I am Ardit Gllogjani, 23 years old from Gjakova. I completed my bachelor studies in Political Science at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Prishtina. I got my first knowledge about children’s rights as part of the children’s rights group of my primary school “Zekeria Rexha” in Gjakova, which was supported by the non-governmental organization Initiative 6. Then in 2014 when I was finishing school lower middle school, I heard about the call for applications on the occasion of the creation of a national group for children’s rights and decided to apply. I was very happy when I received the news from my parents that not only had I been accepted to be part of this group, but my application had been one of the best of that competition. This group is Respect Our Rights – ROR, which has been a part of my life for 8 years!
“Since 2014, together with other children from ROR, we have informed children about their rights, conducted research and published reports on the implementation of children’s rights in Kosovo, advocated to responsible institutions and represented the voice and the interests of Kosovo children inside and outside it. ”
Our greatest achievement within the first year of operation was the drafting of the report “Our Reality”, which came as a result of a long research process by us as children with the help of Professor Aleksadër Koçani and the staff of support organizations Eye of Vision and Save the Children in Kosovo. Then began our meetings with representatives of local and central institutions to follow the recommendations from this report and advocate for their implementation.
Among the most beautiful experiences within ROR was the exchange visit to Belgrade, Serbia in May 2015, where we met the group of children and young people DX and visited several organizations working in the field of human rights. This was my first trip to this country and it helped me to get rid of prejudices and to be more open-minded about the neighboring people. I was particularly impressed by the hospitality we received during our stay in Belgrade.
In July of the same year, I was selected by ROR members to be one of the participants in the summer school which was held in Razëm, Shkodra. In this summer school I met other children monitoring and advocating for children’s rights from other countries such as Serbia, Ukraine and Moldova, and I contributed to the compilation of the research questionnaire “Young Voices”, which was conducted by Save the Children in many countries of the world.
In 2018, my experience at ROR changed as I went from member to mentor. From this period I started mentoring committees within the ROR such as the Advocacy Committee (2018), the ROR Work Plan Monitoring Committee (2019) and the Communication and Promotion Committee (2020).
In May 2019, during a meeting with the Local Youth Action Council in Gjakova, we heard from the children of this city about their concern regarding the placement of an iron and wooden barrier on a sports field in “Beqir Kastrati” square. Together with the LYAC in Gjakova we decided to react to this issue with an open letter addressed to the Municipality of Gjakova on June 1, 2019 – Children’s Day. As the open letter was not successful, a few days later we addressed the Directorate for Inspection Affairs of the Municipality of Gjakova with a written request to remove this obstacle. The Directorate for Inspection Affairs approved our request and with the help of the Kosovo Police the obstacle was removed which was placed without permission on the sports field. Resolving this concern of the children of that neighborhood helped to ensure the implementation of the right to recreation as defined in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
MMy message to non-governmental organizations in Kosovo is to design programs such as “Our Obligation for the Future – Child Protection and Governance with the Rights of the Child”, while for the Government of the Republic of Kosovo and local governments to support children. to join their activities.
“Educating children about their rights today would help shape them in a way that would grant a bright future for our country.”
A child who today would recognize the right to participate in decision-making on matters relating to him, would know its importance in the future and thus make the right choice of his representatives and would give the help of his on various community issues.