Meeting with NGOs and legal advice providers was held on 2 April 2019 in the Office of the Ombudswoman. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange information on the challenges when working with migrants and asylum seekers in the last and this year in order to find solutions for evident problems.
Deputy Ombudswoman Maja Kević presented parts of the 2018 Annual Report regarding the state of migrants’ and asylum seekers’ human rights. Solicitors and NGOs findings on difficult and denied access to the aliens’ reception centres were discussed since this might hinder providing legal aid and support to migrants and asylum seekers. With this regard, some orders from the Rule book on accommodation in the alien’s reception centre from November 2018 were argued like, limited access and communication of solicitors as well as of Ombudsman’s staff, with aliens whose freedom of movement is restricted. Although the Office of the Ombudswoman reacted promptly against such orders since they are contrary to the Constitution and relevant laws, the Ministry of Interior announced to make an exception for the Ombudsman’s staff but not for the solicitors.
The participants concluded that the mutual cooperation between all stakeholders would be of great importance for systemic monitoring and improving the migrants’ and asylum seekers’ status in Croatia.