Croatia: Rights Of People With Disabilities Need Urgent Attention

Croatian War invalids/veterans led the "Unity" protest in Zagreb on Saturday 2 May 2015 All disadvantaged, disempowered, unemployed  asked to join protests for better Croatia

Croatian War invalids/veterans
led the “Unity” protest
in Zagreb on Saturday 2 May 2015
All disadvantaged, disempowered, unemployed
asked to join protests
for better Croatia


The Croatian government should urgently heed the calls by United Nations disability rights experts to improve its disability rights record”, Human Rights Watch said Monday 27 April. Based on a submission made on 30th March 2015, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had on April 17, 2015, recommended that the Croatian government should do more to protect the rights of people with disabilities, including legal reform and ensuring that everyone with a disability who is in an institution has the opportunity to move into the community.
The UN review leaves no doubt about the steps Croatia has to take to protect the rights of people with disabilities,” said Shantha Rau Barriga, disability rights director at Human Rights Watch. “The question now is whether the Croatian government will act quickly to carry out these reforms.”

Human Rights Watch found that more than 8,200 people in Croatia remain in segregated institutions, many of them without their consent. In particular, the committee voiced concern about the “high rate of child abandonment and institutionalization of children with disabilities.”

The Croatian government needs to step up its efforts to ensure that everyone with disabilities trapped in state or private institutions, long-term care in psychiatric hospitals, and foster homes without their consent is part of the deinstitutionalization process,” Barriga said. “Croatia should invest in community-based housing and support so people with disabilities can live on their own with dignity.”



Well, I need to tell the Human Rights Watch: the only direction Croatian government must move quickly out of, is – out of government!


The previous HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) government had in 2011 adopted a National Plan for Deinstitutionalisation and Transformation of Social Welfare Homes. The current government came into power in December 2011 and, to date, only 11 of 46 state institutions have begun this process of deinstitutionalisation since then. This is clearly a statement that says the government is simply not committed to the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Unity Protest Zagreb Croatia May 2nd 2015 Djuro Glogoski (inset)

Unity Protest Zagreb Croatia
May 2nd 2015
Djuro Glogoski (inset)

Move off if you cannot guarantee a future for the Croatian people,” said on Saturday 2 May 2015 about the government Djuro Glogoski, one of the leaders of disabled war veterans who have been protesting in Zagreb for war veteran rights in a protest camp set up over six months ago. The protesting war veterans organised Saturday 2 May a “Unity” rally in Zagreb which saw more than 50,000 people from all over Croatia fill the Ban Jelacic city square.

Then, Croatia saw during last week the Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and his government begrudge the sizable financial donation President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic had announced to give to orphan children’s home (including children with disabilities) from the unspent funds donated to her presidential election campaign. The Prime Minister pointed the finger at the President saying she is avoiding paying taxes with this donation move via the HDZ Party (whose candidate she was for the presidency) even if such donation is legal and in compliance with Croatian law.

There’s no doubt that the UN Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities has and will have plenty to say about the state of rights and how people with disabilities are afforded access to exercise those rights in every country of the world, not just Croatia. Croatia is not isolated in things that urgently need changing or improving for the betterment of life for people with disabilities. Every truly democratic country is on a path to improve services, break the barriers – find ways for people with disabilities to be socially and otherwise included in the society in all the aspects of its existence.  But, the level of institutionalisation and particularly involuntary institutionalisation needs to be eradicated urgently in Croatia; I couldn’t agree more with the UN Committee on Rights of People with Disabilities.

Not only has the record of this current Croatian government been appalling in matters emphasised by the UN Committee on Right of People with Disabilities but the rights of war veterans with disabilities have also seen distressing erosion.

Rights for people with disabilities, whether war veterans or children or ordinary citizens are clearly the last things these agitprops in government worry about. They are only too happy to build their political points, to sharpen their political daggers on the backs of people with disabilities. It’s a miserable government that evidently has problems with needy children receiving charitable donations; it’s a miserable government that sows nothing but hatred and resentment towards its disabled war veterans just because they have the strength to demand the rights they are entitled to; it’s a miserable government that has not lifted the needs of people with disabilities to a higher platform so that these needs can be met or at least solid processes put in place to meet them. I do hope that the strong spine and unwavering spirit of the fight for rights seen in the disabled war veterans last six months will spill over to the fight for rights for all people with disabilities in Croatia. Taking to the streets, demand resignations from government, may just be the right thing to do and the thing that will bring the needed outcomes. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Reblogged this on IdealisticRebel's Daily View of Favorites.

  2. Our core values must focus our minds on our mission of caring and thereby guide our actions toward service to others.

  3. Another very worthwhile post, Ina,
    Thank You for bringing this serious problem to the fore.

    Big Hugs


    • Thank you for saying so, John. Rights of people with disabilities are so vital for every society and Croatia lags behind many developed countries as things weren’t all that flash during Yugoslav times, then came war then economic and political infighting and out fighting that much gets left behind. So I am particularly please the UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities has made a strong point this month – there’s been enough stalling and not doing much; all Croatia needs to do is go forward is the government won’t do it then the people need to overthrow it and vote new one in, who’ll lead..

  4. This is a problem all over the world. Right now, in the US congress, they are voting to reduce retired veteran’s pay and benefits. What most people don’t realize is, widows, orphans, and disabled veterans are payed from the retirement fund as well. They want to put the fund into a 401k account and turn it over to their Wall Street buddies for investment purposes. So they are taking money from widows, orphans, and disabled vets to give to their wealthy friends.

    • Hence, the need to fight on, Robert. Veterans deserve much more and the ones with disabilities even more.

    • therealamericro says:

      Typical utahrob.

      They will use vets and patriots for their illegal lie based resource wars (as opposed to simply tapping the vast, infinite natural resources we have in CONUS and actually employing people) and wars for other undemocratic “allied” countries’ interests, then stab them in the back and cut their and their families benefits to “save money” all the while building billion dollar bridges to nowhere, bailing out bankster criminals with golden parachutes, and increasing the size of the illegal, unconstitutional surveillance leviathan that bogs analysts down with LOVINT and personal information of innocent citizens which directly aids and abets the actual terrorists whose communications go by unnoticed because of the sheer scale of information illegally and unconstitutionally harvested via the Orwellian surveillance state.

  5. Great article about an important issue. I hope the movement will get the voice and support it deserves!

  6. Hello, Ina !

  7. NewCroatian says:

    The elite in Croatia only knows how to serve themselves they could not care less about how much we the people are suffering once again only a small elite is enjoying life in front of us. And we all know what that did resulted in the last time……

    • I totally agree – the elite is an awful layer of society and Croatia must get rid of that practice which started during communist Yugoslavia with personality cults and power-wielding officials. The only way elitism in politics is going to disappear is when most people actually vote at elections and vote out those they do not want…it’ll take time in Croatia to learn how democracy really works

  8. Hello there 😉

    i wish to thank you for following my blog for so long, when i am not the best blogger not blog-reader on word press.
    I wanted to ask you if you have ever watched the Bernie Sanders videos? The sen. from Vermont who is running for president.

    He is an amazing fellow, and I would like to drawer you attn. to the excellent points made on his you tube.. What is happening to us in Europe afterall, is only a reflection of what is happening there in the USA. Nothing in the world will change much, I feel, until the USA gets their act together.. fondly eve. 🙂

    • Thank you Eve, we at times have time and other times we don’t when it comes to blogging but mind is there always. Yes I am following closely what unfolds in the US around presidential elections and I agree things need to turn around for America otherwise it will cease to be a leader. Bernie has some great issues

  9. Amazing that what you reported here is so similar to what’s happening in the US – not a bad and pervasive but the same basic problem. We also have elitism in politics with personality cults (just look at our President) and power-weilding officials plus governmental representatives who have made their positions life-long.

    • Yes Noelle – the world is such a small place when it comes to some problems and politics and what people go through. It will be up to “you and I” – the voters – to show they mean business when election times come and fight for a better life, this way “our grandchildren”/ future generations are in for a rude shock and slavery.

  10. thanks for highlighting this. more attention is definitely needed on this topic around the globe.

  11. I think we have some good guidelines in place to accommodate the disabled and challenged population here, of course, there is always room for improvement as in most things. I hope the legislation there will address this serious need. I fear if we return to our conservative politics, our entitlement programs will be in grave danger of being eliminated. Great post Ina.

  12. “it’s a miserable government that has not lifted the needs of people with disabilities to a higher platform so that these needs can be met or at least solid processes put in place to meet them.”

    I like the way you cover a wide range of important issues related to the wellbeing of your country.
    Croatia is not alone in falling short on providing adequite help to its veterans. In the US, we have similar problems. The government is aware of it, and but somehow can’t manage to find adequite solutions to its veteran’s care issues. It’s as if the bad planning that caused so many disabled US veterans in the first place is still standard operating procedure in mending the problem.
    I hope Croatia fares better in its efforts. We can, at least, hope for the best. Making people aware, as you have helped to do, is a good first step.

    • Thanks Donald. Ensuring people with disabilities including veterans receive the support they need to live their daily lives and contribute to society is an issue that is important and I feel strongly about it. There’s much to be achieved in this everywhere and it will only be achieved if noises about the needs are maintained. The world is filled with distanced politicians who are estranged from real life so I’m all for shouting them into doing the right things – finally. Won’t hold my breath …

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