Thursday, 4 March 2021

B.a.B.e. NGO Calls on Women to Report Online Violence

ZAGREB, 4 March 2021 - The B.a.B.e. women's NGO launched its "SURF and SOUND" project on Thursday aimed at a comprehensive fight against online violence against women and at the same time called on women to report online violence.

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"Every fifth young woman aged between 18 and 29 suffers sexual harassment online and a vast majority of them suffer sexual and physical violence by an intimate partner," B.a.B.e. warned in a press release.

The NGO underlined that women have 27 times more chance that they will be harassed online and that online violence occurs at a very young age.

A survey conducted indicates that NINE million girls in Europe suffered some form of online violence by the time they turned 15.

The "SURF and SOUND - Support, Unite, Respond, Fight to Stop Online violence" project is a comprehensive, systematic approach towards all important stakeholders in an effort to reduce the occurrence of online violence against women in society.

The project will be implemented over a period of two years in partnership with the Electronic Media Agency. The project is valued at just over HRK 1.5 million and 80% is being financed from the  EU's Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme (2014-2020), the press release said.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Women's NGO Implementing EU Project for Improving Work-Life Balance

AGREB, October 30, 2020 - The B.a.B.e. women's civil society organisation and its partners are implementing a HRK 3.6 million  EU project aimed at identifying the biggest obstacles to achieving work-life balance, which is one of the keys to prevention of negative demographic trends and the emigration of young people.

The project on the impact of public policies on the quality of family and working life and on the demographic picture of Croatia will be financed with an EU grant covering 85% of its value and 15% will come from the state budget. The 36-month-long project is being implemented in Zagreb, Sisak-Moslavina, Koprivnica-Krizevci, Osijek-Baranja, Vukovar-Srijem, Primorjre-Gorski Kotar, Zadar, Split-Dalmatia and Istria counties, the B.a.B.e. NGO as the project holder said in a press release.

The project will investigate the needs of women and men during working life and young people to analyse and recommend public policies that will enable a work-life balance. 

The project will be used to build a network of civil society organisations and strengthen their capacities for partnership and inter-departmental cooperation in establishing sensible, comprehensive public policy to enable a work-life balance depending of the specific developmental circumstances in each county where members of the network are active.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

NGOs Call for Croatia's Green Recovery, Sustainable Development

ZAGREB, July 8, 2020 - Eighty civil society organisations, energy agencies and institutions on Wednesday called on the newly-elected parliamentary deputies to ensure a strong transition to low-carbon development and job creation, as well as green and sustainable development.

The period ahead will be marked by recovery from one of the biggest health and economic crises in recent history, which will require the cooperation of all social stakeholders, the organisations say.

"It is right now that we have the opportunity to make investments that will strongly encourage the development of our own resources - investments in people, sustainable and renewable domestic energy sources, domestic industry and farming, innovations and in the quality of life in the cities," said Luka Tomac of the Green Action, noting that the EU gave various subsidies for the green economy.

Another activist, Ivana Rogulj, said that development and investment decisions and actions to be launched in the next six months would define Croatia's development over the next ten years, including possible action to reduce carbon emmissions.

The activists also called for harmonising the Low-Carbon Development Strategy with the EU's Green Deal, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 or stopping the development of fossil fuel-based industries.

They also called for budget funds to be redirected to encourage energy efficiency, renewables and the fight against energy poverty, as well as for the comprehensive and low-carbon reconstruction of properties damaged in the March 22 earthquake in Zagreb.

Representatives of the civil society groups are expected to start dialogue with the new government in September.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Green NGOs: Coric Should Answer For Influence Peddling In Wind Park Scandal

ZAGREB, June 30, 2020 - Non-governmental organisations Green Action and BIOM held a performance outside the Energy and Environment Ministry on Tuesday saying that Minister Tomislav Coric should hold to account for influence-peddling in the Krs-Padjen wind farm scandal.

"Minister Coric's political responsibility in the Krs-Padjen scandal is unquestionable and there are strong indications of his criminal responsibility for evidently unreasonable spending of public funds," the NGOs said.

They warned of multiple damages done as a consequence of Coric's political decisions. They claimed that the minister "in cahoots with the accused investors, has squandered HRK 1.2 billion of taxpayers' money, thus destroying our renewable future in the form of decentralised, local systems of renewable energy sources."

"Without Coric's decision, which contradicts expert opinion, the accused investors would not have been able to continue the project based on the old system of tariffs," Enes Cerimagic (Green Action) said. He claimed that HRK 1.2 billion in incentives more would have to be paid than the investor would have been entitled to under the new tariff system.

"Had Minister Coric abided by the law and asked for an assessment of the impact on the ecological network, the investor's approval to buy electricity at higher subsidised prices would have expired and the project would have been subject to the new tariff," Cerimagic said, adding that Coric thus caused multiple damages to the state, environment, nature and the budget.

Cerimagic said that the HRK 1.2 billion that has been squandered could have been sufficient for solar systems to supply 30,000 households."

Monday, 8 June 2020

NGOs Ask Political Parties About Vatican Agreements

ZAGREB, June 8 (Hina) - The Movement for a Secular Croatia civil initiative and three NGOs on Monday sent political parties open letters asking them if they think the agreements between the Holy See and Croatia should be revised or rescinded in order to protect the constitutionally guaranteed secularism.

The query was sent to the political parties running in the July 5 parliamentary election and the replies, expected by June 20, will be made public.

The NGOs say a number of problems stem from the agreements, such as the annual state budget expense of HRK 1.2 billion and the status of religious education.

They also say the agreements undermine the equality of citizens under the law and that the Catholic Church has a privileged position in relation to other religious communities in Croatia, and consider it problematic that it does not pay tax on its commercial activities.

They say that any treaty or law which is above the obligation to comply with the constitution paves the way for undermining Croatia's sovereignty as a law-based state and the constitution as its fundamental legal act.

Friday, 22 May 2020

NGOs Call For Probes Into Violence Against Refugees

ZAGREB, May 22, 2020 - The Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) and the Welcome Initiative for migration rights staged a rally on Friday in front of the Interior Ministry's (MUP) building, calling on the ministry to conduct effective investigations into allegations of violence against refugees.

"Two weeks have passed since photographs were released showing refugees being marked with orange spray paint all over their heads, which the refugees say happened during unlawful pushbacks from Croatia," said Sara Kekus of the CMS.

During the rally, the activists held a banner saying "Humanity, not torture! Investigation, not denial!" and photographs of marked refugees.

We expect the ministry to produce concrete results following the investigation, instead of desperate attempts to defame the media and organisations dedicated to human rights' protection, said the protesters.

Activists criticised the Interior Ministry for their incomplete response to the inquiries about the unlawful treatment and the investigation. The Ministry had sent them a link to the press release initially directed at the British Guardian newspaper and the No Name Kitchen NGO.

This is not the first time the NGOs are calling for an investigation, they underscore, because for more than four years they have been witnessing that a lot of evidence has been submitted and the public still does not have the results of a single concrete investigation.

"It is up to us to show humanity, prevent further torture and violence and we demand investigations,  instead of your denial of responsibility" Kekus said.

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