Environmental impact assessment, the implementation of environmental protection measures, negative environmental factors influencing the citizens’ health, public participation in decision-making as regulated by the Aarhus Convention – these are the issues motivating a growing number of citizens to contact the Office of the Ombudswoman. This fact points to the need for a stronger public focus on these topics with the aim of both informing the public more thoroughly as well as encouraging discussion among the experts. With the aforementioned in mind, on 9 June 2016 in the House of Europe in Zagreb Ombudswoman Lora Vidović is organizing an expert meeting titled “The Right to a Healthy Living and the Preconditions for a Healthy Environment”.

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27 April 2016 marked the centenary of the entry into force of the Act on the Recognition of Islamic Faith in the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia – a document granting Islam a status equal to that of the other religious denominations in Croatia.

The Islamic community in Croatia has contributed significantly to the development of the interfaith dialogue and tolerance in the country and represents an important segment of religious and cultural pluralism, thus contributing to the prosperity of the society as a whole.

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Human rights and public security cannot be viewed as opposites, stressed Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia and Chair of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) Lora Vidović speaking at the conference Human Rights Challenges Now: The Ombudsman Facing Threats taking place in Barcelona on 26 - 27 April 2016.

Following the recent terrorist attacks the EU countries are witnessing a rise in Islamophobic incidents, which has led to increased fear and feelings of insecurity in the Muslim communities. However, labelling an entire community because of the acts of individuals is counterproductive and encourages human rights violations, additionally fueling conflict in an already inflammatory situation, stated Ombudswoman Vidović.

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