On 17 – 18 April2019 the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Zoran Pašalić, paid a visit to the Austrian Ombudsman Board. Ombudsman Pašalić was accompanied by the Head of the Serbian NPM Section, the Serbian advisor on “Urgent Actions” and other staff members from the office. The delegation was welcomed in Vienna by Ombudswoman Gertrude Brinek and Ombudsman Günther Kräuter.
The Ms Brinek and Mr Kräuter presented the work, organization and mandates of the Austrian Ombudsman institution. A specific focus was given to the mandate as National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) and both, the guest from Serbia as well as the Austrian colleagues took the opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss the most topical challenges of their monitoring work.
On the second day, the Head of one of the Austrian NPM commissions, Dr. Andrea Berzlanovich, joined the meeting and informed the guests about the monitoring work of the commissions, in particular its visits to nursing care homes and homes for the elderly, but also facilities for the accommodation of persons with disabilities. Ms Berzlanovich explained how the commission plans such visits – especially the ones that are unannounced – and what they need to consider and take into account afterwards, when evaluating the visit and the institution as such.
Mr Kräuter concluded the two-day-visit of the Serbian delegation with a short presentation of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), the only global organization for Ombudsman offices worldwide, which the Serbian Ombudsman joined as a Voting member in 2010.
Source: Austrian Ombudsman Board, Austria