Friday, 10 June 2022

UNHCR Croatia, Festival Of Tolerance Marking World Refugee Day

ZAGREB, 10 June 2022 - UNHCR Croatia and the Festival of Tolerance will mark World Refugee Day, observed on 20 June, with exhibitions, films and debates.

They wish to encourage social dialogue on the importance of protecting refugees' rights, their inclusion in the communities which have offered them protection, and refugees' contribution to the societies in which they continue to build their lives.

Anna Rich of UNHCR Croatia says World Refugee Day pays tribute to the courage, strength and contribution of millions of people around the world who are forced to leave their homes due to violence, war or persecution.

Festival of Tolerance director Nataša Popović said its social role is to focus on important topics through art.

The message of this year's exhibition is that every person is entitled to seek protection, whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they were forced to flee. The focus is on solidarity and building a more just society, and welcoming everyone regardless of ethnicity, race or faith.

The exhibition can be seen from 16 June to 3 July in public transport in Osijek, Karlovac, Rijeka, Zadar, Šibenik, Split and Dubrovnik as well as on billboards in Zagreb.

Talks on refugees will be held in Zagreb from 30 June to 3 July.


For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 16 April 2021

Human Rights in Croatia 2020 Overview: Serbs, Roma People, and LGBTQ Hate Speech Targets

April 16, 2021-  The Human Rights in Croatia 2020 Overview report by Human rights house Zagreb shows hate speech and poor living conditions of Serb returnees and Roma people still being problematic. The judicial system and the lack of a legal frame for civil society development remain problematic too.

In a battle against the Coronavirus, many agree and fear that human rights were put in second place, triggering the debate of security vs. liberty and justification of limiting movement, work, etc.

But human rights and their respect in Croatia was an issue, long before Covid-19. As Jutarnji List warns, the situation is not good. 

Croatia doesn't have a defined politics of making a supportive environment for the civic society development. Citizen participation in decision making is still relatively weak and the judicial system is a special problem," says Jutarnji List referring to the new report by Human Rights House in Zagreb titled „Human Rights in Croatia: 2020 Overview“.

Regarding the judicial issue, a specific example can be found in the ever-controversial  "Za Dom Spremni!"(For the Homeland Ready) salute which is recognised as a fascist salute and punishable by law but it's tolerated as part of the song „Čavoglave“ by Marko Perković Thompson and can frequently be heard during his concerts both by the singer and the audience.

„Circumstance that the salute is part of the song doesn't change the fact that it's an ustasha (Croatian fascist) salute that symbolizes criminal Naci-fascist ideology and is the violation of article 39 of Croatian constitution that prohibits any call or encouragement on national, racial or religious hatred or any form of intolerance“, continues Jutarnji List.

Still present in public space, hate speech in Croatia is also very alive on the Internet, with the Serb LGBTQ community and Roma people being the prime targets. As Jutarnji reports, last year's research show this as well as the lack of appropriate response. 

„Children and adolescences do not learn enough about human rights, equality, and solidarity, given that civil education is conducted as one of six intercourse themes in elementary and high-schools. Such approach to civil education does not secure enough time in the curriculum for quality development of civil competence of pupils“, concluded for Jutarnji List Human Rights House in Zagreb.

Educational segregation for Roma people, isolated Serb returnees migrant treatment controversies, C+ grade for LGBTQ travelers

The article also adds that Roma people in Croatia are still facing many obstacles in achieving their rights, which include employment, access to services, and adequate living standards, and there is still segregation in the education system too.

Furthermore, many Serb returnees live in undeveloped rural areas, which are isolated and offer poor living conditions. Additionally, they still struggle to achieve their asset rights, and their possession is still tangible to devastation.



When it comes to LGBTQ rights, as TCN previously reported, Croatia „has an index of 188 points and a grade C+ from most safe to highest dangerous places (A to F), placing it among the first third of the best countries in the world in terms of LGBTQ+ safety“. There are controversies regarding the migrants' treatment on which we recently reported on too.

Learn more about Croatia's global rankings and many more fun facts about the country on our TC page.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Luka Ritz Awards for Promotion of Tolerance and Violence-free Schools Presented

ZAGREB, June 12, 2020 - The annual Luka Ritz award for the promotion of tolerance and violence-free schools was presented on Friday to primary school student Dorotea Horvat from Nasice and secondary school student Luka Prce from Vukovar.

The head of the award presentation committee, Suzana Ritz, thanked everyone who participated in the competition and especially the award recipients and their parents, teachers, and principals, emphasizing that we should be proud of the recipients, the way they deal with problems, and the values they represent.

Science and Education Minister Blazenka Divjak said that the award presentation was a celebration of those who should be an example to us all and that it helps to ensure that one can breathe freely and easily in schools, as it was stated by Luka Ritz, a young man who died in June 2008 from injuries sustained in a case of peer violence.