Organization For Promotion, Equality And Advocacy (OPEA)

The Organization for Promotion, Equality, and Advocacy (OPEA) is a nonprofit organization and at the same time is represented by Apparel Industry Association, which advocates for the women’s fashion industry and provides its members with a network to promote their rights, offers legal support, and try to provide training and information to workers.

Advocates a lot in work and dignity for the workers engaged in various industries and raises awareness for multiple issues. For example, around 80% of garment workers are women, meaning more women suffer ongoing rights violations in the fashion industry than men. Simultaneously, it tried to Improve and support the integration of minorities and marginalized groups, particularly women and young girls, in the Kosovo apparel industry.

As the Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights, institutions must protect individuals from business violations, in practice, are often powerless or not willing enough to take effective steps. Human rights violations through investigation, communication, and networking power can be prevented and can make a change. In the last years, society and businesses in Kosovo developed a better understanding of the corporate social responsibility for business activities for human rights, but companies are good at playing the game with the Law requirements and fail to protect and respect human rights in individual cases was given little attention.

Where the profit of companies is reduced to a minimum or they work at a loss, the workers suffer the most, who are fired without any prior notice, take mandatory unpaid vacations, or have their wages cut. 

According to our data, since the coronavirus crisis, about two thousand people have left their jobs, but unofficial data of some organizations speak of a figure that reaches up to five thousand workers.

We regularly organize roundtables about their rights, as well as engage judicial professionals to explain and inform them about the legal processes and demands.