Split otvorenje Podrunog ureda 2Ombudswoman 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.

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Ankara 1 1024x683At the Third Annual Symposium of the Ombudspersons held in Ankara on the 16th and 17th September 2015, Ombudswoman Lora Vidović delivered a presentation of the work of the office she is heading as well as the mandates entrusted to her, with an emphasis on the ENHRI mandate of the national institution for the protection of human rights.

In the presentation to her colleagues from other countries of Europe, Asia and Africa the Ombudswoman spoke about the development of the institution since its inception in 1992, including an overview of the human and financial resources as well as the trends in the number of the citizens' complaints. The Ombudswoman introduced the attendees with the fact that the institution she is representing is the only institution in Croatia holding Status A with the UN's International Coordinating Committee in accordance with the Paris principles, which points to the fact that it fulfills the highest international standards of independence in conducting its work.

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Pučka pravobraniteljica s ostalim pravobraniteljicama kod Predsjednice RHFollowing an invitation from President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, Ombudswoman Lora Vidović participated in a meeting focusing on the work, activities and powers of the institutions of the Ombudsman and the Special Ombudsmen in Croatia. Along with Ombudswoman Vidović, the meeting was attended by the Ombudswoman for Children, Ivana Milas Klarić, the Ombudswoman for the Persons with Disabilities, Anka Slonjšak, and the Ombudswoman for Gender Equality, Višnja Ljubičić.

The Ombudswomen introduced the President with the work of their respective offices as well as with the problems most commonly encountered by the citizens within their areas of work. As a separate topic, they discussed the possibility of cooperation with the aim of addressing the most pressing social problems, the most prominent of which are the protection of the most vulnerable citizens, as well as combating stereotypes and prejudice.

Ombudswoman Vidović warned about a great amount of mistrust towards the institutions prevalent in the Croatian society, as well as about the fact that many of Croatian citizens are still afraid to report discrimination. The Ombudswoman introduced the President with the encouraging results of the work of the National Preventive Mechanism in the year 2014: following the visits of the Office of the Ombudswoman to five psychiatric institutions and the issuing of 131 recommendations based on the Office’s observations, the institutions in question acted on 99 (i.e. 75%) of the said recommendations.

The Ombudswoman reminded the President of the fact that the Office she is heading is the only national institution awarded with the Status A with the UN’s International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights Institutions in accordance with the so-called Paris Principles, meaning that the institution of the Ombudsman in Croatia fulfills the highest international standards of independence in carrying out its work.

President Grabar Kitarović took the opportunity to announce intensification in the frequency of her meetings with the ombudswomen with the aim of conducting more detailed joint analyses of the issues pertaining to their respective areas of work.

 

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