/38 of 30 June 2000 on the Establishment of the Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo and officially inaugurated in November 2000. Its aim is to enhance the protection of human rights in Kosovo and to assure transparency in Kosovo's administrations. The OIK is an independent institution that addresses disputes concerning alleged human rights violations or abuse of authority between individuals, groups of individuals or legal entities and the Interim Civil Administration. This mandate also covers the emerging central and local institutions of Kosovo.
Due to the growing importance of Gracanica/Gracanicë for the Serbian community in Kosovo, in particular after the violent events in March 2004, it is no longer enough to visit Gracanica/Gracanicë once a week. As the freedom of movement of Serbs in Kosovo continues to be severely limited, the only way to provide Serbs in central Kosovo with adequate access to the OIK is to establish a new field office in Gracanica/Gracanicë where one lawyer and one legal assistant/translator will be able to advise and assist individuals complaining against the international civil presence and the local institutions of self-government on a daily basis.
In order to realise this project, the Institution would need financial support to cover the expenses related to the construction and/or renovation of the office that the public authorities will provide to the OIK and the necessary costs for making the office operative (supplies, equipment and furniture).