Ukraine’s Ombudsperson representative visits Croatia

As part of a study visit to Croatia in cooperation with the Ombudswoman’s Office, representatives of the Ukraine’s Ombudswoman and a representative of Lithuanian Ombudsman visited the Office of the Ombudsperson for Persons with Disabilities on February 6.

The visit to Croatia was organised as part of the EU twinning project on the implementation of the best European practices in the area of human rights protection with the aim of improving institutional capacities of the Ukrainian Ombudswoman’s Office. The project leader is the Lithuanian Ombudsman in cooperation with partners from Austria, Lithuania, and Ukraine, whose representatives will be in Croatia on February 5-9. Deputies Darijo Jurisic and Mira Pekec-Knezevic, as well as advisors Natalija Krajnovic and Andreja Makar attended the meeting from the Office of the Ombudswoman.

Eleven colleagues from Ukraine and partner representatives from Lithuania were given a presentation on the organisation of the Office of the Ombudsperson for Persons with Disabilities, areas of activity, as well as the everyday challenges in the protection and promotion of rights of persons with disabilities. Difficulties in implementing the process of deinstitutionalisation and solving the issue of institutional placement exist in Ukraine as well. Furthermore, examples of everyday discrimination of persons with disabilities in the two countries are very similar.

During the talks, great similarities were recognised as well in cases of deprivation of legal capacity that persons with intellectual and psychological difficulties experience. As the Office of Ukrainian Ombudswoman is similar in its status to the Office of Human Rights Ombudswoman, their organisation with many separate departments, including a department for preventing personal data abuse and a department for public relations, is interesting.

The visitors recognised as useful the organisation of the Ombudsperson’s Office in Croatia, which was recognised within the EU twinning project as one of the best European practices in the area of human rights protection.