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DRC Kosovo: A decade of support to secure critical civilian registration concluded 

Over three million civil status records missing since 1999 are now integrated into Kosovo’s national identity management system with the support of DRC. This achievement is the result of a large-scale project and collaboration from 2012 to 2023 through funding from the European Union to support the Civil Registration Agency of Kosovo fulfil their mandate under the dialogue process between Kosovo and Serbia.

Pristina city centre / Kosovo Civil Registry Agency

Posted on 20 Jun 2023

A major achievement was announced by the Civil Registration Agency of Kosovo this month, when they officially declared the integration of data from over 12,000 Civil Status Registers into their system concluded.  The complex process took over 10 years to be finalised involving DRC Danish Refugee Council from the very start till the conclusion of this project.  

'The work done with the Civil Registration Agency thanks to EU funds proves that such significant achievements are within reach, which can concretely improve the daily lives of Kosovars.  We are all aware that more work needs to be done, in the civil status sector as well as other technical areas – and we are proud to see how strengthened capacities and commitment are there,' says Kristen Stec, Country Director of DRC in Kosovo. 

A total of 3,100,783 records of birth, marriage and death has been transferred and are now anchored in Kosovo’s Civil Registration Agency. Prior to this achievement, most of the documentation related to such life events that had taken place on the territory of Kosovo between the creation of the civil status registration system after World War II and 1999, was unavailable to the authorities.   

'For every Kosovo resident to be able to visit the Office in their municipality and find their current and/or pre-1999 data is a pivotal advancement in the unhindered provision of equal access to rights' notes Kristen Stec, Country Director of Danish Refugee Council in Kosovo.  

Through three phases of implementation collectively investing 6 million Euro from EU, the first digital images were created of each page of the 12,391 Civil Status Registers identified in Serbia.

Experts from EULEX - the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo - supported the process via a seven-step verification exercise that certified that each digital image was identical to the hard-copy original. Data from each digital image was then entered into a database.

Finally, the content of this database was compared to that of the Central Civil Status Registry to identify data pertaining to the same person. 

See also the EU press release on the completion of the project.

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