Human Rights House Zagreb’s annual report is based on year-round monitoring and qualitative research. It provides an insight into the most important violations and systemic problems, challenges, and disputes related to protection, respect, and promotion of human rights in Croatia during the past year.
The report finds no significant progress in 2017 that reverses the negative trends of social relativism and political marginalisation of human rights. The long-term burden placed on the economy by numerous structural problems and the stagnation of socio-economic opportunities impede the exercise of social and economic rights of all citizens. Such social circumstances strengthen social groups that advocate for the return to traditional values and systematically distort and abuse standards of human rights protection, in order to restrict the rights of others.
Human Rights House Zagreb recently published a thematic report on primary legal aid – from the perspective of authorised providers. Given that legal aid aims to ensure equal access to justice for all Croatian citizens as a fundamental human right, Human Rights House Zagreb aimed to address some of the main problems that arise in this system, and to encourage improvements.
Primary legal aid in Croatia is burdened by numerous obstacles, most of which do not arise out of the legislative framework that regulates it, but rather out of the manner in which it is implemented. As part of this qualitative research, the House conducted interviews with 14 associations that provide primary legal aid in Croatia.
The results show that there is a great need for thoughtful investments in the legal aid system. In addition, the system should be based on national analysis of social needs in order to adequately address the needs of citizens and provide them with effective access to justice.