To learn more about Dominik, read his postcard...
Warm greetings from Prishtinë/Priština!
Do you sometimes feel like you blink and an entire year goes by? As I’m writing this I’m realizing it has been nearly six years since I’ve finished my LLM in Human Rights Law at the University of Nottingham. Better still, more than a decade has passed since I first came to the city of Robin Hood, the Tram and Annie’s Burger Shack to start an LLB in Law.
After leaving Nottingham, I first headed off a few miles further North to Sheffield for a postgraduate diploma in Politics and to earn a modest living as a freelance interpreter. A year later, I was on a plane to start an internship with the OSCE Mission in Kosovo… and I’ve remained here since, barring a quick intermezzo as a trainee with the European Commission in Prague. No longer a fresh-faced intern, I’m now a grizzled veteran with a fancy title of a Senior Communities Adviser.
I got the chance to meld the three thematic areas I enjoyed the most during the LLM – minority rights, migration issues, and social and economic rights. Nowadays, I’m working mostly on issues affecting some of the most vulnerable communities in Kosovo: the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians. We have recently published a comprehensive overview of their situation, and now we are starting an internship scheme for university students and graduates from these three communities. By assigning interns to government institutions and providing them with training, we are hoping to enable them to obtain civil service jobs befitting their education and to show younger members of their communities that education can lead to tangible results.
My biggest achievement, however, came when I co-ordinated the Mission’s response to an imminent humanitarian catastrophe at a social housing building in a village called Plemetina/Plemetin, in Obiliq/Obilić municipality. A fire incident and strong winds had destroyed the roof of the object, leaving the impoverished Roma and Ashkali residents, including many children, exposed to the elements, with winter just around the corner. Together with several partners, we managed to have a new roof installed before the snow and frost arrived in full form.
Human rights, and especially the socio-economic rights of marginalized groups, remain a key focus of my professional endeavours. Lately, I have been toying with the idea of returning to the academic world to pursue a PhD on some of the issues I have engaged with in my career as a practitioner. Now, let’s see how that works out – I’ll certainly keep you posted!