Kosovo declared its independence on February 17, 2008. With a view toward creating enduring political and economic stability, it is essential that Kosovo now transitions into a stable democratic society, at peace with its neighbors and on the path to Euro-Atlantic integration. Towards this end, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) continues to assist Kosovo in strengthening the rule of law, protecting individual rights, and countering crime and terrorism by promoting reforms and building capacity within Kosovo’s law enforcement and justice sectors. The success of these law enforcement programs will contribute significantly to Kosovo’s ability to become a fully-functional and viable independent nation state and to deal with border security and crime issues. U.S. Law Enforcement Goals
INL projects seek to provide assistance that integrates Kosovo into Euro-Atlantic and regional security structures, and supports democratization, good governance, and legal reform. Programs foster nationhood, root out crime and corruption, protect vulnerable populations, and help Kosovo develop the tools to do so through legal reform; police development; improved personnel processes; data management development; immigration and asylum reform; training for prosecutors and judges; interdiction operations; enhanced anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) capacities; inter-ethnic reconciliation and cooperation; institutional reform; and assistance with complex investigative techniques. Projects also promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation in law enforcement activities to combat trafficking and terrorism. U.S. Program Activities
INL activities support legal professionals, law students, and Kosovo institutions in the criminal justice sector to promote the rule of law, encourage institutional and legal reform, and provide training, program assistance, and legislative assistance. Programs expand upon current work with the judicial system, including the training of judges and prosecutors, strengthening the Kosovo Special Prosecutor’s Office to take on serious and complex cases, and improving information technology in court and case management.
INL provides law enforcement training, specialized equipment and other assistance to the Kosovo Police Service (KPS), the Kosovo Police Service School (KPSS), special units of the KPS and UNMIK police, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and selected divisions in the criminal justice system. The importance of improving the competence and professionalism of law enforcement officials and prosecutors will only grow as Kosovo assumes the full obligations of sovereignty. INL-funded programs provide comprehensive training for police on law enforcement techniques and investigative methods in order to enhance the Kosovars’ ability to effectively investigate and prosecute complex crimes. Programs work to enhancethe Ministry of Internal Affairs’ performance standards and capacity; establish and implement sound policies relating to immigration and asylum matters; establish effective procedures and provide training on border management; target high profile figures in trafficking, corruption and organized crime; train police to combat complex crime, strengthen TIP victim investigation and protection; enhance law enforcement data management; respond to and investigate criminal acts against minorities; and promote multi-ethnicity and multi-ethnic reconciliation.