Friday, 23 November 2018

Foster Care Bill Causes Rift among Ruling Coalition Partners

ZAGREB, November 23, 2018 - The Minister of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, Nada Murganić, said on Friday that the fact that the parliament's committee on family, youth and sports had taken the foster care bill off its agenda, as requested by the Croatian People's Party (HNS), did not mean that the bill had been withdrawn, and added that MPs evidently needed to hold additional consultations on the matter and were entitled to it.

"The final bill was forwarded to the parliament for consideration after it was unanimously endorsed by the government. Government ministers from the HNS quota voted for that bill. MPs evidently need to hold additional consultations and they are entitled to it... I don't see any problem with that," Murganić told reporters outside the government offices, where an agreement on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence was to be signed.

She recalled that the HNS had supported the bill when it was in first reading and that the bill had secured majority support, as well as that Social Democrat MP Arsen Bauk's proposal that life partners, too, be recognised as potential foster carers was not supported. "But our MPs have a wide range of options during parliamentary debates," she said.

Asked if she considered it acceptable that life partners should have the right to provide foster care, Murganić said that she appreciated procedures for the adoption of laws and that she had never imposed her views.

The HNS, a junior partner in the coalition government, has asked that the foster care bill be taken off the agenda of the parliament's committee on family, youth and sports due to the need for additional consultations with the coalition partners and its possible amendment. "As a liberal party, the HNS strongly supports the rights of same-sex unions, gender equality, equality of all citizens and individual freedoms, and opposes any form of discrimination," the party said in a reply to Hina's query.

It said that life partnerships were legally recognised in Croatia, and that their not being covered by the foster care bill raised the issue of the bill's compliance with the Constitution and the Act on the Prevention of Discrimination.

"We also have to bear the European practice in mind since the European Court of Human Rights has recognised the term family life for same-sex families, meaning that life partners can constitute a foster family. We will conduct intensive talks with our coalition partners on the matter, as well as on ways to improve the Foster Care Bill," the HNS said.

Murganić also told reporters that the agreement to be signed in the government was designed to set up a national team and county teams for the prevention and fight against violence against women and domestic violence.

"Such a national team existed in 2011 and we now want to establish a new one to step up inter-departmental cooperation to coordinate our activities and oversee the implementation of national as well as local policies," she said, adding that the team would be assisted by judges of the Supreme Court, magistrates' courts and the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor.

The new team will be set up to step up the implementation of the national strategy for preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence as well as the Council of Europe conventions on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence, Murganić said.

For more on the family issues in Croatia, click here.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Fathers Protest Against Discrimination after Divorce

ZAGREB, May 15, 2018 - On the occasion of the International Day of Families marked 15 May, the Croatian Association for Equality of Parenting organised a protest rally on Tuesday at St Mark's Square by fathers whose parental rights have been denied.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Zagreb Pride: New Family Law Proposal Represents Attack and Threat to All Families

Further to our earlier report on new proposals for the Family Law in Croatia, reaction in the form of a press release from Zagreb Pride on September 28, 2017,