• Ankara: Ombudswoman introduces office's work to colleagues from Europe, Asia and Africa

    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.

  • Ombudswomen Introduce President Grabar Kitarović with their Work, Powers and Problems Encountered by Citizens

    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.

     

  • People before borders - Protection before border control (ENNHRI Statement on Tragedies in Mediterranean Sea)

    27C7DFF500000578-3047013-image-a-1 1429530273746Since January 2015 at least 1,550 people have died in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean, in search of safety or a better life. Just a few months ago (October 2014), the search and rescue operation Mare Nostrum, with a budget of 9 million euros a month, was succeeded by operation Triton, carried out by Frontex, with a budget of only 3 million euros a month. After the last weeks of shipwrecks, the overall death toll has now increased and will continue to rise if proper responsibility and action is not taken by the EU and its Member States. In addition, action is needed by a number of states on the African continent and in the Middle East and their relevant international organisations.

    Following this week’s disaster, the European Union’s Joint Foreign Affairs and Home Council has proposed a 10-point action plan on migration. ENNHRI takes note of this effort and acknowledges that some measures go in the right direction, including the strengthening of the joint operations in the Mediterranean, or rethinking emergency relocation mechanisms and resettlement engagements.

  • The first meeting of the Platform for Roma Integration

    National human rights bodies, bodies for combating discrimination and equality promotion and European ombudsman institutions had the first meeting in October 2013. The representatives of the Council of Europe, the EU Agency for Protection of Human Rights, the United Nations and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights attended the meeting during which they agreed on necessary further steps in order to improve human rights protection through the cooperation of institutions.

    As follows, they agreed on platforms for cooperation on issues of asylum and migration, Roma integration, combating hate crimes, the improvement of social and economic rights and socio-economic equality. Pursuant to the agreements reached and under the leadership of the Council of Europe, the first meeting of the Platform dedicated to the integration of Roma was held in Strasbourg on 30 January 2015.

  • The Office of the Ombudsman opened its regional office in Osijek

    The Office of the Ombudsman opened its regional office in Osijek on November 26th. The Ombudswoman LLM Lora Vidović talked about the work and role of the Ombudsman at the opening:

    "In this way we want to get closer to the citizens, because their expectations of our institution, which has broad powers in protection and promotion of human rights, prevention of discrimination and has the role of National Preventive Mechanism, are increasing. Since we have only had Office in Zagreb so far, many people who need our help were not able to complain and seek protection of their rights because of the distance, and in this way we will be more accessible to all. "

    The first public presentation of the Office was attended by Ph.D. Mira Lulić, a member of the Council of the Ombudsman and the Head of Chair of International Law and the Postgraduate Specialist Studies in Human Rights at the Faculty of Law in Osijek, the mayor of Osijek Ivan Vrkić and the Prefect Osijek-Baranja County, Ph.D. Vladimir Šišljagić.