Natisni vsebino

Marking of the 20 years of the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office in Slovenia

11.12.2014 12:46
Category: work and news

The Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia Vlasta Nussdorfer presented the president of Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor with a special jubilee publication on Wednesday marking Human Rights Day and 20 years of the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office.

President Borut Pahor said the Ombudsman's Office had been successfully carrying out its mission and increasingly earning respect in the public. This has also been reflected by the executive and legislative branches of power in their responsiveness to ombudsman's warnings, he stressed. Due to the efforts of the ombudsman and the social situation, the ombudsman's annual human rights reports are now met with due care by politicians, he believes.
"A fundamental shift has been made in this sense," Pahor said.

"The Slovenian political democratisation movement was founded and based on the demand for protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which is why it was logical that the ombudsman's office was included in the Slovenian Constitution," the president noted.
Undoubtedly, this was a sensible and useful move, he added.

Nussdorfer said the task of the ombudsman was to check whether state institutions and the system of social welfare were functioning properly.
According to her, the ombudsman must constantly be asking questions such as "why must some plead for food and shoes, how can we prevent forced evictions, when will everybody have access to drinking water, when will all those killed in WWII be buried?".

Her recommendations demand answers as to when would things improve. "Can the crisis really be an excuse when human rights must be respected even in a war?", she wondered.

The state should be kind to all, regardless of the differences, according to the ombudsman. "You truly lose something when you stop trying and we must never do that," she pointed out.

Nussdorfer highlighted additional issues in an address she gave at an evening reception she held for top political officials and representatives of civil society.

While stressing the ombudsman's office was not a toothless tiger, she pointed to the need for quality and timely judicial proceedings, for safeguarding the right to a home and for more effectiveness in the work of oversight institutions.
She moreover called for respect of minorities, the Roma population, religious people, foreigners, asylum seekers and for responsible media behaviour.

Meanwhile, NGO Eko krog, whose representatives were also invited to Pahor's reception, staged a rally in front of the presidential palace instead, warning of environmental damage caused by the French-owned cement maker Lafarge Cement in the Zasavje region.

Nussdorfer told them that her office had been very active in dealing with environmental concerns not only in Zasavje, but also in the Celje basin and other problematic areas. Health must always come before capital, she stressed.


Source: STA (Slovenian Press Agency)

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