ZAGREB, February 20, 2019 – Human rights ombudswoman Lora Vidović said on Wednesday that one in five Croatian citizens lived at risk of poverty, especially in rural areas, that welfare was not enough to meet the basic needs, and that pensioners were especially at risk.
Croatia still has no strategy on welfare housing or homelessness, or solutions for sustainable food banks, which are some of the recommendations for eliminating the problems citizens are faced with, Vidovic said in a press release on the occasion of World Day of Social Justice, observed today.
One in four persons over 65, i.e. nearly half the persons in single person households, is at risk of poverty. Last December, nearly 250,000 pensioners, i.e. over one in five, received monthly pensions below 1,600 kuna.
Vidovic said that despite the drop in unemployment, finding a job did not mean coming out of poverty because it was easier to lose than find a job, notably for the elderly, who are often laid off with the excuse of redundancies. Another problem are fixed-term contracts, she added.
Low income citizens are the most exposed to income discrimination, which prevents them from participating in the public and social life and increases the risk of social exclusion, said Vidović.
The key to social justice lies in job creation and better access to work for those with no income, she said, adding that a minimum wage should guarantee a dignified and better life for the most at-risk citizens.
More news about human rights in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.