The efforts of the Office of the Ombudswoman aimed at the protection and the promotion of human rights have once again been validated at the international level. Ombudswoman Lora Vidović was elected as Chair of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) by the members of the Network at the General Assembly session held on December 1 in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
„I am extremely glad that our colleagues from other countries have recognized our work and have entrusted us with heading the network of more than 40 institutions from across Europe working jointly to achieve the same goal – protection and promotion of human rights,“ stated Ombudswoman Vidović after the vote. The activities of the Network include the efforts in the areas of economic and social rights, asylum and migrations, the rights of older persons, the rights of persons with disabilities, freedom of speech and many other human rights.
Chairing the network – taking up the leading position in its European Coordinating Committee – entails presiding over the General Assembly's annual meetings as well as managing the Permanent Secretariat. Also, it includes the work of liaising between the Network and UN Human Rights Council's International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC). This means Ombudswoman Vidović will also serve as member of the Bureau of the ICC.
„Our new role will contribute to the strengthening of the protection of citizens’ rights in Croatia, since the efforts to address their problems will be voiced more intensely at the international level. Additionally, we will be able to access more directly examples of good practice of other countries as well as share with others our successful experiences,“ explained Ombudswoman Vidović, who will take over the Chair position in March 2016, succeeding in that post professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission.