ROUND TABLES HELD ALSO IN VUKOVAR, ZAGREB AND SPLIT
Following the round tables for regional labour market stakeholders held in Sisak and in Pula, the remaining contact points for combating discrimination established through the project „Equally Diverse“, organised similar events within their local communities.
The round table with the topic of positive and negative case law was organised by the Centre for peace, legal advice and psychosocial assistance Vukovar on 28 November 2012. The round table was opened with the welcoming addresses of the Centre representative, as well as the project partners – the Croatian Employment Service, Office for human rights and rights of national minorities and Office of Ombudsman. Teodora Matej, representative of the Ombudsman's Office, then presented in more detail the role of the ombudsman as the central body for combating discrimination in Croatia, and described several cases of suspicion on discrimination that the ombudsman handled. Dragan Pepić, representative of the Centre, presented their experiences with complaints of discrimination, emphasising the importance of good cooperation with the Ombudsman's Office in the process. Generally, it was concluded that the case law in the area of discrimination was underdeveloped in Croatia, due both to the reluctance of victims to undergo the court process and the low level of awareness of the institutions and public as regards the issues of discrimination. The round table elicited a strong discussion among participants, who contributed with their own examples of discrimination from work or personal experience. The Office of the Ombudsman invited the civil society organisations and regional stakeholders to cooperation, stressing the importance of networking and communication flow.
Centre for peace studies organised the round table in Zagreb, with the topic „Discrimination of Roma people in employment“. Following the basic information on the project and the role of the contact point for combating discrimination, a discussion was opened on existing public policies concerning the Roma on the national, but also European level, presented by Aleksa Đokić from the Office for human rights and rights of national minorities and Tena Šimonović Einwalter from the Ombudsman’s Office. The topic of the Croatian education system as a prerequisite for employment and the Roma was presented by the representative of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, but also by the Roma representatives themselves, from a personal point of view. Aleksandra Štengl of the Croatian Employment Service presented the active labour market measures targeted at the Roma, and an example of good practice in Roma employment was shown, in Čakom d.o.o. presentation.
The round table in Split, named „Structured dialogue in combating discrimination“, was held on 6 December 2012 in the organisation of Censure plus. Following introductory addresses by Censure's representative, as well as the representative of the Croatian Employment Service, that introduced project activities and the role of the contact points for combating discrimination established through the project framework, Teodora Matej presented the work and functioning of the central body for combating discrimination, on behalf of the Ombudsman's Office. Institutional mechanisms for combating discrimination were further described through the addresses of representatives of the Office for human rights and rights of national minorities and the City of Split, after which the experiences of civil society organisations in working with these issues, as well as in cooperating with institutions on the national and the regional level were presented. Again, the importance of networking and joint action of the stakeholders with the aim of effective coping with discrimination issues was greatly stressed, as well as the need for further awareness raising, informing and education of both stakeholders and the broader public.