Disabled Ombudsman: It’s Inhumane to Expect Care Home Residents to Isolate

Total Croatia News



ZAGREB, July 28, 2020 – The ombudsman for persons with disabilities said on Tuesday that in the “new normal” care home resents should be allowed freedom of movement and that it was inhumane to expect them to live in self-isolation until further notice.

Under Croatian Institute of Public Health directions in force since mid-March, all residents are banned from leaving care home premises, Anka Slonjsak said in a press release.

Under the directions, the entire burden of preventing the spread of coronavirus has been imposed solely on care home residents, she added.

Slonjsak said she had been warning the authorities since May about multiple violations of care home residents’ human rights. She said they were complaining in public that the restriction of free movement over the past four months deprived them of a fundamental human right, affecting their mental and physical well-being.

Slonjsak said care home staff, when they were not at work, went to potentially risky places without restriction or control.

She asked why the measures being applied to staff, such as measuring their temperature when they came to work, periodic testing, physical distancing and protective gear, could not be applied to residents who requested it.

Slonjsak said epidemiologists must find solutions to allow residents freedom of movement outside the home.

Although the epidemiological situation is a big challenge and responsibility for the authorities, the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms must not be ruled out without considering less aggravating possibilities for achieving the same goal, she said.


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