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Ombudsman Urges Upholding Human Rights Despite Crisis

04.07.2013 15:23
Category: work and news

Ljubljana, 4 July (STA/VČP) - Human Rights Ombudsman Vlasta Nussdorfer on Thursday, 4.7.2013, handed over her annual report to Parliamentary Speaker Janko Veber. Parliament is expected to review the report in autumn, Veber said. The Ombudsman presented her report today also to President Borut Pahor.

She urged the authorities to safeguard human rights despite the crisis as she presented her report for 2012. Respecting human rights is expensive during the crisis, but restoration of rights later is even more expensive, she warned.

The office received over 3,000 initiatives last year, with the number already approaching 2,000 in the first half of this year.

Additionally, it gets about a thousand phone calls a month.

"The trend is attributed to the difficult times. The people feel powerless, ending up with us in their quest for justice," she said.

The biggest tragedy is that people have jobs or pensions but still have to ask for food, she said.

The report highlights problems in areas as diverse as discrimination, police procedures, unemployment, children's rights and perceived violations in administrative procedures.

Nussdorfer highlighted the plight of marginalised groups, in particular the poor and children with special needs, as well as the Roma.

She said the Ombudsman's Office detected numerous problems regarding Roma living conditions, which was also the subject of a separate report to parliament.

A recurring theme in the annual report is the length of court proceedings, but Nussdorfer, herself a former prosecutor, is hopeful things will change for the better.

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