- 24-25 April 2013, Zagreb: Legal Adviser at the Center for Peace, Legal Advice and Psychosocial Assistance Vukovar, Mr. Branislav Tekic, participated in the workshop “Improving the National Plan for Combating Discrimination: Development and Communication of Policy Analysis”. This workshop is a continuation of the empowerment process of CSOs to work on development of anti-discrimination politics in Croatia. As a part of such process, in 2012, a group consisted of 20 experts belonging to CSOs and offices of the Ombudsman was established, persons who have undergone education in the field of analyzing public policies for combating discrimination. The training was organized by the Center for Peace Studies in Zagreb and Šibenik within the framework of the IPA 2008 Grant Scheme. Education consisted of two trainings during which an analysis of the design and implementation of the National Plan for Combating Discrimination 2008 – 2013 was conducted. The analytical work resulted in a comprehensive and relevant assessment of the design (goals and instruments) and the implementation of the existing National Plan for Combating Discrimination as well as a draft of recommendations for the improvement of the plan in the new cycle of implementation. This workshop was organized for the purpose of maximum impact on stakeholders as well as the policy process, during which the implemented analysis was summarized and structured. The workshop also included writing the analytical text as well as its shortened version that could efficiently communicate assessments and recommendations for the improvement of the National Plan to the decision-makers, policy creators, stakeholders and wider public. Workshop trainers were Mr. Milan Koštro, media trainer and Mrs. Anka Kekez Koštro, Faculty of Political Science of the University in Zagreb.
- 23 – 24 April 2013, Zagreb: PGF Croatia Project Coordinator, Mrs. Milena Babić, participated in two-days workshop “Developing the Action Plan for Sisačko-moslavačka County for social inclusion of Roma”. The workshop was held in Zagreb, organized by the United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP) in Croatia, Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities of the Croatian government and the Office for Democratic Institution and Human Rights of OSCE (OSCE/ODIHR).
The workshop was organized for the purpose of developing an Action Plan for Roma Inclusion in Sisačko-moslavačka County, based on National Strategy for Roma Inclusion 2013 – 2020 from the prism of county priorities, needs, available resources as well as does available in the future. The workshop was attended by representatives of the public administration, towns, municipalities, councils of Roma national minorities and Roma organizations. Mrs. Milena Babić presented to the participants PGF Croatia project and potential sources of funds, measures to be defined by the County Action Plan for Roma Inclusion in Sisačko-moslavačka County.
- 22 April 2013, Zagreb: PGF Croatia Project Coordinator, Mrs. Milena Babić, participated at the international conference „Quality Education for Roma: Sustainability of Educational Policy Developed within the Decade on European level“. The Conference was organized by the Office for Human Rights and Rights on National Minorities of the Croatian government and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports.
The conference was attended by almost a hundred of representatives of governments and civil society, countries members of the Decade, representatives of Roma organizations, EU representatives, international organizations and experts in the field of education from twelve countries members of the Decade, Italy and Great Britain. Thematic discussions covered fields of education, data collection and monitoring inclusion of persons belonging to Roma national minority in education and Roma language as the key prerequisite for quality education. Many examples of good practice were presented, in particular at local levels, including several examples from the Republic of Croatia.
- 18 - 19 April 2013, Osijek: Center for Peace, Legal Advice and Psychosocial Assistance Vukovar participated in the Regional Partner’s Meeting of the initiative "Making the Most of EU Funds for Roma", funded by the Open Society Institute - Budapest. In addition to the Center for Peace Vukovar, as the lead organization in the Consortium implementing the project PGF Croatia (Project Generation Facility), the meeting was attended by representatives of the Volunteer Centre Osijek as a partner organization in PGF Croatia Consortium, as well as partners from Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia.
- 03 April 2013, Zagreb: Mr. Branislav Tekić, legal adviser to the Center for Peace, Legal Advice and Psychosocial Assistance - Vukovar participated in the public hearing on the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Free Legal Aid (FLA). The public hearing organized within the framework of the two-year project IPA 2008 "The Initiative of Civil Society Organizations for Changes in Anti-Discrimination Policies”, organized by the project coordinator the Center for Peace, Non-Violence and Human Rights Osijek, in collaboration with implementing partners - Serbian Democratic Forum (SDF) and the Center for Peace, Legal Advice and Psychosocial Assistance Vukovar. This even was organized also in consultation with the Legal Clinic of the Faculty of Law - University of Zagreb, Human Rights House and the Platform 112.
In the introductory part of the public debate, the representative of the Center for Peace - Osijek Mrs. Ljiljana Božić-Krstanović presented the perceived obstacles in the implementation of the Law on Free Legal Aid and put forward recommendations for the improvement of the legal aid system. Noted presentation at the public debate were given by Prof. Dr. Alan Uzelac on “Legal counseling and access to justice: Best practices in the European systems of FLA”; Mrs. Lora Vidović, Ombudsperson with the topic “The opinion on the FLA with recommendations” and, Mrs. Mirjana Matov, Head of the Directorate for Procedural, Commercial and Administrative Law of the Ministry of Justice on "Presentation of the Draft Law on Amendments of the Law on Free Legal Aid".
The introductory presentation was followed by a discussion attended by numerous representatives of registered authorized providers of free legal aid, UNHCR representatives in Croatia, Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities of the Croatian Government, NGOs, journalists and interested individuals.
The conclusion of the public hearings is that changes of the Law on Free Legal Aid are urgently needed, aimed towards more simplified, accessible and efficient system of legal aid to end beneficiaries for whom the law is intended.