• National Human Rights Institutions Play Key Role in Citizens’ Rights Protection but Ought to Be Proactive

    National human rights institutions (NHRIs) play a key role in the protection of the human rights of the citizens. In the performance of their work they ought to exercise a proactive approach and be present on the ground in order to be able to build a comprehensive picture of the state of human rights in their respective countries. This was the joint conclusion of the Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia and ENNHRI Chair Lora Vidović and UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore at the meeting held on 21 June 2016 in Vienna as part of the Fundamental Rights Forum.
    The two officials highlighted the importance of the established standards of work of the NHRIs and emphasized the need to keep maintaining and developing the UN accreditation system.

  • Ombudswoman at the UN: ”Effective, accountable, inclusive and independent NHRIs important in achieving SGDs”

    Ombudswoman of Croatia and ENNHRI Chair Lora Vidović emphasised the relevance of the work of national human rights institutions (NHRI) in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets, at the fourth Annual seminar series on national human rights institutions, set to open dialogue on their role in conflict and fragile contexts and ephasize their contribution to peaceful, just and inclusive societies, as set by SDG16. The seminar took place at the United nations in New York 17 June 2016., and was hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

  • Expert Meeting: The Right to a Healthy Living and the Preconditions for a Healthy Environment

    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”.

  • Ombudswoman Vidović Meets With OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

    OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors met on 10 May 2016 in Zagreb with Ombudswoman Lora Vidović and Deputy Ombudswoman Tena Šimonović Einwalter to discuss the current state of the rights of national minorities and discrimination on the grounds of nationality in Croatia.

    High Commissioner Thors was especially interested in the legal framing and the implementation of the national minorities’ right to use their language and script, as well as the state of their rights in the area of employment.

  • The vote is a political pressure on the independence of this institution

    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.