The international threat of violent extremism has notably manifested in Kosovo through the foreign fighter phenomenon. It is estimated that around 403 Kosovar nationals have travelled to conflict zones in Syria and Iraq, among them 255 men, 52 women, and 118 children with at least one Kosovar parent. Among these individuals many have been killed in the conflict, several remain there, while more than 200 have returned through informal and formal channels, with Kosovo standing apart “as one of the few countries in the world who has been active in repatriating its nationals from Syria.”
Among the various actors involved in the process, the Kosovo Probation Service (KPS) has a key role to play in the rehabilitation and reintegration (R&R) of returnees. As of early 2022, the institution has notably been treated thirty-two cases of women who have been repatriated from conflict zones. Yet, research has shown that the KPS “has not sustainably benefitted from trainings provided by donors and state institutions engaged in P/CVE and R&R in Kosovo,” and lacks specialised knowledge and internal capacities to develop effective R&R interventions for repatriated individuals.
This project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Netherlands and the United Kingdom (UK) Embassy in Pristina, seeks to address these gaps and continued challenges. ICCT in collaboration with the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS) will support the development of KPS’ internal capacities in designing, monitoring and evaluating gender-sensitive R&R programmes for returnees and their families in line with international best practices. Through tailored capacity-building activities and direct expert support, this project is more specifically intended to address three objectives which include:
Improving knowledge on the gender sensitisation of the KPS’ R&R programmes;
Strengthening capacities of the KPS in designing, monitoring and evaluating R&R programmes and individual cases of VE offences;
Improving inter-institutional and community coordination on R&R and P/CVE.
Within this project, ICCT will notably contribute through tailored training modules on gender-sensitive R&R programmes, expert guidance for the tailoring of the KPS’ internal database towards R&R programming, facilitation of inter-institutional workshops to enhance information-sharing and coordination in relation to R&R programming, and support for post-implementation impact assessment.