The Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia is a commissioner of the Croatian Parliament responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms, the performance of the mandates of the National Equality Body, as well the National Preventive Mechanism for the protection of the persons deprived of their liberty, and is also entrusted with external reporting of irregularities within the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act. She is independent and autonomous in her work.
Ombudswoman/Ombudsman and her/his deputies are appointed by the Croatian Parliament for a term of 8 years. In 2013 Ms Lora Vidović was appointed as the Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia.
VISION – A society in which human rights are respected, promoted and protected, in which the state administration is just, efficient and accessible and in which each individual enjoys the equality of opportunity.
MISSION – Independent work directed at the protection and promotion human rights and fundamental freedoms, combating discrimination and the prevention of torture via the National Preventive Mechanism. An institution fulfilling its goals by building authority and trust.
You can find more information on the mandates and competences of the Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia here.
Our work is regulated by the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, the Ombudsman Act, the Act on the National Preventive Mechanism, the Anti-discrimination Act, the Act Promulgating the Act Amending the Anti-discrimination Act, the Act on the Protection of Persons Who Report Irregularities, the Rules of Procedure of the Ombudsman, the Organisational Chart of the Ombudsman and the Budget of the Ombudsman.
Lora Vidović was born on 17 December 1973 in Nova Gradiška. She completed her secondary education in Varaždin and graduated from the Univesity of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law in 1997. In 2001 she obtained her Master’s degree in Civil Law with a thesis on the Ombudsman for Children. In 2006 she passed her bar examination.
Mrs. Vidović took office as the Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia on 1 March 2013 for a term of eight years after having been appointed by the Croatian Parliament as its new commissioner for the promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms.
In December 2015 she was elected to chair the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) for a term of three years, from March 2016 to March 2019. As of March 2019 she also serves as a Member of the Board of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and a European Member of the Bureau of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
Throughout her career her work has been focused on the promotion and protection of human rights, mainly from the aspect of international public law, as well as on the incorporation of the highest international human rights standards into the Republic of Croatia’s normative framework. Prior to taking up the post of the Ombudswoman, she headed UNICEF’s Croatian office. From 2006 and 2010 she served as a Deputy Children’s Ombudswoman, contributing to a better understanding and improvement of children’s rights and interests in Croatia.
She participated in numerous international seminars, conferences and meetings with a focus on human rights, democratisation and the rule of law and authored a variety of expert publications on the topics of the position of women in the area of labor and employment, as well as the situation of children in the family and the society
Lidija Lukina Kezić was born in Zagreb where she completed her secondary education and graduated from the Faculty of Law in 1980. In 1982 she passed her bar examination after having served as a legal trainee at the Zagreb’s municipal and county courts. She was appointed as Deputy Ombudswoman and took office on 15 July 2013 having previously been employed at the Ministry of the Foreign and European Affairs’ International Law Department and in the diplomatic service. Her previous work posts include the Ministry of Justice, where she worked on the protection of human rights in her role as the Assistant Minister from 1996 onwards, as well as serving as the Agent of the Government of the Republic of Croatia before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in the period between 1999 and 2004.
Mrs. Lukina Kezić served as a member in numerous Government and Council of Europe human rights expert working groups, participated in various human rights seminars, conferences and public forums at the international level and authored expert publications on the topics of human rights protection before the European Court of Human Rights, execution of the Court’s rulings and the international criminal law.
Tena Šimonović Einwalter was born on 2 December 1980 in Zagreb. In 2003 she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law and in 2005 was awarded with a diploma from the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In 2007 she received her Master’s degree in European and Comparative Law from the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford and in 2013 a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. She passed her bar examination in 2009.
Mrs. Šimonović Einwalter was appointed as Deputy Ombudswoman and took office on 15 June 2013, having previously performed the duties of the Ombudsman’s legal advisor and the anti-discrimination coordinator at the Office of the Ombudsman. Her prior posts include the positions in the Ministry of the Foreign and European Affairs and the Ministry for European Integration.
As an expert in the area of combating discrimination she was appointed as the representative of the Republic of Croatia before the Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and currently chairs the Executive Board of the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET) in her second two-year term after being reappointed to that position in 2019. Previously, she served as an EQUINET Board member over two consecutive mandates (2011-2013 and 2013-2015).
In the course of her career Mrs. Šimonović Einwalter served in various law-drafting working groups, coordinated the implementation of EU projects, participated in numerous seminars, conferences and public forums, both at the national as well as the international levels, and delivered a number of lectures and speeches. She has authored and co-authored various expert and academic publications on the topics of human rights, the rights of national minorities and combating discrimination, with a focus on the normative framework, case-law and human rights mechanisms, both at national, as well as the Council of Europe and the European Union levels.
Maja Kević was born on 12 February 1976 in Zagreb. In 2000 she received her diploma from the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law and in 2008 completed the program of the Academy for Political Development. She was appointed as Deputy Ombudswoman and took office in April 2017.
Mrs. Kević has been active in the areas of human rights promotion and protection since 2005. She has taught lectures as part of the expert seminars organised by the Diplomatic and Judicial Academies on the topic of the European and the national frameworks for combating human trafficking, participated as head or member in the work of several working groups established with the aim of drafting laws, as well as strategic and implementing documents in the area of human rights, coordinated the implementation of EU projects, delivered numerous lectures and speeches and participated in various conferences, seminars and expert meetings at both the national, as well as the international levels.
Mrs. Kević’s work experience prior to her appointment as Deputy Ombudswoman includes the positions in the Government’s Office for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities (assistant director) and the City of Zagreb’s Office for Property Management.