Disability and Development in Kosovo: The Case for Community Based Rehabilitation
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After completion of most of the planned reconstruction work, Kosovo is now in the process of rebuilding civic and public life which was substantially disrupted during the war of 1999, apart from the disruption caused in the previous ten years of a parallel system under Serb Milosevic’s rule. Health and social issues are receiving fair attention with emphasis on principles of equality and equity. Disability issues are amongst those that received particular attention from the international community. Reducing inequality between sections of society requires changes in attitude, creation of sustainable structures, introduction of legislation, policies and working strategies. Equally important is providing services for the vast unmet needs of disabled people, using appropriate approaches that enhance self-capabilities and create a feeling of ownership. This paper argues the case for a more comprehensive approach to disability such as community based rehabilitation (CBR) to be introduced in Kosovo where local people and users of services are involved in the rehabilitation process actively. Employing a participatory approach to rehabilitation such as CBR, in reality however, is a challenging task, given the historical context of Kosovo under a communist regime with limited grassroots participation.
disability; Kosovo; poverty; human rights; rehabilitation