Ombudswoman Lora Vidović opened today the new Regional Office in Split, making thus the institution more accessible to the citizens residing in the South of the country. „The distance between people's location of residence from one of our offices is the reason why the citizens often decide not to seek the protection of their rights. This fact can best be backed up by our last years’ experience from the towns of Osijek and Rijeka, where more than 350 citizens contacted us in less than a month since the opening of our Regional Offices in these cities. Thus, it makes me feel very happy and proud that now it will be a lot easier for the citizens from this part of the country to contact our Office,“ said Ombudswoman Vidović.
Issues related to health and social care, municipal services, employment relations, conduct of police officers, as well as discrimination, the rights of national minorities and the rights of the persons deprived of liberty are just some of the reasons that motivated more than two and a half thousand citizens to contact Ombudswoman Vidović in the course of the last year alone. One can contact the Ombudswoman both in the written form as well as in person and the latter has now become significantly easier for the citizens of both the Splitsko-Dalmatinska as well as the neighboring Zadar, Šibensko-Kninska and the Dubrovačko-Neretvanska County.
The opening of the Split Regional Office also constitutes a large step in the advancement of the cooperation with many of the local partners, among which are the government bodies' offices in the region, local and regional self-government units, legal entities with public authority as well as associations of citizens, trade unions, older persons' homes, organizations established by the national minorities and many others. With this goal in mind, the representatives of the aforementioned institutions and bodies gathered today at the faculty of Law in Split for a presentation of the work and the authorities of the Ombudswoman. “This type of cooperation is extremely useful and important, especially when it comes to the specific cases of human rights protection and combatting discrimination as well as the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism. Additionally, we can do a great job together in awareness raising and educating the public on a large number of issues they are faced with,” emphasized Vidović.
The official opening of the regional office was attended by the head of the Splitsko-Dalmatinska County Zlatko Ževrnja, mayor of the city of Split Ivo Baldasar, as well as the president of the non-profit association Most and the member of the Ombudswoman's Human Rights Council Đordana Barbarić. The guests welcomed the arrival of the Office of the Ombudsman to Split.
Regional office in Split is located at the address Mažuranićevo šetalište 8a. The citizens can get acquainted with the work of the Ombudswoman at the Open Doors event taking place from tomorrow till Thursday (22 to 24 September) between 8a.m. and 4p.m.
On the occasion of the opening of the new regional office and following the daily monitoring of the situation on the ground, the Ombudswoman took the chance to reflect on the refugee crisis. „We are divided into several teams and are located at the most critical spots day and night. 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. 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 utmost level of professionalism and patience in extremely difficult conditions. Thank you once more,“ said Vidović.