As part of a study visit to Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, a delegation from South Korea visited the Austrian Ombudsman Board (AOB) on 5 September 2017. The delegation was chaired by Chul-Young Shin, Ombudsman of Gangwon Province, and included representatives from the audit division and general civil service offices of different South Korean cities. The visit served as a platform for a fruitful exchange of experiences between the AOB and the South Korean delegation.
Ombudsman Kräuter first expressed his concern about the current situation with North Korea before presenting the AOB’s organizational structure, its legal foundations, responsibilities, mandate and investigative proceedings. He further described the AOB’s international activities, with special reference to the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) and the fact that the IOI’s headquarters are located at the premised of the AOB in Austria. This was of particular interest to the Ombudsman Commission of Gangwon Province which just recently became a member of the IOI. The delegation showed great interest in the AOB’s and IOI’s activities, especially regarding the structure and mandate as well as the financing of the IOI and how Ombudsman institutions deal with human rights issues.
At the end of the meeting, Ombudsman Kräuter informed the guests about the AOB’s exceptional platform for sharing human rights issues with the wider public via a weekly TV-Show called “Bürgeranwalt” (Advocate to the People) and the delegation showed special interest in this media project. USB sticks were distributed to all guests with a short English clip about this weekly TV show, which was produced especially for the 2016 IOI World Conference in Bangkok.
Source: Austrian Ombudsman Board, Austria