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About Us

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.

 

THE OMBUDSWOMAN

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.

She was appointed the Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia on 19 March 2021.

Ms. Šimonović Einwalter 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 its member over two consecutive mandates (2011-2013 and 2013-2015).

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 serves as ECRI’s co-representative to the Council of Europe’s Ad hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI).

In the course of her career Ms. Šimonović Einwalter has 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.

Prior to her appointment, from 2013 to 2021 she served as Deputy Ombudswoman, having previously performed the duties of the legal advisor and anti-discrimination coordinator in the institution. Her prior posts include the positions in the Ministry of the Foreign and European Affairs and the Ministry for European Integration.

 

 

DEPUTY OMBUDSWOMEN

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.

 

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.