US State Department has criticized human rights situation in Croatia.
“With regards to the Republic of Croatia, the reports provides an overview and assessment of the state of human rights, of which a number of areas has been evaluated positively. In terms of some areas in the report which are perceived as problematic, it should be noted that these same areas were mentioned in reports issued by the State Department for Croatia in previous years as well”, said the government in a press release published by its public relations office.
The statement furthers points out that the government “has clearly condemned all events which are in violation of individual human rights, guaranteed by the Constitution and the Croatian legislation, and has taken significant steps to punish the perpetrators as expressly stated in the report by the State Department.” Having said that the Croatian government “is committed to further promotion and protection of fundamental rights”, the statement adds that the government “especially emphasizes the protection of minority rights which is contributed by the representatives of national minorities in Parliament who are part of the parliamentary majority”.
The government adds that Croatia has adopted the highest human rights standards and has ratified main international instruments, which has also been confirmed through its membership in many international organizations, especially the European Union. “The promotion and protection of human rights by the Republic of Croatia has been recognized internationally, as evidenced by the recent election of Croatia to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. Next year, Croatia will take over presidency of the Council of Europe which will provide a further opportunity to promote human rights”, announced the government in its reaction to the US State Department’s report on human rights situation in Croatia in 2016.
In its report, State Department said that social discrimination, violence against members of ethnic minorities, women and children, and corruption are the biggest problems in human rights situation in Croatia. The report also mentioned overcrowded prisons, court delays, unresolved issues of restitution, political interference in the work of government’s human rights agencies, as well as anti-Semitic outbursts during the football match between Croatia and Israel, increased number of reports of discrimination and hate speech against Serbs, and discrimination against Roma and their social exclusion.
State Department further listed inconsistent prosecution of attackers on members of the LGBT community, discrimination in employment by gender, sexual orientation, towards people with disabilities, and violations of workers’ rights, including the non-payment of wages. However, the report also noted that the government had taken important steps for the purpose of prosecution and punishment of individuals who violate human rights.