The Ombudsperson Institution of Kosovo* (OIK), as an institution based on the constitution is mandated to monitor, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Law on the protection from discrimination designates the Ombudsperson as the state institution for equality and it makes specific reference to the EU equal treatment directives. According to the Law on Ombudsperson, the OIK is composed of an Ombudsperson, five Deputy Ombudspersons and the staff of the OIK. The Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo guarantees the independence of the institution, while the Law on Ombudsperson foresees that the budget of the OIK can only be decreased with the approval of the Ombudsperson and any additional competences must be accompanied by additional, appropriate and specific financial and human resources.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
In the framework of its powers, the OIK conducts investigations on complaints received from any natural or legal person and it can start ex officio investigations against public entities. The OIK conducts investigations, issues recommendations, publishes reports, and provides services free of charge and public advocacy to all citizens of Kosovo. It may also issue recommendations to relevant public authorities, publish reports on different issues and conduct activities aimed at awareness-raising and promotion of good equality practices. The OIK can act as amicus curiae in judicial processes that are related to human rights, equality and protection from discrimination. The OIK can deal with discrimination complaints on an open list of grounds and in all areas of life.