Meeting of the Visegrad Group Ombudsmen (V4)

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On 12-14 June, 2014 the Human Rights Defender of Poland was hosting the annual meeting of the Visegrad Group Ombudsmen (V4). The meeting, held in Białowieża, was attended by Ms Anna Šabatová, Public Defender of Rights of the Czech Republic, Ms Jana Dubovcova, Defender of Rights of the Slovac Republic and Ms Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary.

The discussion focused on ombudsman control functions in cases of power abuse by public officers as well as the protection of rights of minorities, especially with reference to growing ethnic tensions in Europe. The ombudsmen commented inter alia on their national provisions relating to the political representation of national minorities, the educational system (special attention was paid to the situation of Roma children) or the labour market situation.

It was agreed that further possible cooperation in the field of promoting good practices in inclusive education would be considered between the V4 ombudsmen. The issue of Roma integration deserves special attention in the Visegrad region, hence all participants agreed to exchange ideas on this subject in the future.

The summit of Ombudsmen form V4 countries is held regularly since 2004 and serves as a platform for cooperation in the field of human rights protection. In 2015 the summit will be held upon the invitation of the Hungarian side.