On 5 September 2002 in the large reception room of the National Assembly the Human Rights Ombudsman Matjaž Hanžek took part in a joint session of the foreign policy committee, the health, labour, family, social policy and disabled committee and the education, youth and sports committee. At the meeting, which was sponsored by the president of the Slovenian National Assembly Borut Pahor, those attending were addressed by the executive director of Unicef and deputy to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Carol Bellamy.
The ombudsman took the opportunity to say that over the last year, with selected staff he has been dealing in some depth with the protection of children’s rights. Most recently they have been devoting special attention to the area of abuse, violence and discrimination. The ombudsman would also be striving for a more serious social debate on these subjects when the 2001 annual report was read in the autumn, and would appeal to deputies to take an active role.
The ombudsman also passed on the news that at the beginning of October the Slovenian Human Rights Ombudsman’s office would join ENOC (the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children). In his opinion an international approach to children’s rights would make an effective contribution to resolving problems within Slovenia, and at the same time it would present Slovenia as a country which by caring for the welfare of its youngest members was also ensuring the foundations of a healthy society.