The institution of the Ombudsman/Woman is a predominantly promotion-type and complaints based body. As the National Equality Body the Ombudsman/woman has a preventive role in the protection against discrimination through promoting equality and through centralized data collection. S/he has the authority to receive discrimination complaints based on 12 discrimination grounds (e.g. race and ethnic origin, religion and belief, age, health status etc...) since his/her mandate does not include handling discrimination cases based on gender, marital or family status, gender identity and expression and sexual orientation (Ombudsman/woman for gender equality), disability (Ombudsman/woman for persons with disabilities) or handling complaints that concern discrimination of children (Ombudsman/woman for children). In the Annual Report to the Croatian Parliament, s/he provides an analysis and assessment of the situation with regard to the protection and promotion of equality. As NEB, data on all 17 protected grounds is included is this Report.
The institution of the Ombudsman/Woman is established by the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia as independent and autonomous. The Ombudsman reports to the Croatian Parliament. The institution was established in 1992 as an Ombudsman type and has since been changing and receiving additional duties:
As mentioned, the institution became the Central Equality Body with the entry into force of the Anti-discrimination Act on January 1st 2009.
The Anti-discrimination Act provides for the protection and promotion of equality as one of the highest values of the constitutional order of the Republic of Croatia, creates prerequisites for the realization of equal opportunities and regulates protection against discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic affiliation or color, gender, language, religion, political or other belief, national or social origin, property status, trade union membership, education, social status, marital or family status, age, health status, disability, genetic heritage, gender identity and expression or sexual orientation.
In the capacity of the Central Equality Body the Office of the Ombudsman has the responsibility to collect and analyse statistical data on discrimination concerning all of the grounds stated in the Anti-discrimination Act as well as to inform the Croatian Parliament on the occurrences of discrimination on the basis of these grounds in his/her annual report (and when required, special reports), to conduct surveys concerning discrimination, to give opinions and recommendations, and to suggest appropriate legal and strategic solutions to the Government of the Republic of Croatia.
Responsibility for dealing with complaints encompasses 12 out of 17 grounds stated in the Act since specialised ombuds are responsible for dealing with complaints based on gender, marital or family status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and disability.
According to the Anti-discrimination Act when handling discrimination complaints the Ombudsman/woman has the power to:
Also, based on the Anti-discrimination Act, the Ombudsman/woman has the power to start misdemeanour proceedings and to intervene in the court proceedings on behalf of the party that has been discriminated against. Under specific circumstances s/he can also start proceedings in his/her own name when the right to equal treatment of a larger group of persons has been violated.
Professional and administrative services for the Ombudsman/woman are provided by the Office of the Ombudsman/woman. The allocation of funds necessary for the functioning of the institution is apportioned in the annual budget of the Republic of Croatia.
Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body
|Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )|
|Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)|
|Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)|
|Recommendations on discrimination issues|
|Publications and reports|
|Research projects (including surveys)|
|Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)||144||147||202||248||263||284||387||277||317||270|
|Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)||144||147||202||248||263||283||387||277||317||270|
|Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media||40|
The Ombudsman/woman as the National Equality Body collects statistics on all 17 protected grounds from special ombudspersons. This joint statistics is also reported to the Parliament in Ombudsman/woman's annual report. Joint statistics include information about gender of complainants, grounds, areas and structure of entities that the complaint was directed against.
The institution of the Ombudsman is headed by the Ombudsman/woman and his/her 3 deputies. One deputy Ombudsman/woman deals with anti-discrimination issues and is the head of the Department for Non-discrimination.
There are six departments in the Office: Human Rights Protection Department, Department for Persons deprived of liberty and NPM, Department for Non-discrimination, Whistleblower protection Department, Communication, Cooperation and Promotion Department and General Service Department.
In addition to the central office in Zagreb, we have established regional offices in Rijeka, Osijek and Split, in an effort to increase accessibility and reach more citizens.
In line with the Article 10 of the Ombudsman Act the Ombudsman is appointed by the Croatian Parliament for a term of eight years with the possibility of reappointment. At the latest six months before the expiry of the Ombudsman mandate, or no later than 30 days after the termination of office due to other reasons, the Croatian Parliament publishes a public call to propose the candidates for Ombudsman. The Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System, with prior opinion of the Committee on Human and National Minority Rights of the Croatian Parliament, shall propose at least two candidates for Ombudsman according to the received applications from the public call and it shall be submitted to the Croatian Parliament.
A person who meets the following conditions may be elected Ombudsman:
As regards the deputies, the Ombudsman has at least three deputies. The deputy Ombudsman is
elected by the Croatian Parliament for a term of eight years, with the possibility of reappointment.
The Ombudsman proposes candidates for his/her deputies to the Croatian Parliament within 30 days
after the termination of a public call for application.
The Ombudsman and his deputies may not perform any other public or professional duties or be members of a political party
The Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsmen shall have the same immunity as members of the Croatian Parliament, meaning their criminal prosecution is possible only after parliamentary consent, except for crimes with five or more years of imprisonment mandated.
|Grounds / Fields||Employment||Education||Housing||Social Protection & Healthcare||Goods and Services||Other|
|Race and Ethnic Origin|
|Religion & Belief|
We are authorized to cover the grunds of grounds of race or ethnic affiliation or color, language, religion, political or other belief, national or social origin, property status, trade union membership, education, social status, age, health status, and genetic heritage.
Non-exhaustive list of the field we cover includes:
1. work and working conditions; opportunities for self-employment or self-employment, including selection criteria and conditions for employment and promotion; access to all types of vocational guidance, vocational training and retraining,
2. education, science and sports,
3. social security, including the area of social welfare, pension and health insurance and unemployment insurance,
4. health care,
5. judiciary and administration,
7. public information and media,
8. access to and provision of goods and services,
9. membership and activities in trade unions, civil society organizations, political parties or any other organizations,
10. participation in cultural and artistic creation.