Natisni vsebino

Higher State Prosecutor Vlasta Nussdorfer took over as human rights ombudsman from dr . Zdenka Čebašek-Travnik

22.02.2013 17:06
Category: work and news

Ljubljana, 22 February (STA) - Higher State Prosecutor Vlasta Nussdorfer took over as human rights ombudsman from dr. Zdenka Čebašek Travnik on Friday, pledging to defend the weak and the powerless, who need the ombudsman's help the most, in her six-year term.

Nussdorfer will officially start her term on Saturday and during the next six years her status of higher state prosecutor will be suspended.

She will also resign as the president of White Ring, an association providing aid to crime victims, as chair of the Commission for the Rights of Children at the Ljubljana Municipality and as head of a club of active women, Janine Slovenke.

Nussdorfer assessed the work of her predecessor as good. "You have definitely done a lot for Slovenia and its people," she told dr. Čebašek Travnik, expressing the hope that she would successfully continue her work.

The pair agreed that times were tough. "People are experiencing many injustices, of which many cannot be undone," Nussdorfer said.

She noted that the ombudsman was not a lawmaker, but could merely give initiatives for changes. The ombudsman cannot resolve concrete cases either, she exercises oversight over the situation and warns of violations.

Nussdorfer announced that she would pursue both the initiatives she receives as well as act based on her own observations. "People report to me every day on how they live, which of their rights are being violated," she said.

Dr. Čebašek Travnik pinpointed poverty and the lack of prospects for the young as the biggest problems at the moment.

She said she had presented her powers and office to those who turned to her for help and worked independently from politics in her term.

Dr. Čebašek Travnik, who is returning to her profession in psychiatry, thanked all those who have helped her with her work, including her team, those answering her questions, and the media.

She handed over to Nussdorfer a summary of her annual report for last year and her special reports on the child advocate and the issues of the Roma community.

The outgoing and the incoming ombudsmen today also met President Borut Pahor. He wished Nussdorfer a lot of courage and prudence and thanked Dr. Čebašek Travnik for the work she has done in the past years.

The president moreover stressed that the least everybody can do to strengthen institutions of the rule of law was to strive for a higher level of legal and political culture and to respect the relevant institutions.

"We do not always have to agree with their estimates or decisions, but we must respect them in our statements and our actions," the president said.

Dr. Čebašek Travnik urged him to consider setting up a national institution for human rights that would be better equipped than the ombudsman's Office to tackle human rights issues.

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