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Report on activities of Croatian watchdog organizations – August 2013

Dealing with the Past does not end with the 1st of July

Documenta-clock symbolizes need for dealing with the war pastCentre for Dealing with the Past, Civic Committee for Human Rights and Centre for Peace, Non-violence and Human Rights Osijek organized press conference on 2 August 2013 in the Human Rights House Zagreb in order to remind Croatian government and public on the constant need for dealing with the war past. On the press conference they presented Quarterly Report on Monitoring War Crimes Trials for the reporting period from April to June 2013. The period covered by this report immediately proceeds the 1st July 2013 – Day of Croatian accession in the European Union. Despite fulfilling of numerous pre-accession criteria

necessary for entry into the EU, Croatia did not resolve some important issues related to the war and postwar period: a large number of unprocessed war crimes, reimbursement of lost lawsuits to families whose members were killed are not satisfactorily resolved and civilian victims of war are not adequately compensated. The Report in Croatian can be downloading here.

Water and sanitation are a human right! Water is a public good, not a commodity!

Right to the City and Gposter saying that water is a human rightreen Action alert Croatian citizens to join in the gathering of signatures for the first European Citizens’ Initiative which tries to put the issue of the right to water and sanitation for all EU citizens on the EU bodies’ agenda. This initiative, in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union saying that any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State has the right to petition the European

Parliament, was initiate by European Federation of Public Service Unions with support of several organizations. They invite the European Commission to propose legislation implementing the human right to water and sanitation as recognized by the United Nations, and promoting the provision of water and sanitation as essential public services for all. The EU legislation should require governments to ensure and to provide all citizens with sufficient and clean drinking water and sanitation. Croatian citizens can also sign online petition until 9 September 2013.

Youth in Croatia

On the International Youth Day, 12.8.2013, Croatian Youth Network held a visually-attractive performance in front of the Croatian Government, on St. Marko Square, to warn that the situation of young people in Croatia is still exceptionally bad and that young people lacking perspective and opportunities. This watchdog use its intervening and alerting function in order to spoke out of the right to engage in work of youth population, as defined by Article 15 of the European Charter of Rights. Statistics show that about 20% of the total youth population in Croatia (which has about 800 000 young people) is at risk of poverty.

young people quequing for a job

Also, the rate of unemployed young people, according to the Croatian Employment Service’s statistics, is still extremely high, among the highest in the EU (about 115 000 registered unemployed youth). Croatian Youth Network requests from the Croatian Government and other responsible stakeholders to finally start to implement a broad, coordinated plan in order to solve all acute and chronic problems of youth in Croatia. More information on the event is available here.

Logo of the manual I know I'm thinking I participate

Manual ‘I Know, I’m thinking, I participate’ was created within the project New Era of Human Rights and Democracy in Schools as part of the experimental implementation of civic education in the school year 2012/2013. It helps teachers, professional associates and other educators in the implementation of civic education. Handbook is contribution to civic education by civil society organizations which through its expertise and active involvement in the work for social change affecting the quality of democratization and the development of civic competences, as set out by Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. Handbook follows the structure of the curriculum of civic education proposed in August 2012. Manual ‘I Know, I’m thinking, I participate’ produced by Centre for Peace studies can be downloaded here.

Advocating for social inclusion of people with mental disabilities

colourful circleOn 8 August 2013, the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth sent into public discussion draft of the Family Code and invited the interested public to participate. Therefore Association Sjaj that deals with protection of the rights and advocate for social inclusion of people with mental disabilities in Croatia submitted their comments in order to pressurize and remind about that particular issue. Principled objection of Association Sjaj is that reform of the Family Code does not lead to progressive changes necessary for the application of Article 12 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, although there are some visible changes in the content of the proposed legal text which are more favorable solutions for persons deprived of their legal capacity. Accordingly, the Association has focused on the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, which offers so called “interim” solution to the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which can minimize human rights violations. Furthermore, Association Sjaj suggested that the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth develops a strategy for harmonization of legislation with Article 12 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and appoints a permanent expert committee that would be continuously engaged in the implementation of these strategies at the legislative level.

 

Logo funduszy szwajcarskich, Ecorys oraz Euroregion Bałtyk.

 

This text is a result of a research prepared within the project “Powerful Watchdogs” supported by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union. The report aims to show the up-to-date information regarding activity of watchdog organizations in a given country. The author refers to the classification on watchdog functions, to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the international concepts of the transparent governance.

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