Natisni vsebino

Ombudsmen Highlight Stains on Slovenia's Human Rights Record

26.09.2012 11:12
Category: work and news

Ljubljana, 26 September (STA) - Slovenia as a state is based on the respect of human rights, however several large stains have accumulated on its record in its 21-year history, Slovenia's three incumbent and past human rights ombudsmen agreed at a panel at the Ljubljana Law Faculty on Wednesday.

Slovenia's first Human Rights Ombudsman Ivan Bizjak listed as the biggest stains the issue of the erased, long judicial and administrative procedures, inequality in health care and education, and violations of rights of the Roma and prisoners.

Although Slovenia has a strong civil society when it comes to defending the rights of particular categories of people, there is a "certain deficit" when it comes to human rights in general, he said.

However, the panellists agreed that human rights protection had improved in several respects, including as regards unreasonable delays in court trials.

On the global scale, Bizjak highlighted the tendencies to defend human rights violations in the name of security or the economic crisis.

His successor Matjaž Hanžek added that if the argument was that human rights cost money, not respecting them costs even more. He pointed to the issue of the erased, six of whom won in their case against Slovenia at the European Court of Human Rights in June.

He stressed that the issue of the erased - some 26,000 nationals of former Yugoslav republics who were deleted from the permanent resident register in 1992 - had been pushed under the rug by governments from both political sides.

Incumbent Human Rights Ombudsman Zdenka Čebašek Travnik said her term began just before things started turning for the worse in Slovenia and poverty started spreading, and she was warning already in 2008 that mechanisms for helping the poor should be set up - to no avail.

She sees much potential for improving human rights protection in connections between the ombudsman, the government and parliament, which remain almost unused although mechanisms for this exist.

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