Natisni vsebino

3.1.4. Relations with underprivileged and/or marginalised groups

Annual Report

3.1.4. Relations with underprivileged and/or marginalised groups

As stated above, certain groups – for various reasons – only rarely turn to the ombudsman. For this reason one of the ombudsman's first acts on taking up office was to commit himself to more intensive approaches to these groups and to the formulation of strategies for more effective and direct access to them.

Because these groups are often without even the basic conditions for the exercising of their rights, violations in these areas are more frequent and, because of the conditions mentioned above, less attention is drawn to them. The sensitivity of the area attracts the media, which are likewise sensitive to violations and irregularities, and thus cases of violations of the rights of the underprivileged and/or marginalised groups usually cause a reaction in the media, which has a number of effects, among them the following:

    * the diffusion of technology means that information can also reach 'inaccessible groups';

    * drawing attention to the violation of rights and methods of preventing violations is slowly but surely raising people's awareness of human rights;

    * the ombudsman's warnings, findings and statements usually trigger various responses which enables the formulation of appropriate guidelines for work in the future.

Precisely because of the small number of complaints reaching the ombudsman from groups of this type in 2001, the ombudsman had frequent meetings with representatives of various underprivileged and/or marginalised groups. He familiarised himself with conditions relating to their life and work and tried to find solutions to their difficulties. He continued to draw the attention of the general public to the problem of intolerance and the evil of discrimination, the need to respect difference and the necessity of equal treatment for all, and in particular the need to pay special attention to the weakest group among them – children. He also drew attention to the problem of poverty or the economic and social sidelining of certain groups, and the prevalence of 'existential' fear.

In the first year of his term of office the ombudsman devoted considerable attention to warning about the need to increase tolerance. Immediately after taking up office on 27 February he addressed a call to tolerance to the Slovene public in relation to the 'prank' in which persons unknown painted over the Italian inscriptions on the bilingual signs in Koper. He also expressed his dismay at the increasingly evident intolerance shown by individuals and individual groups towards difference, be it nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation, social or economic status, life style or something else. He therefore called on citizens of all nationalities to show greater mutual respect, cooperation and respect of differences, and reminded citizens of Slovene nationality that as the majority community they are the most responsible for the wellbeing of all inhabitants of the country.

Concerning the May protests in Šiška against foreigners he criticised the State, which by failing to prepare for the problem of asylum seekers had 'generated intolerance'. 'Regardless of what I think about intolerance,' observed the ombudsman, 'the fact is that even the most tolerant people become intolerant if they find themselves in a minority in comparison to asylum seekers and aliens. The State should not have allowed such a situation, which forces people into xenophobia, to occur. The State must listen to the concerns of both parties.'

The ombudsman also took the opportunity to draw attention to people's opposition to schools and nursery schools for children with special needs or facilities for treating drug addicts. 'This is not merely a question of xenophobia but a question of general intolerance, the problem of allowing difference!'

He warned that the rights of every individual are limited by the rights other individuals, and repeated this warning on several occasions during 2001. Before the June referendum on the act amending the Medical Treatment of Sterility and Biomedical Fertilisation Act he called for tolerance in the name of the protection of the rights of the child; at the Peace Festival in Slovenj Gradec in October he emphasised the need to learn about difference, different peoples and their cultures, since only in this way can a person avert the fear of the unknown and become tolerant.

The ombudsman also called for tolerance and recognition of difference in relation to a racially-oriented case in July and an overt and illegal expression of homophobia in a public place the same month. In both cases he identified the causes of the action and, following inquiries, reacted. In the latter case he drew attention to the inadmissibility of discrimination using the excuse that the area is not regulated by law. He pointed out that the Constitution is a fundamental legal act which must be respected by all. Article 14 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of personal circumstances of whatever type. This provision is applied directly and cannot be restricted even by statute. The lack of appropriate laws does not permit discriminatory behaviour by individuals and consequent violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms, he continued.

At the end of July the president of the republic invited the ombudsman to a discussion of cases of intolerance in Slovene society. The incentive was the case mentioned above in which skinheads attacked a black inhabitant of Slovenia. The meeting was also attended by the interior minister and the deputy general director of the police. After the discussion the president of Slovenia emphasised that such phenomena, though for the time being still on a small scale, cannot leave us unaffected, and added that it would be an extremely bad thing if we were to become tolerant of intolerance.

The deputy general director of the police presented an analysis of ten years' work in this field and drew attention to the police's relatively limited scope in creating an atmosphere of tolerance in society. There was also some discussion of the number of complaints about police behaviour and the method of addressing and dealing with these complaints on the part of the police.

The president of the republic also stated that the right to difference is not an abstract or formal right but can only be concrete, daily and exercisable always and everywhere.

During the discussion of his annual reports in parliament in June 2001, the ombudsman presented members of parliament with his working priorities. He placed special emphasis on greater efforts for the protection of children and their interests.

Even before the new ombudsman took up office, deputy ombudsman Aleš Butala attended a session of the children's parliament. In 2001 the ombudsman attended numerous events at which he spoke to young people on racism, homophobia, drugs and other current topics.

At a meeting with scouts and on a one-day excursion from children disadvantaged families he talked about the importance of human rights and their protection.

He dealt with the issue of the right of children to have both parents and in this connection met representatives of the Podos society and the Ostržek society. He familiarised himself with the rare publicly reported cases of violence in the family and with conditions in the area of sexual abuse.

He did not reject the idea of a children's ombudsman which has been put forward but stressed the need for immediate action in the area of the protection of children's rights. Founding a special institution for the protection of the rights of children could have the effect of postponing action indefinitely.

In the Week of the Child the ombudsman invited children to take advantage of the open day and come to the ombudsman's office for a chat. He told a packed gathering of children, parents and mentors about his work and called on them to cooperate actively in learning about and exercising their rights and the solutions to employ should their rights be violated. The children brought up a number of queries relating to the protection of their rights. They also wanted to know how to apply to the ombudsman and made some concrete suggestions. They expressed the hope that there would be more open days and committed themselves to close cooperation with the ombudsman. The desire for guidance and education in the protection of the rights of children was also expressed by adults at the gathering.

The ombudsman called on the children's newspapers Ciciban and Cicido to cooperate in the promotion of rights and the provision of information about rights. He also talked with other sections of the media about violations of children's rights.

Letno poročilo 2001 - Poglavje 3.1.4.

3.1.4. Odnosi z deprivilegiranimi in/ali marginaliziranimi skupinami

Kot že rečeno, se določene skupine zaradi različnih razlogov leredko obrnejo na varuha. Zato se je varuh ob nastopu mandata med drugimše posebej zavezal za intenzivnejše približanje takšnim skupinam in zaoblikovanje strategij za učinkovitejši in neposreden dostop do njih.

Ker omenjene skupine pogosto nimajo izpolnjenih niti osnovnihpogojev za uresničevanje njihovih pravic, so kršitve na teh področjihpogostejše, opozarjanje nanje pa zaradi že omenjenih štirih pogojevslabše. Občutljivost področja privabi za kršitve in razne nepravilnostiprav tako senzibilne medije, zato so primeri kršitev pravicdeprivilegiranim in/ali marginaliziranim skupinam ponavadi medijskoodmevni, kar ima nekaj učinkov:

  • zaradi razširjenosti tehnologij informacije prodrejo tudi do “nedostopnih skupin”;

  • z opozarjanjem o kršenju pravic in načinih preprečevanja kršitev se sicer počasi, a vendar dviga zavest o človekovih pravicah med ljudmi;

  • varuhova opozorila, ugotovitve in izjave ponavadi sprožijo različne odzive, kar omogoča oblikovanje ustreznih smernic za delo v prihodnje.

Varuh se je prav zaradi majhnega števila pobud, ki so odtovrstnih skupin prispele na naslov VČP v letu 2001 pogosto srečeval spredstavniki različnih deprivilegiranih in/ali marginaliziranih skupin.Seznanil se je z razmerami na področju njihovega bivanja in delovanja,skušal najti rešitve za njihove težave. Vseskozi je širšo javnostopozarjal na problem nestrpnosti in na zlo diskriminacije, na nujnostupoštevanja drugačnosti in na enakovredno obravnavanje vseh, še posebejpa na pozorno obravnavanje najšibkejših med njimi - otrok. Opozarjal jetudi na problem revščine oziroma ekonomske in socialne zapostavljenostnekaterih skupin ter o prevladi eksistencialnegastrahu.

V prvem letu svojega delovanja je varuh veliko pozornostinamenil opozarjanju na nujnost povečanja strpnosti. Že takoj po nastopumandata 27. februarja je v zvezi s "pobalinsko akcijo", v kateri so neznanci premazali italijanske napise na dvojezičnih tablah v občini Koper,na slovensko javnost naslovil poziv k strpnosti. Izrazil je tudizgroženost nad vedno bolj vidno nestrpnostjo, ki jo kažejo posameznikiin posamezne skupine do drugačnosti, pa naj je to narodnost, vera,spol, spolna usmerjenost, socialni ali ekonomski status, življenjskislog ali kaj drugega. Zato je državljane vseh narodnosti pozval kvečjemu medsebojnemu spoštovanju, sodelovanju in upoštevanjumedsebojnih razlik, državljane slovenske narodnosti pa opozoril, da sokot večinski narod najbolj odgovorni za dobro počutje vseh prebivalcevdržave.

Ob majskih protestih v Šiški proti tujcem je namenil kritiko državi, ki je s tem, ko se ni pripravila na problem prebežnikov, "generirala nestrpnost".

"Ne glede na to, kaj mislim o nestrpnosti, pa je dejstvo, da tudinajbolj tolerantni ljudje postanejo nestrpni, če se v primerjavi sprebežniki, tujci, znajdejo v manjšini. Zato država ne bi smeladovoliti, da pride do takšne situacije, ki ljudi sili v ksenofobijo.Država mora imeti posluh za ene in druge," je takrat opozoril varuh.

Ob tej priložnosti je opozoril tudi na nasprotovanja ljudi proti šolam in vrtcem za otroke s posebnimi potrebami ali prostorom za zdravljenje narkomanov.

"To ni samo vprašanje ksenofobije, ampak vprašanje splošne nestrpnosti, problem dopuščanja drugačnosti!"

Opozoril je, da so pravice vsakega posameznika omejene s pravicodrugega posameznika in svoje opozorilo v letu 2001 še večkrat ponovilob različnih priložnostih. Pred junijskim referendumom o noveli Zakona o zdravljenju neplodnosti in postopku oploditve z biomedicinsko pomočjo je pozval k strpnosti v imenu varovanja pravic otrok, na Mirovnem festivalu v Slovenj Gradcuoktobra pa poudaril nujnost spoznavanja drugačnosti, drugačnih ljudi innjihovih kultur, saj lahko samo tako človek odvrne strah pred neznanimin postane strpen.

K strpnosti in spoznavanju drugačnosti je varuh pozval tudi ob rasno obarvanem primeru julija in istega meseca odkritim in nezakonitim izrazom homofobičnosti v javnem lokalu.V obeh primerih je ugotavljal vzroke za dejanje in po poizvedbahreagiral. V slednjem primeru je opozoril na nedopustnost diskriminacijez izgovori, da področje ni zakonsko urejeno. Dejal je, da je ustavatemeljni pravni akt, ki ga morajo upoštevati vsi. Njen 14. členprepoveduje diskriminacijo na podlagi kakršnih koli osebnih okoliščin.Ta določba se uporablja neposredno in je niti z zakonom ni mogočeomejiti. Pomanjkanje ustreznih zakonov ne omogoča diskriminatornegaravnanja posameznikov in s tem kršenje temeljnih človekovih pravic insvoboščin, je še dejal.

Varuha je konec julija na pogovor o pojavih nestrpnosti v slovenski družbi povabil celopredsednik države. Povod je bil prej omenjeni primer napadaobritoglavcev na temnopoltega prebivalca Slovenije. Srečanja sta sepoleg varuha udeležila še notranji minister in namestnik generalnegadirektorja policije. Predsednik Slovenije je po pogovoru poudaril, danas ti pojavi, čeprav za zdaj niso dobili večjih razsežnosti, ne smejopustiti neprizadete, in dodal, da bi bilo zelo slabo, če bi postalistrpni do nestrpnosti.

Anžič je predstavil analizo desetletnega obdobja na tempodročju, ob čemer je opozoril na relativno omejen doseg, ki ga imapolicija pri ustvarjanju ozračja strpnosti v družbi. Poleg tega jebeseda tekla tudi o številu pritožb na ravnanje policije in načinureševanja ter obravnave teh pritožb s strani policije.

Predsednik Kučan je takrat še dejal, da pravica do drugačnostini abstraktna niti formalna pravica, ampak je lahko samo konkretna,vsakodnevna ter uresničljiva vselej in povsod.

Varuh je že ob obravnavi letnih poročil v parlamentu junija 2001poslancem predstavil svoje delovne prioritete, med katerimi je posebejpoudaril večja prizadevanja za zaščito otrok in v njihovo korist.

Še pred nastopom mandata novega varuha je namestnik varuha AlešButala prisostvoval seji otroškega parlamenta. Varuh se je v letu 2001udeleževal številnih prireditev, na katerih je mladim med drugimspregovoril o rasizmu, homofobiji, drogah in drugih aktualnih zadevah.

Na srečanju z mladimi skavti in na enodnevnem izletu z otroki izsocialno šibkih družin je spregovoril tudi o pomenu človekovih pravicin njihovem varovanju.

Ukvarjal se je s pravicami otrok do obeh staršev in se v tej lučisrečal tudi s predstavniki društva Podos in društva Ostržek. Srečevalse je z redkimi javno oznanjenimi primeri nasilja v družini inspoznaval razmere na področju spolnih zlorab.

Predstavljene ideje za otroškega ombudsmana ni zavrnil, je papoudaril nujnost takojšnjega ukrepanja na področju varovanja pravicotrok. Ustanavljanje posebne inštitucije za varovanje pravic otrok pabi ravno takojšnje delovanje odložilo za nedoločen čas.

V luči večje skrbi za pravice otrok je varuh v tednu otroka povabil vse otroke, naj izkoristijo dan odprtih vrat in se oglasijo na kratek klepet. Na izjemno dobro obiskanem srečanju jeotroke, starše in mentorje seznanil s svojim delom in jih pozval kaktivnem sodelovanju pri spoznavanju in uveljavljanju njihovih pravicin rešitev, če bodo le-te kršene. Otroci so izluščili tudi nekaterenejasnosti pri varovanju njihovih pravic, se pozanimali, kako seobrniti na varuha, in podali nekaj konkretnih pobud. Izrazili so željo,da bi bila vrata na ta način odprta še večkrat, in se zavzeli zapoglobljeno sodelovanje z varuhom. Željo po vodenju in izobraževanju zavarovanje pravic otrok pa so na srečanju izrazili tudi odrasli.

Varuh je k sodelovanju predvsem pri promociji pravic inosveščanju o pravicah pritegnil otroške časopise Ciciban in Cicido, okršitvah pravic otrok pa je spregovoril tudi za nekatere druge medije.

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