Challenges and practices of inclusiveness in Kosovo's security sector

Published by:

Kosovar Centre for  Security Studies (KCSS)


Challenges and practices of inclusiveness in Kosovo's security sector


Shpat Balaj and Plator Avdiu


20 March 2020


Since its early stages, the development of the security sector, particularly Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) and Kosovo Police (KP) has been based on the principle of inclusiveness. Today the KP numbers about 16 percent of non-majority communities while KSF numbers up to 8 percent. On the other hand, women in the KP constitute 15 percent of the total number while in the KSF about 8 percent of uniformed members are women. Whereas the level of representation of non-majority communities in KP and KSF is satisfactory and reflects the ethnic composition of Kosovo, representation in higher ranks, leadership positions, and representation of women from non-majority communities is wanting. Despite the progress in representation of non-majority communities, the sustainability of inclusion of non-majority communities, namely the Kosovo Serb community is constantly challenged by the political connotation given to it, consequently overshadowing the actual developments and challenges of inclusion practices in the KP and KSF.

This paper provides an overview of the current level of inclusion of non-majority communities in KP and the KSF. It analyzes the state of inclusion in these institutions and the measures taken to ensure consistency in the process. Moreover, particular focus is given to the recruitment process, the practices on this regard and the specific measures taken to bring communities closer to these institutions. In addition, the paper offers an overview of the functioning of existing internal mechanisms that oversee and contribute to the development of inclusive  policies. Among other, the paper focuses on the integrity of non-majority members, especially in the KP and the challenges posed in ensuring integrity.

The paper reflects the extensive research KCSS team did in the key Serbian majority inhabited municipalities in the recent years as well as the field work in municipalities where other non-majority communities reside. For the purposes of the paper two public discussions were organized in Gracanica and Shterpca and series of face-to-face interviews were conducted with civil society, local institutions and government representatives. Moreover, the primary data of the report have been formally obtained from KP and KSF, while the research team did thorough content analysis of official documents, reports and relevant legal framework. The report data also rely on existing KCSS programs on integrity and inclusiveness in security institutions, ongoing consultations and meetings with experts and institutional representatives as well as the involvement of KCSS team in relevant processes in the security sector in Kosovo and the region.

This publication has been produced with the support of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies and cannot be taken to reflect the views of the Government of Canada. Project activities were implemented with the assistance of Humani Centar Mitrovica.