Draft Act on Ombudsman for Children does not allow an independent work of this institution, primarily because it envisages a dismissal of the Ombudsman in case of the rejection of the annual report. Furthermore, due to a formal narrative of the Constitutional Court decision regarding annulment of the previous Act, it remains unclear why the Draft Act stipulates that the government shall at latest within 90 days from entering into force of this Act, propose to the Croatian parliament a new Ombudsman for Children.

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People everywhere must be allowed to age with dignity and human rights, stressed the participants of the Eights session of the Open-Ended Working Group of Ageing (OEWG) that took place from 5 to 7 July 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The 8th Session was dedicated to abuse, neglect, violence and age discrimination.

„According to a global study carried out in 28 countries, in 2016, about one in six older persons experienced some form of abuse and estimates suggest that only one in five cases, abuse was actually reported. The reasons for which there is such a high level of unreported violence are multiple and complex, and we know that many victims don't report because they feel ashamed, powerless and fear reprisals, particularly when it comes to domestic violence“, Ombudswoman and Chair of European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) Lora Vidović stated in her speech. She added that national human rights institutions (NHRI) can see directly, through all segments of their works, how much still needs to be done for stronger protection of human rights of elderly, and therefore encourage the states to work towards a convention on the rights of the elderly.

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Older persons should be soon granted stronger protection against domestic violence. Namely, they will be explicitly recognized as in need of particular protection within the Act on Protection against Domestic Violence for the first time, and any negligence towards them, like leaving a hardly mobile persons all day long alone or irregular nutrition, should become punishable.

This is only a part of changes which were accepted in the Final proposal of the Act on Protection against Domestic Violence, according to the suggestions made by the Ombudswoman Lora Vidović.

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Foto: Bernal Revert - European Union/European Ombudsman

Ombudswoman Lora Vidović and Deputy Ombudswoman Lidija Lukina Kezić participated at the annual European Network of Ombudsmen Conference held in Bruxelles on 19 and 20 June. The conference, organised by the European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, was dedicated to the fallout for citizen rights from Brexit and from increased ‘populism’ in Europe.

"If 2016 was a year of populism, can 2017 be a year of pushback of populism?" – asked O’Reilly in the opening speech. She emphasised transparency as crucial element in building citizens trust in institutions and their work.

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