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IMC host the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Thought and Expression

04 April 2023

The Independent Media Commission (IMC) hosted the UN Special Rapporteur for the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Thought and Expression (OHCHR) in a working meeting. Irene Khan, accompanied by her team Mr. Thibaut Guillet and Mr. Laurens Van Der Woude.

The topics discussed at the meeting were about the legal framework and regulation of the media aspect in Kosovo, the current situation regarding freedom of thought and expression, including the right to information and their implementation, freedom, pluralism and diversity of the media, freedom of the expression of various specific groups, including religious, ethnic minorities and marginalized communities.

Regarding the above-mentioned points, the representatives of the IMC informed the Rapporteur about the process of amending the Law on the IMC by the Government in cooperation with the IMC, with the aim of harmonizing with the latest EU Directive on services audiovisual media (AVMS). In this respect, the new law will include the regulation of new forms of transmission, as envisaged by the new AVMS Directive. Also regarding the changes that are expected to be made in the legal framework, it was also discussed how the financing of the IMC will be according to the new law, the ownership of the media. Regarding the current situation, it was discussed about the issue of media education and the work that the IMC has done in this direction, then the process of monitoring the media and the procedure of handling complaints by the IMC as well as the public's trust in the media.

Special Rapporteur Ms. Khan said that her mission is to prepare a report with a series of recommendations for public authorities, with the aim of protecting and promoting freedom of thought and expression, in light of international human rights law and standards. Also the Report will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council and approximately one third of the mandate holders also report to the UN General Assembly.