North Macedonia | 2019 Annual Report of the Ombudsman of the Republic of North Macedonia

In the reporting year, the Ombudsman acted on a total of 4.705 complaints, of which 3.453 from the reporting period, and the remaining 1.252 were transferred from the previous year. It is indisputable that still the most of the complaints are related to the work of the enforcement agents.

The measles epidemic for many unvaccinated children has closed their doors to kindergartens, but even after the epidemic ended, about 200 children were left out of the educational process, being happy in vain on the first day of school. The Ombudsman appealed that a solution must be found to this situation, but none of the competent ministries showed any interest in it, which seriously questions the right to education and respect for the principle of the best interests of the child.

The Ombudsman, as a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), within its mandate and competencies, continuously monitors the actions upon and respect of the rights of persons in places of deprivation of freedom and detention, in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. During the reporting year, the NPM conducted a total of 22 regularly scheduled visits in accordance with the work plan and programme and several extraordinary (ad-hoc) visits, in coordination and cooperation with other departments within the Ombudsman. All visits by the team of the National Preventive Mechanism were conducted as unannounced, of which 13 visits to police stations, 3 visits to psychiatric hospitals, 4 visits to penitentiary institutions, as well as 2 visits to penitentiary and correctional institutions for children.

Last year, the Ombudsman began implementing the new mandates-mechanism for civilian control, monitoring the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration.

The Ombudsman continued to act as a friend of the court (amicus curiae), with the authority to participate in all stages of the court proceedings with the right to give suggestions and opinions, which the court should take into consideration. In this capacity, the Ombudsman in the reporting year acted in five cases filed in 2019, in two cases for which he initiated proceedings in 2018 and in one case upon which the proceedings were initiated in 2017.

When it comes to the cooperation that the Ombudsman has with institutions and bodies from Europe and beyond, in 2019 it was at a high level, followed by multiple participation in conferences, roundtables and other meetings aimed at exchanging experiences with related institutions and bodies.

Source: Ombudsman Office of Republic of North Macedonia

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