Action Description

The Council of Europe (CoE) will assist the local authorities in overcoming the identified shortcomings and practical deficiencies related to the treatment of sentenced persons in Kosovo*. The project will be implemented in close partnership with the Ministry of Justice (Correctional Service and Prison Inspectorate) and the Ministry of Health (Prison Healthcare Department). It will also include a wider group of local stakeholders, such as the Ombudsperson and the National Preventive Mechanism, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, judiciary and civil society organisations.

The Project is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe as part of the “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey” (Horizontal Facility) and will be implemented by the Council of Europe. The Horizontal Facility will provide technical assistance and expertise in the areas of ensuring justice; fighting corruption, economic crime and money laundering; promoting freedom of expression and information; and promoting anti-discrimination and protection of the rights of vulnerable groups, with the aim to assist the authorities in implementing key recommendations of relevant CoE bodies, prioritised according to the needs within the e nlargement negotiations of the Europe an Union.


Action Outcomes and Outputs:

The project aims at enhancing the protection of human rights of prisoners in line with the Council of Europe and in particular the standards of the European Committee for Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).


The first outcome is to enhance the professionalism of the prison staff, including managerial level, which is expected to be accomplished through the following:

  •  Improving prison staff recruitment policies, based on require d standards of education and proficiency;
  •  Introducing the dynamic security concept in the penitentiary system;
  •  Enhancing the professional and moral performance of prison staff, based on sound ethical standards;
  •  Improving prisoners’ risks and needs assessment tools and developing and piloting targeted rehabilitation programmes.


The second outcome will strengthen safeguards aimed at ensuring better protection of the rights of prisoners, which is to be achieved through the following:

  •  Revising prisoners’ disciplinary procedures and measures in line with the CoE and in particular the CPT standards;
  •  Establishing complaints forms for prisoners and possibility to appeal decisions;
  •  Strengthening the capacities of the internal prison inspection system.


The third outcome aims to improve the provision of health care, including mental health, and the application of medical ethics in prisons. This outcome shall be reached through the following:

  •  Enhancing capacities of prison staff through developing and delivering training modules on mental healthcare, transmissible diseases and medical ethics;
  •  Strengthening safeguards against ill-treatment and self-harm in prisons;
  •  Ensuring efficient transfer of the prison health care from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Health.



*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

This webpage has been produced using funds of a joint project between the European Union and the Council of Europe. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.


 Arben LUBACH, Senior Project Officer

 Venera MEHMETI, Project Assistant