At the initiative of her Hungarian colleague, Ombudswoman Tena Šimonović Einwalter met on 24 May 2022 in Nagykanizsa, Hungary, with Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Akős Kozma. The two officials discussed the organizational structure, mandates and work of their respective institutions, the current situation in Ukraine and the professional international networks both institutions are members of.

As both institutions perform several mandates, including the ombudsman as well as the mandates of the national equality body, the national preventive mechanism for the prevention of torture and the institution tasked with whistleblower protection, the meeting was an opportunity to share specific experiences related to the functioning of the multimandate bodies.  The biggest differences between our institutions include the fact that our Hungarian counterparts also perform the mandates related to gender equality, the protection of the rights of children and of the persons with disabilities, whereas in the Republic of Croatia these are under the purview of the specialized ombudspersons. Additionally, Hungarian institution performs the task of the protection of the interests of the future generations.

Ombudswoman Šimonović Einwalter shared with her Hungarian counterpart the examples of our institution’s best practices, such as the cooperation on cases of the officers from our different departments with the aim of gaining a multidimensional view of human rights violations and the possibilities for their protection, and informed him about the current developments in our work and mandates, such as the recent adoption of the new Whistleblower Protection Act and its impact on our mandate of the external channel for the reporting of irregularities.

Finally, the Ombudswoman exchanged with her Hungarian colleague the information on the treatment of the refugees fleeing Ukraine, stressing our recommendations to the Government of the Republic of Croatia and our regular cooperation in the meetings of the working group set up by the Ministry of the Interior and the Civil Protection Directorate as well as our suggestions for legislative amendments aimed at additionally improving the protection of the Ukrainian refugees’ rights.