In the weeks preceding the arrival of a large number of refugees to Croatia, Ombudswoman Lora Vidović started monitoring the events related to the current crisis. The Ombudswoman and her associates have been organized into several teams and have been paying daily and nightly visits to the most critical spots.
„It is still too early to make any general estimates, but from the very beginning we noticed a lack of information available to the refugees, the volunteers as well as the appropriate authorities. Regarding the problem, we reacted and are glad that the Government has, as we can see, accepted our recommendations.I would like to use this occasion to thank every police officer on the ground as they have been doing their jobs with the greatest level of professionalism and patience in extremely difficult conditions“, emphasized Vidović today on the occasion of the opening of the third Regional Office, this time in Split, which has made the Ombudswoman’s office even more accessible to the citizens of the South of Croatia seeking protection of their human rights or battling discrimination.
Even before the arrival of a significant number of refugees to Croatia the Ombudswoman formed within the Office a special working team and together with them visited the locations mentioned by the officials as potential accommodation spots for the refugees. Most of the team members already have experience with emergency situations, having visited with the Ombudswoman areas hitby the catastrophic floods in 2014.
In addition, last Monday the Ombudswoman organized an expert meeting titled „Refugee Crisis – Terms and Rights“, in the Croatian Parliament. The meeting was the first gathering and discussion on the topic of the arrival of the refugees between the competent bodies, other stakeholders whose work will be pivotal after the mass arrival of the refugees into the country, as well as the media, academics and representatives of the religious communities.