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Recent updates from the Office of the Ombudswoman, Croatia

March 27th 2018

Office of the Ombudswoman in Croatia influenced an important policy change in aviation employment while further strengthening its cooperation with civil society.

There have been two new developments related to the work of the Office of the Ombudswoman in Croatia.


 (Click to enlarge picture) Firstly, as a result of the intervention of the Office of the Ombudswoman, upon the citizen’s complaints on discrimination based on age in employment for the position, Croatian Air Traffic Control has extended the upper age limit from 26 to 28 for vocational training and employment of air traffic controllers. Due to the specific requirements of this job, like the length of work experience, obligatory health fitness of candidates and the length and costs of their vocational training, the need for candidates of a certain age looks reasonable. However, the age 26 limit remains questionable. Notwithstanding the EUROCONTROL recommendation that ideal candidates for vocational training are of 20 to 25 years of age, it is about an individual character which may differ from one candidate to another; there is no guarantee that everybody of age 23 would pass the exams as well as there is no guarantee that a 29-30 years old candidate would not make it. The Ombudswoman concluded upon the complaint, that the position of the Croatian Air Traffic Control is not sufficiently transparent if only 26 year old candidates or younger are adequate for the vocational training for the air traffic controllers and that the upper age limit should be revised. It was done and the age limit was extended to 28.


Via the website of the Office of the Ombudswoman, Croatia


 (Click to enlarge picture) Secondly, the Ombudswoman has signed cooperation agreements with members of the Anti-Discrimination Contact Points Network, 11 civil society organizations selected after a public call, as a way of strengthening the fight against discrimination at national, regional and local level. Since the entry into force of the Anti-Discrimination Act in 2009, the Ombudsman’s institution cooperates with a number of civil society organizations when preparing annual reports, as provided for by this Law. More intensive cooperation was established in 2012 with five organizations, which functioned as regional anti-discrimination contact points. Cooperation is now further expanded and a wider network is established which will serve to exchange information and plan joint initiatives aimed at combating inequality, but also promoting equal treatment.


Via the website of the Office of the Ombudswoman, Croatia


Office of the Ombudswoman, Croatia


As the National Equality Body the Ombudsman/woman is responsible for promoting equality and reporting to the Parliament on the basis of 17 grounds stated in the Anti-discrimination Act. S/he has the authority to receive discrimination complaints based on 12 discrimination grounds (e.g. race and ethnic origin, religion and belief, age, health status etc...) since his/her mandate does not include handling discrimination cases based on gender, marital or family status, gender identity and expression and sexual orientation (Ombudsman/woman for gender equality), disability (Ombudsman/woman for persons with disabilities) or handling complaints that concern discrimination of children (Ombudsman/woman for children). More information about the Office of the Ombudswoman can be found on the Equinet’s European Directory of Equality Bodies webpage.


Equality and non-discrimination work on the ground of ’age’ by Equality Bodies & Equinet


 (Click to enlarge picture) Equinet’s Perspectives Tackling Ageism and Discrimination and Equality Bodies Combating Discrimination against Young People address ground of ‘age’ as one of the discrimination grounds defined by European equality law from two angles. While “Tackling Ageism and Discrimination” focuses in particular on the situation and experience of older people with appreciation of the diversity within this group, “Equality Bodies Combating Discrimination against Young People” highlights the fact that young people experience inequality and individual and structural discrimination on the ground of their age as well as intersectional discrimination based on other characteristics such as disability, gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, and sexual orientation. In order to tackle age-based discrimination against older and younger persons, both perspectives aim to raise awareness of the experience of and share good practices from equality bodies in their work on equality and non-discrimination on the ground of ‘age’.


 (Click to enlarge picture) Taking into account that equality bodies report particularly low levels of casework on the ground of ‘age’ in relation to young people and that issues of discrimination against and inequality of young people tend to have medium to low focus for a majority of equality bodies, often due to limitations in their mandate, coupled with low level of awareness among young people regarding their rights, Equinet has teamed up with the European Youth Forum to realize the seminar Tackling Age Discrimination against Young People: Building Bridges between Equality Bodies & Youth Organisations on 27th and 28th June 2018 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, hosted by Advocate of the Principle of Equality. Consequently, the main aims of the seminar are to bring together national equality bodies and youth organisations to:

  • Exchange experiences and discuss challenges in their work related to inequality of and age discrimination against young people;
  • Explore possible ways of collaboration or strengthening of existing collaborations in order to better combat inequality of and age discrimination against young people;
  • Provide equality bodies and youth organizations with practical guidance on how to address inequality of and age discrimination against young persons from a legal, policy and communication perspective.


More news on the seminar will be provided in the coming months.