Today's rejection of the 2015 Ombudswoman Report in the Croatian Parliament represents political pressure on the independence of this institution. This is further supported by the fact that members of parliament have unanimously adopted the Report during the discussions in relevant parliamentary committees.

I use the opportunity to remind that the Report, in more than 50 thematic chapters, describes everyday reality our citizens face.

In 2015, 92,000 pensioners received pensions under 500 kuna, almost one in five young people was outside the education system and labour market, and thus at a serious risk of social exclusion. Number of patients with melanoma in Croatia is at EU average, but the melanoma mortality rate is 50 percent higher. 12,000 veterans submitted a request for state housing last year. Residents of rural areas live in villages without electricity, without access to water, public transport and with unkept roads. Unacceptable and discriminatory rhetoric in public space are still strong, and the rights of minorities are perceived as a threat to the majority.

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The Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia Lora Vidović has submitted to the Croatian Parliament her annual report for the year 2015. The report provides an overview of the state of human rights and the incidence of discrimination in Croatia and is the institution's most important tool in bringing about systemic change since along with the analysis and the review of the human rights situation it also provides recommendations for the correction of the observed deficiencies and irregularities.The report is based on the citizens' complaints received by the Office of the Ombudswoman, on the information collected through the Office's everyday cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, during the field-visits as well as on the data submitted by the state bodies and other public administration bodies, social partners, religious communities, NGOs and many others.

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