The overall objective of this Twinning project is to establish an efficient and effective system for combating discrimination, thus raising the level of protection against discrimination in the Republic of Croatia. The project shall strengthen the capacity of the beneficiary institutions – the Office of the Ombudsman as the central body responsible for combating discrimination and the Office for Human Rights as the state body most directly involved in combating discrimination. An efficient system for monitoring reported and prosecuted cases of discrimination and for collecting and monitoring equality data will be developed. Finally, a comprehensive system for supporting victims of discrimination in gaining access to justice will be elaborated.
The Twinning project consists of three components:
Within the first component experts will prepare and conduct trainings tailored to the needs of different key actors in the institutional set up responsible for the implementation of anti-discrimination legislation. The trainings targeting judges, state attorneys and other relevant stakeholders in the field of anti-discrimination will focus on Croatian anti-discrimination legislation in force and the EU legal framework for protection against discrimination. The staff of the Office of the Ombudsman and the specialized ombuds responsible for gender equality, children’s rights and persons with disabilities will further develop their mediation and discrimination complaints handling skills. Furthermore, NGOs and social partner organizations will together with the Office of the Ombudsman and the specialized ombuds improve their capacities as regards their roles as interveners and potential joint legal action.
In the frame of the second component EU Member State experts together with employees of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office for Human Rights will draft recommendations for the development of software/databases for collecting data and monitoring complaints on discrimination, court cases on discrimination and equality data. The experts will prepare guidelines and conduct trainings on the usage of the software/databases. Furthermore, the institutional capacity of the Office of the Ombudsman and the specialized ombuds related to reporting and collecting data for statistical monitoring of discrimination will be enhanced.
Finally, the third component aims to establish a telephone assistance service within the Office of the Ombudsman providing potential victims of discrimination with initial information and support, improve the system for handling individual discrimination complaints and enhance the co-operation between the Office of the Ombudsman and NGOs. This outreach work targeting NGOs strengthens the resources of the Office of the Ombudsman and heightens its visibility also at the regional level.
The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights as leading Member State Partner will be supported by
• the Austrian Ombud for Equal Treatment
• the Austrian Ombudsman Board
• Labour and Social Court, Federal Ministry of Justice
• Federal Social Welfare Office
• City of Vienna – Department for Integration and Diversity
• Federal Province of Salzburg – Department for Women and Equal Treatment
Information on the kick-off event in Zagreb can be found here.