As the National Equality Body the Ombudsman/woman is responsible for promoting equality and reporting to the Parliament on the basis of 17 grounds stated in the Anti-discrimination Act. 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).
The institution of the Ombudsman 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.
Combined tribunal-type and promotion-type
|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||283|
|Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)||144||147||202||248||263||283|
|Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media||40|
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 five departments in the Office: Human Rights Protection Department, Department for Persons deprived of liberty and NPM, Department for Non-discrimination, Comunitation, cooperation and Promotion Department and General Service Department.
The Ombudsperson, as well as deputy ombudspersons, are appointed by the Croatian Parliament for a term of eight years with the possibility of reappointment.
|Grounds / Fields||Employment||Education||Housing||Social Protection & Healthcare||Goods and Services||Other|
|Race and Ethnic Origin|
|Religion & Belief|