The Slovenia Times

Peter Svetina starts term as new human rights ombudsman


Human rights record is the society's mirror, the 53-year-old said on Friday as he took over from his predecessor in office Vlasta Nussdorfer.

Listing his priorities, Svetina said the first task at hand will be ensuring the initiatives taken by the ombudsman so far are accepted. He also pledged to bring attention daily to violations of human rights of all citizens.

Svetina was appointed to the post in late January with all the 89 MPs present voting in his favour in an unprecedented show of support.

He said such a high majority augured well for the implementation of the ombudsman's initiatives to the executive and legislative branches of power. He understood it as meaning that all parties agree with his views and values, which he said would be a good basis for future work.

One of the priorities he mentioned is issues related to the judiciary. He plans to visit the Constitutional Court next week in a bid to ensure constructive cooperation between the two institutions.

Under Nussdorfer's guide, the ombudsman was calling for the implementation of Constitutional Court's decisions, for good governance and for respecting the constitutional provision guaranteeing the rule of law and welfare state.

The ombudsman has also been urging the authorities to adopt heath reform, legislation on long-term care, on psycho therapy and on mental health, among other things.

Svetina is a social entrepreneur who has been working with persons with special needs for all his professional life both practically and theoretically.

He graduated in special education from the Ljubljana Faculty of Education and worked as a primary school teacher for several years and later in institutions for persons with physical and mental disabilities.

From 2015 on, he run Grunt, a social entrepreneurship establishment in the countryside, based in Komenda, north-west of Ljubljana. He is also a co-founder of the non-profit, established in 2014.


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