Roundtable Discussion on "Draft Law on Population Census"
The Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS) held a public discussion on the topic: Draft Law on Population, Households and Dwellings Census in Kosovo.
In this roundtable present were Deputy Prime Minister for Minority Issues and Human Rights, Mrs. Emilija Redzepi, Minister of Finance, Labour and Transfers, Mr. Hekuran Murati, representatives of other ministries and the Ombudsperson, representatives of the university, representatives of international organizations, civil society, religious institutions and communities.
The opening speech was made by the Director of Social Statistics and the Manager of the Population Census, Mr. Avni Kastrati.
Whereas, in her speech, Deputy Prime Minister Redzepi, said that "Population Census is one of the most important topics of the state statistical system and as such should be a priority and that the Government of the Republic of Kosovo is extremely interested in this project". Further, she highlighted recent developments regarding the lack of accurate data on population migration, although migration trends have changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, Deputy Prime Minister, Redzepi, stressed the importance of the analysis on the situation of communities in Kosovo, their exact number, recent migration trends and the situation of marginalized groups, as a whole of human capital in the country. In the end, she promised institutional, personal and at the level of experts involved, on giving the contribution to this issue.
Minister Murati in his speech said that so far the Ministry of Finance, Labour and Transfers and the Kosovo Agency of Statistics, as institutions carrying official statistics in the country, have carried out a number of activities, including the draft law on Population Census. "Today's meeting with stakeholders marks an important step towards finalizing the draft law in question and creating a basis for collecting, analyzing and providing data on key demographic and socio-economic indicators in the country". He further added that “the Census is an important national project, which will provide central and local institutions, organizations and businesses with a wide range of policy-making data in the preparation of strategic plans and research analyzes for areas, such as: education, health, transport, capital projects, etc.”. He also mentioned that "the 2022 Census will cover the data gap, thus creating a solid basis for the design, implementation and monitoring of public policies, which will directly affect our citizens". Seeing the latest preparatory developments, Minister Murati mentioned his expectations that this Population Census will be of better quality than that of Census 2011. He said that “we will be committed to increasing the reliability of statistical information, active participation of citizens and guaranteeing the use of statistical information in improving the sectors most vital to the community and the citizens of the country”.
In this public debate also spoke Acting Chief Executive Officer of KAS, Mr. Ilir T. Berisha, who in his speech emphasized that "KAS, in addition to activities within the framework of its regular activities and work plan, is also engaged with the Population Census Project, as the most important activity in the statistical system”. He pointed out that "major demographic changes are not tracked by administrative registers, so the Population Census ensures the provision of these detailed analyzes".
Population Census Manager, Mr. Avni Kastrati, made a brief presentation of the Draft Law on Population Census, noting that after setting the date of the Census there will be an intensive public outreach and awareness campaign. Meanwhile, there will be regular consultations and meetings with stakeholders on the Census questionnaire in the ongoing stages.
The public debate continued with the analysis of the draft law, where the parties involved committed themselves to provide their contribution.