ABOUT THE OFFICE
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which came into force on 3 May 2008 is a key document on the rights of persons with disabilities and all Croatian laws must be in compliance with it. On the basis of the Convention, the National Strategy of Equalization of Possibilities for Persons with Disabilities from the year 2007 to 2015 was developed. One of the measures in the Strategy was the introduction of the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities with the aim of improving legal protection of persons with disabilities. Acting on the implementation of that measure, Ministry of Family, Veteran’s Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity in partnership with associations of persons with disabilities initiated the passing of the Act on the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities (Official Gazette, No. 107/07), which came into force on 1 January 2008.
On the proposal of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Croatian Parliament appointed Ms Anka Slonjšak as the first Croatian Ombudswoman for Persons with Disability on 30 May 2008. The Office of the Ombudsman for persons with disabilities commenced work on 1 July 2008, temporarily in the offices of the Croatian Parliament and since 1 September 2008 at the address Savska cesta 41/3 in Zagreb where it is located today. On 17 October 2017 Ms Slonjšak was re-elected for another 8-year term.
Along with the Ombudswoman Ms Anka Slonjšak, Bachelor of Economics, who is a person with tetraplegia as a result of a car accident, the Office employs her deputies: Ms Mira Pekeč-Knežević, Bachelor of Social Welfare, who has years of experience working in the area of promoting the quality of life of persons with disabilities and Mr Darijo Jurišić, Bachelor of Laws and MSc with the major in management and development of local and regional self-government, with experience in different public service sectors dealing with the rights of persons with disabilities. There are also employees in professional affairs (five lawyers and a social worker) and general affairs (a PR officer, an accountant, a secretary and a professional associate) which makes a total of 13 employees.
The scope and manner of work of the Office is based on the Act on the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities. Priority tasks of the Office are those concerned with promoting and monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and National Strategy of Equalization of Possibilities for Persons with Disabilities as well as addressing complaints with the mandate of the ombudsman, national human rights institution specializing in disability and an equality body fighting discrimination on the ground of disability.
The most common complaints addressed at the Office concern: inadequate scope and level of social and disability benefits, lack of community based support services for independent living in the community, failure to comply with positive discrimination in employment and failure to provide reasonable accommodation at work, barriers in accessing health care services, lack of early childhood intervention services, difficulties in accessing inclusive education for children with disabilities amounting to discrimination in the form of denial of reasonable accommodation, pension insurance, service accessibility, communication and architectural barriers, as well as different forms of violence.
Anyone can contact the Office of the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities and submit a proposal for consideration of issues of significance to the protection of rights and interests of persons with disabilities and children with developmental difficulties.
Address: Savska cesta 41/3, HR 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: +385 1 6102 170
Fax: +385 1 6177 901
Official website: http://posi.hr/
For an in-person consultation, prior notification and appointment arrangement is required.
The Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities is obliged to inform the submitter on the undertaken activities within 60 days.