Successfully undocumented court case represented by Civil Rights Program Kosovo  -ELMEDIN-  Being invisible is in my past, future is brighter now
Successfully undocumented court case represented by Civil Rights Program Kosovo -ELMEDIN- Being invisible is in my past, future is brighter now

The story of little Elmedin portrays a success story in the battle of preventing the risk of statelessness in Kosovo. His birth has occurred at health institution. He had a rough start in life, as he was only a few days old when he lost his mother. As if this wasn’t enough, he was only a newborn and at risk of statelessness.

The only document he possessed was hospital discharge papers, with his mother’s data. Elmedin’s identity was never registered at Civil Status Registers preventing him to utilize the much needed medical care and social welfare.

Baring the difficulties that being unregistered brings, Elmedin’s father, tried to handle this issue himself. At the Civil Status Office his request was verbally refused and moreover the assistance offered by state institutions was limited. CRPK as UNHCR partner identified this case in 2015. During the initial interview, CRPK was informed that Elmedin was born out of wedlock, since his parents didn’t formalize their marriage.

Furthermore, Elmedin’s father expressed his dissatisfaction with the limited support from the Kosovo institutions, including being prevented to receive social assistance and make regular medical visit for his child due to being “legally invisible”.

The fact that Elmedin’s mother passed away made it difficult to proceed with administrative procedures in local level, respectively with Municipal Civil Status Office. Even after the involvement of Center for Social Welfare to facilitate the procedures didn’t bring any success so that Elmedin could be registered and be equipped with birth certificate where data of both parents would be included. As a consequence of this situation, legal conditions were created for initiation of the case in court procedure aiming to resolve Elmedin’s legal status in Kosovo.

After analyzing the fact presented by CRPK, the final court decision brought in 2017 was in favor of Elmedin, thus obliging the Civil Status Office to undertake all necessary actions to register him in Civil Status Registers. Today, after two years Elmedin possesses civil status documents, providing him a better life with dignity, legally visible for state institutions in Kosovo, with access to his basic human rights.

All the effort put in to this case was worth after seeing happy faces greeting us upon receiving the documentation by CRPK. A burden was lifted for them, for which they expressed their gratitude for the support received from UNHCR and CRPK.