Discriminatory speech and hate speech have in the course of the past several years predominantly been directed at the members of national minorities, said Ombudswoman Lora Vidović speaking at a public forum titled National Minorities and the Electronic Media held on 18 December 2015 at the Bogdan Ogrizović public library in Zagreb. The main focus of the forum was the (dis)respect of the rights enshrined in Article 18 of the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities as well as the fact that the inclusion in the news reports of the topics discussed from the viewpoint of the national minorities is important both for the national majority and for the minorities in order to be able to jointly combat all forms of intolerance.
The Ombudswoman, whose annual reports provide a regular source of information for the Croatian Parliament on the state of the rights of national minorities in the Republic of Croatia, emphasized the fact that out of 145 providers of radio broadcast services in Croatia there are only 10 non-profit ones, none of which are run by the national minorities’ or human rights NGOs. Ombudswoman Vidović stressed the need to focus our attention on providing our children with civic education in order for them to be able to grow up as members of a society that encourages, respects and protects diversity.
The event was organized by the initiative All of Us for the Croatia for All, the Civic Committee for Human Rights, and Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past. Along with Ombudswoman Vidović, the speakers included Suzana Kunac, member of the Electronic Media Council, Ivan Novosel of the Human Rights House and Tamara Opačić, executive editor of the web portal Novosti.com.