On 9 August 2023, Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina participated at the seminar entitled Ohranjanje psihofizičnega zdravja družin otrok s posebnimi potrebami (Preserving the psychophysical health of families of children with special needs), organised by Zveza Sožitje in Izola. Ombudsman Svetina believes that it is important that we are aware of the importance of preserving the psychophysical health of families every day, especially in these times when many families are facing the consequences of the natural disaster.
In his introductory address, Ombudsman Svetina presented the basic mission of the institution of the Human Rights Ombudsman, which is to watch over various bodies in Slovenia and check whether they respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals and groups in their work. Using concrete examples, he also explained to the participants when and how they can turn to the Ombudsman and emphasised that that all procedures are confidential and free. “The operation of the institution of the Ombudsman is fairly vast, since we cover no fewer than 24 areas, including the treatment of vulnerable groups of inhabitants and contextual fields of human rights. Our competences are limited to state bodies, local self-governing bodies, and bearers of public authority. In its work, the institution is guided by the constitution, international law and domestic laws,” accentuated Ombudsman Svetina at the seminar.
He added that the Human Rights Ombudsman has not forgotten about those individuals who find it difficult to read or have difficulty understanding what they read and has thus adapted its brochures to an easy-to-read form. These present in a simple and clear manner when and how the readers can turn to the Ombudsman for help. A brief outline and illustration of actual live situations or cases simply clarify when the institution of the Ombudsman can help and when the solution to a problem is not under its authority. “It is important that time and again we warn about the problems of negative discrimination and the essential adaptation of the environment and services in such a way that all people will be able to realise their life needs and goals under the same conditions. Therefore, I call on anyone who believes that they have had their rights violated, finds themself in distress or has difficulty finding answers or clarifications from various institutions or bodies to turn to us. This way, we will be able to act with those responsible and demand that the competent institutions eliminate the violations,” Ombudsman Svetina emphasised in his closing statements.