• Ageing has to include dignity and human rights

    People everywhere must be allowed to age with dignity and human rights, stressed the participants of the Eights session of the Open-Ended Working Group of Ageing (OEWG) that took place from 5 to 7 July 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The 8th Session was dedicated to abuse, neglect, violence and age discrimination.

    „According to a global study carried out in 28 countries, in 2016, about one in six older persons experienced some form of abuse and estimates suggest that only one in five cases, abuse was actually reported. The reasons for which there is such a high level of unreported violence are multiple and complex, and we know that many victims don't report because they feel ashamed, powerless and fear reprisals, particularly when it comes to domestic violence“, Ombudswoman and Chair of European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) Lora Vidović stated in her speech. She added that national human rights institutions (NHRI) can see directly, through all segments of their works, how much still needs to be done for stronger protection of human rights of elderly, and therefore encourage the states to work towards a convention on the rights of the elderly.

  • Stronger protection of elderly against domestic violence

    Older persons should be soon granted stronger protection against domestic violence. Namely, they will be explicitly recognized as in need of particular protection within the Act on Protection against Domestic Violence for the first time, and any negligence towards them, like leaving a hardly mobile persons all day long alone or irregular nutrition, should become punishable.

    This is only a part of changes which were accepted in the Final proposal of the Act on Protection against Domestic Violence, according to the suggestions made by the Ombudswoman Lora Vidović.

  • Populism and Brexit at the Centre of the Annual European Network of Ombudsmen Conference

    Foto: Bernal Revert - European Union/European Ombudsman

    Ombudswoman Lora Vidović and Deputy Ombudswoman Lidija Lukina Kezić participated at the annual European Network of Ombudsmen Conference held in Bruxelles on 19 and 20 June. The conference, organised by the European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, was dedicated to the fallout for citizen rights from Brexit and from increased ‘populism’ in Europe.

    "If 2016 was a year of populism, can 2017 be a year of pushback of populism?" – asked O’Reilly in the opening speech. She emphasised transparency as crucial element in building citizens trust in institutions and their work.

  • Comments on National Plan for Combating Discrimination and its Action Plan

    Ombudsman’s institution, as an authorised central equality body in the Republic of Croatia has joined a public consultation on the National Plan for Combating Discrimination and Action Plan for its implementation for the period 2017 – 2019, by sending proposals for amendments. They include a list of obstacles faced by national minorities in employment and a statement on the importance of introduction of the civic education in the school curricula. They also include a reintroduction of the text regarding the school books content from the previous draft National Plan and designation of measures for child migrant’s participation in education.

  • Integration measures for persons granted international protection are welcomed, but not enough

    Croatia does not have a comprehensive migration and integration policy for all foreigners in the society, yet recently a possible step towards its creation was missed. Namely, only those with granted international protection were covered in the recently adopted integration measures, and there were only about 100 of them in 2016, stated the Ombudswoman Lora Vidović during the public debate on the Draft Action Plan for Integration of Persons Granted International Protection for the Period 2017 to 2019. And even though such a document is indeed welcomed since it could improve integration, it is in no way enough, said Ombudswoman Vidović.