In June The Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia together with its Austrian partner, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights, started a major project entitled Let's Face Discrimination! Together we prepared, by utilising European funds, a series of educational seminars and workshops for training the people employed in the office of the Ombudsman along with other target groups, including public sector employees and representatives of civil society.The project began with a public presentation at the National Assembly, the formation of a discrimination expert working group at the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office, and an intensive training scheme for the expert team which included the Train the Trainer seminar. Nineteen people participated in the training scheme: nine of us were from the Ombudsman's office, one came from the Office for Equal Opportunities, and the rest were selected from various professional spheres and included two police officers (teachers at the Police Academy), a university professor, a young researcher, a teacher/assistant from the National School for Leadership in Education, a Roma assistant, a labour inspector, an official from the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, and an official from the Ministry of the Interior.
The response of the participants was extremely positive. The majority of them expressed their willingness and resolve to use the knowledge they had gained in their working environment, and many of them also took part in continuing the project.
In June we successfully carried out two seminars Organizational structures and Law inforcement bodies against discrimination.
In autumn we continued with seminars for different target groups and grounds: Sanctions and remedies, Access to goods, services and housing, Education against discrimination, Ethics of public speech, Gender mainstreaming and multiple discrimination, Discrimination on the workplace, Religious freedoms and discrimination of people on the grounds of their religion or belief, Ethnic and racial discrimination, Roma against discrimination, Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, Discrimination on the grounds of age and disability. In the course of the project over 500 people were educated on the before mentioned seminars.
The project was summed up with the Closing conference on 8 December 2006 at the Law Faculty and concluded with a gala reception at the National Museum on Human Rights Day (10 December). On the Closing conference we presented the results of the project and plans for the future of the newly established Antidiscrimination department within the Ombudsman’s Office.
In the course of the project also a special edition of the Ombudsman’s Newsletter was published. It contains directions on how to recognize discrimination and legal remedies for victims, including the key data on important institutions. The newsletter is available also in English.