United Nations

A/HRC/46/16

General Assembly

Distr.: General

16 December 2020

Original: English

Human Rights Council

Forty-sixth session

22 February–19 March 2021

Agenda item 6

Universal periodic review

Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review *

Croatia

Introduction

1.The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, established in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, held its thirty-sixth session from 2 to 13 November 2020. The review of Croatia was held at the 13th meeting, on 10 November 2020. The delegation of Croatia was headed by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlic Radman. At its 17th meeting, held on 13 November 2020, the Working Group adopted the report on Croatia.

2.On 14 January 2020, the Human Rights Council selected the following group of rapporteurs (troika) to facilitate the review of Croatia: Cameroon, the Netherlands and Qatar.

3.In accordance with paragraph 15 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 and paragraph 5 of the annex to Council resolution 16/21, the following documents were issued for the review of Croatia:

(a)A national report submitted/written presentation made in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) (A/HRC/WG.6/36/HRV/1);

(b)A compilation prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in accordance with paragraph 15 (b) (A/HRC/WG.6/36/HRV/2);

(c)A summary prepared by OHCHR in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) (A/HRC/WG.6/36/HRV/3).

4.A list of questions prepared in advance by Belgium, Canada, Germany, Portugal, on behalf of the Group of Friends on national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay was transmitted to Croatia through the troika. These questions are available on the website of the universal periodic review.

I.Summary of the proceedings of the review process

A.Presentation by the State under review

5.The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, who headed the Croatian delegation, presented progress made and challenges in the field of human rights during the past five years.

6.The third report of Croatia for the universal periodic review had been the result of an inclusive process involving all relevant government bodies, civil society organizations and Parliament. Croatia had accepted 162 out of the 167 recommendations issued in the second cycle, and comment on their implementation was included in the report. Croatia made use of the voluntary practice of producing midterm reports, considering it an excellent tool for presentation of its human rights record in the first half of the review cycle.

7.Croatia had been elected to the Human Rights Council for the first time for the 2017–2019 period. Croatia had taken part in mechanisms aimed at enhancing respect for human rights, and had assumed a proactive role in the consultative group and in the Working Group on Situations.

8.During the Croatian presidency of the Council of the European Union, the issues of hate speech, gender equality, women’s empowerment, missing persons, child poverty, combating domestic violence, and the death penalty had been prioritized.

9.Regarding legislation and the judiciary, Croatia had been strengthening its legislative framework for the protection of human rights by adopting international instruments, such as the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention), as well as new pieces of domestic legislation and national strategies in specific areas (such as domestic violence, and persons with disabilities).

10.Croatia had improved the overcrowding situation in prisons. Its current judicial reform aimed to increase the efficiency and transparency of the judiciary, focusing primarily on the accessibility of courts to citizens.

11.On women’s rights, Croatia had introduced positive changes with regard to reconciling work and family life, through the expansion of maternity benefits. There had been an increase in employment for highly educated women, and additional measures had been taken to combat violence and gender discrimination.

12.In 2019, Croatia had developed the three-year Children’s Budget to encourage a new allocation of resources for children, while the new Foster Care Act had introduced foster care as an occupation for the first time.

13.For persons with disabilities, Croatia had introduced a new certifying system and had harmonized its legislation with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The European Social Fund had released €60 million for personal assistance services.

14.State funds had also increased for umbrella associations of national minorities, from €3 million in 2017 to €7.3 million in 2020. The study entitled “Collection of baseline data for the monitoring of the implementation of the Roma strategy” had been recognized as an example of best practices by European regional organizations and had been presented before the United Nations.

15.Regarding migration, as a part of the Eastern Mediterranean migratory route, Croatia faced numerous challenges. Croatia implemented the European Union migration policy and both United Nations global compacts. In accordance with the European resettlement programme, 250 Syrians had been resettled from Turkey. With regard to trafficking in human beings, Croatia was a country of destination and origin and the State Attorney’s offices and the Ministry of the Interior cooperated to identify smugglers.

16.As to hate crime, the policy framework included data collection, awareness-raising campaigns, victim support, and implementation of the Code of Conduct on Online Hate Speech. The definition of hate crime in the Criminal Code had been amended, adding language as a discriminatory motive.

17.With regard to the remaining issues from the Homeland War, when Croatia had hosted more than a million refugees and internally displaced persons, there were today only 37 persons still with that status, and 97 requests for the reconstruction of damaged housing units.

18.Croatia had been faced with a large number of missing persons, which had been a matter of concern since 1991. At present, 1,468 persons remained missing and the place of burial of 401 victims was still unknown. Thus, the number of unresolved cases from the Homeland War stood at 1,869.

19.Effective prosecution of war crimes and justice for victims remained one of the priorities of the judiciary of Croatia. To date, criminal proceedings had been initiated against 3,708 persons and 648 persons had been convicted of war crimes.

20.All measures to suppress the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic had been taken to ensure to public health without any discrimination. Croatia had been the co-chair for drafting the omnibus resolution of the General Assembly on the global response to COVID-19 and had joined the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire in war-torn countries during the pandemic.

B.Interactive dialogue and responses by the State under review

21.During the interactive dialogue, 86 delegations made statements. Recommendations made during the dialogue are to be found in section II of the present report.

22.Kyrgyzstan commended the efforts to promote gender equality and the measures to protect against domestic violence and gender-based violence.

23.Lebanon commended Croatia’s good practices, especially those relating to missing and disappeared persons and the efforts to eliminate discrimination against women.

24.Libya commended the acceptance by Croatia of the recommendations in its previous review, and the progress it had made in its ratification of various international human rights instruments.

25.Lithuania commended the cooperation with civil society and the efforts to fight hate speech and discrimination. It welcomed the adoption of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence and the National Strategy for Protection against Domestic Violence 2017–2022.

26.Luxembourg welcomed the progress made by Croatia in the area of human rights since the last universal periodic review.

27.Malaysia acknowledged the efforts to combat domestic violence and violence against women through the National Strategy for Protection against Domestic Violence. It commended Croatia for improvements in health-care services and housing care.

28.Maldives congratulated Croatia on its adoption of the protocol on procedures to be followed in cases of domestic violence and of the National Strategy for Protection against Domestic Violence 2017–2022.

29.Malta commended Croatia for combating violence against women and domestic violence, and for adopting the action plan for the implementation of the National Anti-Discrimination Plan.

30.Mauritius commended the progress made on the right to health. It congratulated Croatia on the high enrolment rate of girls and women in secondary and tertiary education.

31.Mexico praised the policies on religious integration and tolerance of Muslim minorities, and the national strategy for the inclusion of Roma and other ethnic minorities.

32.Montenegro highlighted the National Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, the Strategy for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, and the protocols to be applied in cases of domestic and sexual violence.

33.Morocco welcomed the anti-corruption strategy, the National Anti-Discrimination Plan, the national strategy for the development of the support system for victims and witnesses, and the National Policy for Gender Equality.

34.Myanmar welcomed the implementation of recommendations from the last universal periodic review and the submission of the midterm report. It commended the increased participation by women in politics.

35.Namibia applauded the National Anti-Discrimination Plan 2017–2022 to fight racism, xenophobia and related intolerances.

36.Nepal praised the launch of the National Anti-Discrimination Plan 2017–2022 and of specialized ombudsman’s offices for children, for gender equality and for persons with disabilities.

37.The Netherlands welcomed the ratification by Croatia of the Istanbul Convention. However, it was alarmed by the attacks against journalists, lawsuits to bar public participation, and inefficient police investigations. It raised concerns about the protection of minorities.

38.Nigeria commended Croatia for its continued cooperation and engagement with the universal periodic review process and other human rights mechanisms.

39.North Macedonia appreciated the progress achieved since the second review cycle, especially in combating violence and poverty in the country.

40.Norway welcomed Croatia’s participation in the review process and noted the positive steps taken since the last review.

41.Pakistan noted the implementation by Croatia of the action plan to combat discrimination and hate crimes, and the empowerment of women to prevent gender-based violence.

42.Panama applauded the progress made in promoting the right to health, in education on the dangers of landmines, and in combating sexual and domestic violence, poverty and social exclusion.

43.The Philippines welcomed the Social Welfare Act, the adoption of the Strategy for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, and the continued efforts to protect vulnerable groups.

44.Poland acknowledged the efforts to improve legislation and to facilitate the professional, social and economic inclusion of all national and ethnic and other minority groups.

45.Portugal commended efforts to adapt its legislation and practices to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which included restoring legal capacity, substituting involuntary institutionalization with psychiatric services at liberty, and restricting the application of coercion in respect of persons with mental disabilities.

46.Qatar commended measures to protect the rights of persons with disabilities and to criminalize domestic violence, but noted reports of uninvestigated cases.

47.The Republic of Korea commended the progress in combating domestic violence and the adoption of both the Istanbul Convention and the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence.

48.The Republic of Moldova commended the advancements on human rights and gender equality, through the law and national strategy on protection against domestic violence.

49.Romania recognized efforts under the Strategy for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, the National Strategy for Protection against Domestic Violence and the National Policy for Gender Equality.

50.The Russian Federation mentioned the ratification of human rights treaties and changes in legislation aimed at implementing recommendations from the last universal periodic review. It noted unsatisfactory conditions and overcrowding in detention centres.

51.The deputy head of the Croatian delegation then provided information concerning the Croatian response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on the topics of the digital society and the right to information. He mentioned the setting up of a central website at www.koronavirus.hr, new social media channels, the “Andrija” digital assistant – an anonymous advisory application, and the “Stop COVID-19” application which was aimed at enhancing citizen awareness of an increased risk of infection.

52.He highlighted the steps that had been taken for judicial reform, such as improved criteria and procedures for appointing and promoting judicial officials, the President of the Supreme Court and the Chief State Attorney. He mentioned the increased efficiency of the State Judicial Council and the State Attorney’s Council, the redefined training within judicial bodies, the strengthened role of the State School for Judicial Officials, the modified evaluation criteria for judicial officials, and the simplified procedure for obtaining primary free legal aid.

53.He stressed that overcrowding in prisons was no longer an issue and that constant efforts to increase accommodation capacity and improve prison conditions were in place. Special attention was paid to the prevention of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. Persons deprived of their liberty were provided with all rights, including health insurance.

54.Efforts had also been made to ensure more comprehensive protection for victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence was an independent criminal offence under the Criminal Code. The new Law on Protection against Domestic Violence had raised legal standards of victim protection through a strengthening of its procedural position and by preventing secondary victimization. Campaigns and continuous training of law enforcement personnel were aimed at raising awareness and providing comprehensive support to victims.

55.Croatia was committed to the advancement of national minorities. Minorities were guaranteed the right to representation in Parliament and in the representative and executive bodies of local and regional entities. A new Operational Programme for National Minorities (2020–2024) was in its final phase of development. Significant resources had been allocated to umbrella associations of national minorities, and for funds for targeted measures through the Constitutional Act.

56.Croatia guaranteed the use of the languages and scripts of national minorities, and had taken steps to improve the data collection procedure in regard to national minorities. A special methodology for collecting data to prioritize the employment of members of minorities had been developed.

57.Particular attention had been given to Roma issues and implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy 2013–2020. Croatia had developed an internationally recognized best practice project of collecting baseline data, and had provided household appliances benefiting more than 30 per cent of the Roma population.

58.With regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, Croatia had organized seminars for judges, lawyers, State attorneys, police officers and representatives of civil society organizations on hate crime and hate speech, and had granted the possibility of updating certifications and diplomas for transgender persons. In accordance with the Anti-Discrimination Act, Croatia intended to mainstream lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in different areas.

59.As regards combating trafficking in human beings, Croatia had ratified all relevant international and European Union instruments and had established a comprehensive system of coordination.

60.Croatia emphasized its horizontal approach to combating discrimination, and had adopted a strong framework. Cross-sectoral training for relevant stakeholders was a model for successfully converting policy recommendations into practice. A new protocol for data collection on hate crime had been prepared and condemnation of hate speech in public space was part of the Government’s programme for 2020–2024.

61.Education about the Holocaust was an integral part of the Croatian school curriculum, both in primary schools and in gymnasiums, and was embedded in the university education for history teachers. Croatia reserved funds in the State Budget for organizing educational school trips to the Jasenovac Memorial Site.

62.The fight against corruption was one of the priorities of Croatia. The deputy head of the delegation highlighted the creation of a system of effective reporting and protection of whistle-blowers, and the strengthening of the network of anti-corruption institutions. The Ombudsperson had been designated as the competent body for examining reports of irregularities.

63.Croatia reiterated its continuous efforts to investigate and prosecute war crimes cases. Croatia mentioned the establishment of four courts specializing in war crimes cases, and agreements that had been made on direct exchange of evidence and assistance between neighbouring countries.

64.Senegal congratulated Croatia on its ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and on its efforts in combating violence against women and domestic violence.

65.Slovakia expressed concerns over the independence of the Children’s Ombudsperson. It also noted the reports about threats and intimidation against journalists and lack of success in finding perpetrators.

66.Slovenia was concerned about the inaction of the local authorities regarding the promotion and protection of the language and culture of the Slovenian minority in Croatia.

67.Spain commended the adoption of the Istanbul Convention and the efforts to acknowledge the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.

68.The State of Palestine took note of the efforts made by the Government of Croatia to protect the human rights of refugees.

69.The Sudan commended the continued constructive engagement of Croatia with human rights mechanisms, including the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review.

70.Sweden expressed concerns about the hateful rhetoric directed at national minorities, and encouraged further efforts in implementing and enforcing the legislation on national minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.

71.Switzerland commended the efforts made by the Government and the progress achieved in protecting the rights of minorities.

72.Timor-Leste appreciated the adoption of the new Act on Housing Care in the Assisted Areas, the law on domestic violence and the national strategy on family violence.

73.Tunisia noted the steps taken in the field of gender equality and on gender-based and domestic violence. It commended the ratification of the Istanbul Convention and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure.

74.Turkey welcomed the Croatian leaders’ desire to address corruption and hate speech. Turkey supports the continuation of the fight against these crimes.

75.Ukraine commended the successful implementation of policies in various fields, as well as the introduction of relevant legislation in the areas of criminal justice and social welfare.

76.The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland welcomed recent efforts to advance post-conflict reconciliation. It praised the public messaging on the importance of respect for victims and the holding of joint wartime commemorations with Croatia’s minority community.

77.The United States of America advised the Government to invest in capacity-building for Roma civil society groups, and to promote religious tolerance and prevent religious discrimination and harassment against religious minorities.

78.The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela highlighted the Law on Social Well-Being, but mentioned an escalation of gender-based violence, racism and hate speech against migrants and other vulnerable groups.

79.Afghanistan welcomed the high female enrolment rate in education,the adoption of a law on domestic violence, the improvements in the electoral system regarding minorities, and the adoption of strategies to combat poverty and social exclusion.

80.Albania welcomed the guidelines for the improvement of regional cooperation in the prosecution of war crimes and the search for missing persons, the implementation of a national plan to combat discrimination and the adoption of new protocols to be applied in cases of sexual and domestic violence. It praised the increase in women’s representation in public life, the efforts made for the employment of persons with disabilities and the progress in the integration of Roma in society.

81.Argentina congratulated Croatia on its preparation of the National Roma Integration Strategy 2013–2020, which placed strong emphasis on education.

82.Australia welcomed the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. It acknowledged progress on the rights of ethnic minority groups, and welcomed the efforts to implement the National Roma Integration Strategy 2013–2020.

83.Austria welcomed the adoption of a law on domestic violence, as well as the reintroduction of provisions on domestic violence into the Criminal Code. It commended the steps taken towards reconciliation between the Croatian majority and the Serbian minority.

84.Azerbaijan commended Croatia for the adoption of instruments on prevention of violence, and for combating poverty and social exclusion.

85.The Bahamas noted the adoption of a national strategy for protection against domestic violence and the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code to ensure stronger penalties in this area.

86.Belarus was concerned about the human rights situation in Croatia in several fields, as reflected by the treaty bodies.

87.Belgium welcomed the commitment to a policy of national reconciliation and encouraged Croatia to continue on this path.

88.Botswana appreciated the adoption of the protocol on domestic violence, the Strategy for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion and the National Anti-Discrimination Plan.

89.Brazil commended the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. It highlighted the importance of strengthening actions to promote inclusion and prevent discrimination against the Serb and Roma minorities.

90.Bulgaria commended the steps taken to fight hate crimes and hate speech, to prosecute war crimes and to identify missing persons. It also appreciated the measures on combating domestic violence and gender-based violence.

91.Cambodia recognized the efforts made to address gender-based violence, as well as the adoption of the Law on Protection Against Domestic Violence. It commended the efforts to combat poverty and social exclusion.

92.The deputy head of the Croatian delegation then explained that in the labour and social protection legal framework, special attention was paid to protection of persons with disabilities, children with developmental difficulties, pregnant women, the elderly and members of other vulnerable groups.

93.Health care was provided to all, based on the principles of equality, continuity and accessibility, including support and assistance to everyone affected by COVID-19. An awareness campaign had been launched encouraging responsible behaviour by everyone. Special attention was given to the implementation of the Homeless Care Plan.

94.Educational policy focused on the availability of secondary education for all, and there was a particular emphasis on Roma students (with credits and scholarships provided for secondary and higher education). Due to the trends with COVID-19, guidelines for distance learning for primary and secondary schoolshad been published and schools had set up channels of communication (television and YouTube channels). Distance learning for national minorities in their language and script had been organized, however for Roma students this had been a real challenge due to their difficult living conditions.

95.In 2018, Croatia had ratified the Istanbul Convention and had devoted itself to achieving all the commitments in the Convention. Under the Labour Act, women workers who were pregnant, as well as parents on maternity or paternity leave, could not be dismissed from their jobs. The amounts of financial benefits had been increased to encourage the use of parental leave by both parents.Croatian electoral legislation embodied the importance of the gender equality principle and of a balanced representation of women and men on electoral lists.

96.Despite the modified working conditions in hospitals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the abortion procedure remained available and the National Breast Cancer Programme and the Mother-Child Friendly Maternity Hospital Programme were successfully being continued.

97.In 2015, a new legislative framework had been introduced and new professional rehabilitation centres had been established for persons with disabilities. The amounts of the assistance and care allowance and the personal disability allowance had been increased. The amount of compensation paid to the parents of children with developmental difficulties had also been increased, in 2020. The law protecting persons with mental health conditions had significantly improved their protection. In relation to health care for persons with disabilities, appropriate measures had been taken to ensure access to health and rehabilitation services.

98.Searching for missing persons was based on humanitarian principles and highest international standards. Bilateral cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro had been regulated and Croatia was a signatory to the Framework Plan to Address the Issue of Persons Missing from Conflicts on the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia. The comprehensive Homeland War Missing Persons Act, of 2019, had been passed. Despite all measures taken, Croatia was still searching for 1,869 persons missing from the Homeland War.

99.The number of internally displaced persons and refugees had been reduced from 665 to 37. The number of pending requests for housing care submitted by former tenancy rights holders had been reduced from 2,984 to 62 cases. Additionally, 307 of the most vulnerable families had been provided with housing care under the Regional Housing Programme, and 56 cases on repossession of property had been solved, with 8 pending cases still before the courts.

100.Croatia was aware of the importance of protecting migrants, as one of the most vulnerable groups. Croatia supported the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Training of police officers on treatment of migrants was conducted. All allegations of abuse of migrants by Croatian police were thoroughly examined. The vast majority of cases were proved to be unfounded. In cases where actual responsibility of police officers had been established, the officers concerned faced criminal charges and disciplinary proceedings. Croatia was the first European Union member State to have initiated the setting up of an independent mechanism for monitoring actions taken by police officers at borders.

101.The working group on integration of foreigners was participating in drafting the new action plan for integration of persons granted international protection (2021–2023). Local integration coordinators had been appointed in 18 local self-government units. Pursuant to the Act Amending the Act on International and Temporary Protection, 695 international protection holders had been provided with housing care. Children and adults had been provided with Croatian language courses. Resettled persons had access to public health institutions.

102.Canada welcomed the positive steps taken by Croatia to combat violence against women and towards reconciliation with cultural minorities.

103.Chile congratulated Croatia on the National Strategy for the Rights of the Child, as well as on its ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure.

104.China was concerned about the violation of the rights of minorities and the discrimination against them. It also took note of violence against women and other vulnerable groups.

105.Cubawelcomed the commitment by Croatia to the universal periodic review mechanism, and wished Croatia success in the implementation of the recommendations.

106.Cyprus welcomed the ratification and entry into force of the Istanbul Convention, as well as the measures to counter discrimination against women.

107.Czechia appreciated the legal and financial framework regarding the Ombudsperson and the specialized offices that contributed to the fulfilment by Croatia of its international human rights obligations.

108.Denmark welcomed the ratification by Croatia of the Istanbul Convention. It raised concerns about reports of journalists being deterred from critical reporting by frequent defamation lawsuits. Denmark stated that civic education in schools should be developed.

109.Djibouti welcomed the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communication procedure, the Istanbul Convention and the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs.

110.The Dominican Republic welcomed the creation of an action plan against discrimination and the adoption of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence.

111.Egypt was concerned by the lack of commitment to gender equality in the labour market. It also urged Croatia to deal with prison overcrowding and intimidation against journalists.

112.Ethiopia commended Croatia for the submission of its midterm report and its preparation of reports under international human rights instruments.

113.Fiji commended the adoption of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, the action plans in line with the anti-corruption strategy and the Protection of Whistle-Blowers Act.

114.France enquired about the measures that Croatia was considering taking to strengthen the efficiency of the judiciary and to facilitate the funding and work of non-governmental organizations.

115.Georgia commended Croatia for, inter alia, ratifying the Istanbul Convention, and for adopting a National Strategy for Protection against Domestic Violence and a National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking, as well as an anti-discrimination plan.

116.Germany welcomed the efforts in initiating a national reconciliation process between Croats and Serbs. However, it remained concerned that certain fundamental human rights enshrined in the Constitution of Croatia were not fully implemented.

117.Greece welcomed the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, and the signature of the guidelines for the improvement of regional cooperation in prosecuting war crimes and searching for missing persons.

118.Honduras commended the results obtained in implementing the recommendations that Croatia had received in the previous universal periodic review cycles.

119.Iceland welcomed the national report of Croatia and the steps outlined therein, and hoped for their continued implementation.

120.India welcomed the adoption of the Strategy for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. It also looked forward to the National Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, which was being drafted.

121.Indonesia commended Croatia for adopting the Strategy for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion and the anti-corruption strategy.

122.The Islamic Republic of Iran was concerned about the insufficient measures taken by Croatia to protect and promote the rights of journalists, minorities, migrants, persons with disabilities, children and women.

123.Iraq appreciated the adoption of the Strategy for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

124.Ireland welcomed the recent strengthening of the protection against domestic violence and urged the continuation of these efforts, including through the increased provision of shelters for victims of domestic abuse.

125.Israel commended the adoption of the anti-discrimination action plan, which included measures for preventing and combating hate crime and hate speech.

126.Italy commended the ratification of both the Istanbul Convention and the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs. It praised the adoption of policies on anti-discrimination and gender equality, as well as the adoption of measures to protect children.

127.Japan appreciated the efforts to protect and promote the rights of ethnic minorities, women, children, elderly persons, pensioners, unemployed persons and persons with disabilities, as well as initiatives for a more tolerant and inter-ethnic society.

128.Jordan appreciated the national report of Croatia, which highlighted the most important strategies and plans that would lead to the promotion and protection of the human rights.

129.Kazakhstan commended the fact that Croatia was a party to almost all international instruments on human rights and was continuing its positive and constructive engagement with the United Nations and all its mechanisms.

130.Haiti welcomed the efforts made for progressive realization of the right to health and protection against domestic violence.

131.In his final statement, the head of the Croatian delegation recalled that Croatia, as a Vice-President and Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council in 2019, was actively engaged on all matters concerning the work of the Bureau.

132.On the matter of protecting journalists, he provided information about the general and additional protection in the Criminal Code. With regard to ethnic discrimination and attacks against journalists, he provided information about the rights guaranteed in domestic laws and about other anti-discrimination measures, including the training for judges, the police and non-governmental organizations. On the right of national minorities to use their own languages, he referred to the detailed explanations in the regular reports produced under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In regard to foster care, he mentioned that the individual plan for each child and the child’s personal needs were taken into account when determining his or her accommodation in a foster family.

133.Then, the deputy head of the delegation stressed that Croatia was open to resolving, and determined to resolve, “all painful questions that derive from the Homeland War”. He called for cooperation.

134.He referred to the international commitments of Croatia and noted that Croatia was considering ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and acceding to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and was finalizing its second report under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

135.He provided information about the activities of Croatia within the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. He explained the Croatian model of reporting to the international and regional human rights mechanisms.

136.He reiterated the commitment of Croatia to contributing substantively to the universal periodic review process and to further improving human rights in the country, noting that the review mechanism which had been “created with such great ambition and expectations” had to maintain the interactive debate as its core element.

II.Conclusions and/or recommendations

137. The following recommendations will be examined by Croatia, which will provide responses in due time, but no later than the forty-sixth session of the Human Rights Council:

137.1 Continue its efforts in bringing its national legislation into compliance with its international obligations (Kyrgyzstan);

137.2 Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (France) (Iraq) (Panama) (Senegal) (Slovakia);

137.3 Consider the possibility of ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Tunisia);

137.4 Consider ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Argentina);

137.5 Advance in the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Chile);

137.6 Ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (Egypt) (Senegal);

137.7 Sign the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (Turkey);

137.8 Sign and ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (Honduras);

137.9 Consider ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) (Philippines);

137.10 Ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela);

137.11 Intensify cooperation with the Human Rights Council special procedures, including by ensuring the full implementation of the recommendations made by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, following its visit in 2014 (Belarus);

137.12 Extend an invitation to the Special Rapporteur on minority issues to visit the country before its fourth review under the universal periodic review mechanism (Panama);

137.13 Submit its periodic reports to the treaty bodies on time, including to the Committee against Torture (Belarus);

137.14 Encourage the submission of pending reports under United Nations human rights treaties, notably the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Morocco);

137.15 Consider special protection of core human rights and fundamental freedoms in the national legal framework, taking into account the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the human rights treaties the country is a party to (Brazil);

137.16 Sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (Honduras);

137.17 Continue its efforts to strengthen national human rights institutions and mechanisms (Nepal);

137.18 Provide the Ombudsman ’ s Office with the necessary financial and human resources to enable it to carry out its mandate effectively and independently (Qatar);

137.19 Provide the Office of the Ombudsman with the financial and human resources necessary to ensure its effectiveness and independent operation in line with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles) (Kazakhstan);

137.20 Consider further increasing human and financial resources allocated to the Office of the Ombudsman to ensure that the Office can effectively fulfil its mandate according to the Paris Principles (Republic of Korea);

137.21 Step up efforts in responding diligently and promptly to the Ombudsperson ’ s recommendations and requests (Czechia);

137.22 Support strengthened coordination between the different Ombudsmen ’ s offices in order to avoid duplication of tasks (Ukraine);

137.23 Ensure that the whistle-blower function of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Croatia is effective, not least by providing adequate funding (Sweden);

137.24 Take all necessary measures, including amending the respective legislation, to guarantee the full independence of the Children ’ s Ombudsperson (Slovakia);

137.25 Progress on the adoption of the National Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights for the next period (Republic of Moldova);

137.26 Adopt a National Programme for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (Lithuania);

137.27 Strengthen its human rights framework, by finalizing and implementing its new National Programme for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Croatia (Australia);

137.28 Continue its efforts in adopting the National Programme for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights and the National Policy for Gender Equality (Ethiopia);

137.29 Finalize the process of drafting of the latest National Programme for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights and the new National Policy for Gender Equality (Georgia);

137.30 Continue its efforts on the National Plan on Gender Equality (Albania);

137.31 Speed up the process of adoption of the National Policy for Gender Equality (Azerbaijan);

137.32 Ensure the speedy implementation of the National Policy on Gender Equality, including measures to reduce the gender pay gap and eliminate discrimination at work based on pregnancy or maternity (Israel);

137.33 Adopt and implement a new National Plan on Gender Equality in order to continue making progress in the fight against gender-based discrimination and gender-based violence (Spain);

137.34 Consider the consolidation of election legislation into a single comprehensive electoral code (Ukraine);

137.35 Adopt an open, merit-based process when selecting national candidates for United Nations treaty body elections (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);

137.36 Further emphasize civil and political rights and fundamental democratic principles in the civic education curriculum (Denmark);

137.37 Adopt coordinated and adequately funded awareness activities and programmes, targeting men and boys, aimed at changing attitudes and promoting positive norms of masculinity (Haiti);

137.38 Adopt policies aimed at enhancing harmony among ethnic and religious groups (Jordan);

137.39 Adopt further anti-discrimination measures, with a view to ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights by all (Nigeria);

137.40 Take effective measures to eradicate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other related forms of intolerance (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela);

137.41 Provide training on human rights and on combating discrimination and violence, including based on sexual orientation and gender identity, to health personnel, members of the judiciary, police forces and prison officers (Portugal);

137.42 Take further concrete steps towards full compliance with Croatia ’ s anti-discrimination legislation to promote the protection and social inclusion of all vulnerable and minority groups (Australia);

137.43 Strengthen national efforts to combat racism and discrimination against minorities and other groups in vulnerable situations, such as refugees and asylum seekers (Bahamas);

137.44 Take specific and effective measures to combat discrimination against vulnerable social groups, such as refugees, migrants, minorities and victims of domestic violence (Islamic Republic of Iran);

137.45 Take additional practical steps necessary to eradicate stereotypes and prejudice, including by providing appropriate training to public officials to put an end to the social stigmatization of women, people with disabilities and persons belonging to ethnic, sexual and other minorities (Czechia);

137.46 Increase efforts to end stereotyping and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, through increased awareness-raising campaigns and targeted training for public officials (Ireland);

137.47 Combat stereotypes and prejudices against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons through awareness campaigns aimed at the general population, as well as due training of civil servants, to avoid the social stigmatization of these people (Mexico);

137.48 Continue with the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex anti-discrimination policies (Montenegro);

137.49 Step up its efforts to combat stereotypes and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (Timor-Leste);

137.50 Increase efforts to raise awareness of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (Malta);

137.51 Take steps to combat stereotypes and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, including launching awareness-raising campaigns and training of public officials (Israel);

137.52 Conduct awareness-raising and educational campaigns aimed at the general public and provide appropriate training to public officials to combat stereotypes, prejudices and hate speech against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, and ensure that acts of violence against them are effectively investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted and sanctioned (Belgium);

137.53 Combat discrimination and hate speech targeted at persons because of their ethnicity, religion or gender, especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, Roma, refugees and migrants (France );

137.54 Take all necessary steps to ensure a timely and efficient response to hate speech in public and on social media, particularly where vulnerable groups are targeted, including national minorities and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);

137.55 Continue to promote the national reconciliation process, to further raise societal awareness regarding minority rights, especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex rights, and to combat hate speech, online and offline (Germany);

137.56 Investigate, prosecute and punish hate crimes against migrants and other vulnerable groups, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela);

137.57 Redouble efforts in fully and effectively implementing plans and strategies on combating discrimination, intolerance and hate crimes, including through increased training of duty bearers, especially law enforcement officials (Philippines);

137.58 Continue its efforts to prevent hate crimes and combat all their forms (Libya);

137.59 Continue efforts in combating hate speech and hate crimes, as well as for the protection of the rights of migrants (Nigeria);

137.60 Further strengthen its efforts to ensure that criminal, civil and administrative legislation is brought in line with European Commission against Racism and Intolerance General Policy Recommendation No. 7 on National Legislation to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (Norway);

137.61 Take sustained measures to combat racial discrimination and hate crimes (Pakistan);

137.62 Adopt measures to continue with the Anti-Discrimination Action Plan, including awareness-raising campaigns for the general population, training for public officials and prosecution of hate speech and hate crime cases (Israel);

137.63 Intensify measures to combat all forms of discrimination, in particular racial discrimination against minorities, with particular emphasis on the fight against hate speech and racist and xenophobic rhetoric (Djibouti);

137.64 Adopt measures to ensure the elimination of discrimination in all its forms and hate speech, in particular against certain minorities and also on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity (Argentina);

137.65 Strengthen activities and laws aimed at the elimination of discrimination in society, other intolerance and hate speech against minorities and other groups, including based on sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics (Iceland);

137.66 Continue to prioritize the fight against corruption, including at the highest level of government – in line with the report of the Council of Europe ’ s Group of States against Corruption (Norway);

137.67 Continue efforts to reinforce anti-corruption mechanisms (Libya);

137.68 Strengthen oversight over Croatian companies operating abroad with regard to any negative impact of their activities on the enjoyment of human rights, particularly in conflict areas, where there are heightened risks of human rights abuses (State of Palestine);

137.69 Intensify efforts to develop and strengthen the necessary legislative frameworks that address cross-sectoral environmental challenges, including climate change adaptation and mitigation frameworks (Fiji);

137.70 Ensure that women, children, persons with disabilities, and indigenous and local communities are meaningfully engaged in the development and implementation of climate change and disaster risk reduction policies (Fiji);

137.71 Take concrete and sustainable measures to combat the negative effects of climate change (Haiti);

137.72 Continue its efforts to combat trafficking in persons, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice (Myanmar);

137.73 Red ouble the efforts to combat trafficking in persons and protect victims (Lebanon);

137.74 Continue awareness-raising efforts related to combating trafficking in persons, including in cooperation with international partners (Ukraine);

137.75 Continue its efforts to raise awareness of and to combat trafficking in persons (Georgia);

137.76 Intensify training for law enforcement and the judiciary on the questioning of victims of human trafficking, in order to prevent further trauma, and to enable victims to participate in legal proceedings as reliable witnesses (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);

137.77 Continue its efforts to investigate the fate and whereabouts of all the unresolved cases of persons missing during the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia in 1991–1995 (Bulgaria);

137.78 Strengthen its efforts to investigate cases of missing persons (Maldives);

137.79 Raise awareness on landmines and provide protection for the victims of landmines (Jordan);

137.80 Strengthen measures to address overcrowding in detention centres and prisons (Namibia);

137.81 Strengthen measures to address overcrowding in places of detention and prisons and ensure that new such facilities meet international standards (Russian Federation);

137.82 Combat prison overcrowding and improve health services for inmates (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela);

137.83 Strengthen measures to address overcrowding in detention centres and prisons, and ensure their compliance with international standards (Belarus);

137.84 Take measures to strengthen efforts to address overcrowding in detention centres and prisons, including through commuting sentences (Botswana);

137.85 Take measures to improve the conditions of the prisons (Islamic Republic of Iran);

137.86 Further increase public funding for organizations providing free legal aid and ensure the availability of free legal aid at all stages of criminal proceedings (Austria);

137.87 Encourage more resources to fund free legal aid providers across the country (Malta);

137.88 Implement the Human Rights Committee recommendation on expediting the prosecution of cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity and ensuring that all such cases are prosecuted in a non-discriminatory manner, regardless of the perpetrator ’ s ethnicity (Belarus);

137.89 Deepen the necessary measures so that the judiciary investigates and punishes persons suspected of having been involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity (Argentina);

137.90 Expedite the prosecution of cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity and ensure that such cases are prosecuted in a non-discriminatory manner, regardless of the ethnic origin of the perpetrators, and ensure that victims and their families obtain adequate reparations for these violations (Panama);

137.91 Take concrete steps to expedite the prosecution of cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity and ensure that all such cases are prosecuted in a non-discriminatory manner, regardless of the perpetrator ’ s ethnicity (Belgium);

137.92 Further expedite the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity and ensure that all such cases are prosecuted in a non-discriminatory manner, regardless of the perpetrator ’ s ethnicity (Czechia);

137.93 Strive to reduce the time frame for trials and ensure the independence of judges in order to respect the right to a fair trial (France);

137.94 Ensure that all individuals have access to a fair judicial process, including at the local and regional levels, by ensuring the impartiality and independence of judges and increasing access to legal aid (Canada);

137.95 Promptly investigate and prosecute all forms of attacks and threats against journalists, and ensure full accountability (Netherlands);

137.96 Enhance efforts with a view to ensuring freedom of expression and protection and safety of journalists (Republic of Moldova);

137.97 Immediately investigate all reports of attacks, threats, and harassment against media professionals, including online threats and harassment (United States of America);

137.98 Strengthen the freedom of the media, intensify efforts to investigate threats against journalists and media workers, and protect local media outlets and journalists against arbitrary lawsuits (Norway);

137.99 Continue its work to strengthen the judicial system, in particular to promote the independence and efficiency of the judicial system in accordance with the European Commission ’ s 2020 Rule of Law Report (Norway);

137.100 Take all measures to preserve a free, safe and enabling environment for journalists and media workers, ensure that they can do their work without facing intimidation or harassment , and investigate and prosecute incidents of attacks on journalists and the media (Slovakia);

137.101 Strengthen and enforce laws protecting journalists against physical attacks and threats and ensure due prosecution of the perpetrators of such acts (Lithuania);

137.102 Continue its efforts to fully implement existing institutional and legal protections, including independence of the judiciary and freedom of expression, including protection of journalists from intimidation (Australia);

137.103 Ensure a safe and enabling environment for the work of journalists and the media and effectively investigate threats against journalists (Austria);

137.104 Guarantee freedom of expression and the freedom of the press and open investigations into attacks against journalists and the media and bring perpetrators of these acts to justice (Luxembourg);

137.105 Ensure protection of human rights defenders from pressures and provide them with a safe environment for their activities (Azerbaijan);

137.106 Protect the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly for all by ensuring prompt, independent and thorough investigation into all reports of assault and harassment against journalists and bringing those responsible to justice (Canada);

137.107 Effectively investigate all acts of intimidation and attacks on journalists and the media and bring those responsible to justice (Czechia);

137.108 Change civil defamation laws where needed to deter frivolous lawsuits against journalists (Denmark);

137.109 Guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of the press and ensure better protection of journalists, in particular by revising the legislation on defamation (France);

137.110 Protect the rights of journalists against physical violence and threats for their work by the State authorities and police officers (Islamic Republic of Iran);

137.111 Reinforce policies for the support of the family as the fundamental and natural unit of society (Egypt);

137.112 Enact general legislation on the recognition of both same-sex parents involved in the growth of a child, as well as extending access to adoption to same-sex couples on a par with others (Iceland);

137.113 Amend the national legislation to specifically include same-sex partnerships in relevant laws (Sweden);

137.114 Increase efforts to implement existing legislation to address equality in the labour market, and on equal pay (Ireland);

137.115 Enhance its ongoing measures to narrow the gender pay gap (Myanmar);

137.116 Take measures aimed at implementation to the fullest possible extent of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value (Ukraine);

137.117 Implement the principle of equal pay for work of equal value and close the persistent gender wage gap in the country (North Macedonia);

137.118 Take additional steps to eliminate gender-based discrimination in the work environment (Cambodia);

137.119 Take regulatory measures to ensure that the issue of non-discrimination against women is taken into account in the labour market, as well as measures to implement the principle of equal pay for work of equal value (Russian Federation);

137.120 Strengthen efforts to increase public awareness of gender equality in the labour market, and work towards implementation of the principle of equal pay for equal work (Sudan);

137.121 Formulate and implement effective policies geared towards reducing the gender pay gap, with a view to ensuring equal pay for all (Botswana);

137.122 Adopt regulatory measures to ensure that gender issues are taken into account in the labour market and strengthen efforts to eliminate segregation in employment (Senegal);

137.123 Enhance its efforts to eliminate employment discrimination against women and reduce the gender pay gap (Republic of Korea);

137.124 Increase efforts to ensure non-discriminatory access to adequate housing, social benefits and services for all victims of past conflicts under its jurisdiction, including the Roma (Malaysia);

137.125 Strengthen priority attention to the most vulnerable groups, including children and youth, the elderly and pensioners, and the unemployed, among others, in the national strategies to combat poverty and exclusion (Cuba);

137.126 Take additional measures to guarantee access to decent housing for all (Dominican Republic);

137.127 Ensure a rights-compliant approach to the mental health-care system throughout the country (Malaysia);

137.128 Take necessary steps to ensure the right to education for all, regardless of the status of a person (Azerbaijan);

137.129 Take measures to ensure that comprehensive and age-appropriate education on sexuality and reproductive health and rights is systematically integrated into school curricula (Fiji);

137.130 Adopt and implement curricula on age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education, including information about issues of violence, that is provided throughout schooling (Iceland);

137.131 Continue to improve the conditions of and access to education for children with disabilities (Dominican Republic);

137.132 Take measures to ensure education for children with disabilities (Albania);

137.133 Enhance its education system to cater for the needs of children with disabilities through Special Education Needs (SEN) (Mauritius);

137.134 Improve education nationwide and ensure equal opportunities, for persons with disabilities, in line with the national strategic plans (Libya);

137.135 Pursue the policy of eliminating inequalities between men and women by taking effective measures aimed at increasing the economic empowerment of women (Djibouti);

137.136 Continue to strengthen its human rights framework and take necessary measures to bring national laws and practices into line with international human rights norms and standards, especially in relation to domestic violence (Republic of Korea);

137.137 Improve services and support for survivors of gender-based violence by implementing the obligations under the Istanbul Convention for protection against domestic violence, including ending the practice of prosecuting victims (Canada);

137.138 Fully implement the Istanbul Convention into domestic laws and policies, to protect and support victims and survivors of gender-based violence (Australia);

137.139 Take concrete steps to fully harmonize the legislative and policy framework pertaining to gender-based violence with the standards set out in the Istanbul Convention (Namibia);

137.140 Adopt a comprehensive approach to prevent and address violence against women in all its forms and take concrete steps to align the national legislative and administrative framework with the standards set out in the Istanbul Convention (Belgium);

137.141 Take necessary measures to adopt a comprehensive approach to preventing and addressing violence against women in all its forms (India);

137.142 Strengthen the efforts to fight all forms of discrimination against women and gender-based violence, including by effectively implementing the Istanbul Convention provisions into domestic policies (Italy);

137.143 Strengthen measures to prevent and punish gender-based violence, which should include training for police officers, judges and lawyers, ensuring the investigation of cases of domestic violence and the punishment of those responsible, and ensuring victims ’ access to shelters, protection orders and adequate compensation (Mexico);

137.144 Continue efforts deployed to combat all forms of violence against women, as well as gender-based violence and domestic violence (Tunisia);

137.145 Adopt effective measures to combat the wage gap and gender violence, sexual harassment and rape; and ensure the timely management of complaints, access to justice and reparation for victims (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela);

137.146 Take additional measures to effectively protect all victims of domestic and gender-based violence (Kyrgyzstan);

137.147 Continue to strengthen the legal and institutional framework in the area of protection against domestic violence (Indonesia);

137.148 Continue its measures to prevent all forms of violence against women and to promote gender equality (Nepal);

137.149 Implement the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and integrate a gender perspective, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, into all efforts aimed at the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (North Macedonia);

137.150 Continue to take steps including provision of adequate resources for women ’ s empowerment and addressing gender-based violence (Pakistan);

137.151 Strengthen measures to ensure the availability of sufficient shelters for victims of domestic violence (Myanmar);

137.152 Combat violence against women, in particular by strengthening the criminalization of domestic violence (France);

137.153 Take further steps to ensure a sufficient number of shelters for victims of domestic violence, and improve data collection on acts of domestic violence (Greece);

137.154 Ensure thorough investigation of cases of domestic violence, and prosecution and conviction of perpetrators, as well as adequate compensation for the victims (Greece);

137.155 Strengthen measures to develop and empower women with disabilities in fields such as education and employment, and protect women and girls with disabilities from violence, including sexual violence (Philippines);

137.156 Continue efforts focused on preventing and addressing violence against women in all its forms and step up awareness-raising measures (Republic of Moldova);

137.157 Continue applying practical measures to prevent gender-based violence (Cyprus);

137.158 Continue implementing measures to prevent gender-based violence and protect the victims (Dominican Republic);

137.159 Provide and enhance specialized training for staff involved in ensuring comprehensive protection for women and children as victims of violence (Slovenia);

137.160 Take appropriate measures to guarantee women ’ s access to legal and safe abortion in order that, for example, doctors ’ refusal to perform abortions based on religious beliefs does not limit the right to sexual and reproductive health of women, and that the procedure is covered by the national social security system and/or its costs are affordable for all women, regardless of their socioeconomic situation (Spain);

137.161 Step up its efforts to increase the participation of women in the public and private sectors (Timor-Leste);

137.162 Promote the equal participation of women in both political and public life (Maldives);

137.163 Promote the full participation of women, on an equal footing, in political and public life, as well as in the civil service (Luxembourg);

137.164 Intensify efforts aimed at increasing and enhancing the participation of women in the public and private sectors (Iraq);

137.165 Intensify efforts to prevent and address discrimination against women, particularly in education and employment, by putting in place adequate safeguards to ensure the full realization of women ’ s rights (Bahamas);

137.166 Review eligibility criteria for social benefits, in particular for women, and develop policies which would ensure better social protection (Slovakia);

137.167 Increase maternity benefits (Cyprus);

137.168 Continue to strengthen measures in implementing the legislation pertaining to gender discrimination at the workplace (India);

137.169 Continue to expand training on gender equality and gender-based violence for police officials, civil servants and court officials to enhance their understanding of applicable international and European Union standards and ensure their consistent application across sectors (Malta);

137.170 Integrate a gender perspective into all efforts aimed at the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (Kazakhstan);

137.171 Step up efforts to counter violence against and social exploitation of children and develop programmes to protect child victims (Lebanon);

137.172 Continue the efforts for a more coordinated action with the aim of eliminating all forms of violence against children (Romania);

137.173 Improve reception conditions for vulnerable children, including through establishing appropriate reception facilities, and upholding the best interests of the child in the course of any immigration proceedings (Afghanistan);

137.174 Ensure efficiency in the work of social care centres with the aim of protecting the most vulnerable from violence and neglect, especially children (Bulgaria);

137.175 Continue its efforts towards an inclusive education for children with developmental disabilities, especially in rural areas (Greece);

137.176 Ensure that children with disabilities are protected on equal basis with others in all legislation, policies and measures aimed at children (Poland);

137.177 Strengthen its laws and policies to ensure that children with disabilities are protected on an equal basis with others (India);

137.178 Ensure that children with disabilities are protected on an equal basis with others in all legislation, policies and measures aimed at children (Japan);

137.179 Continue the efforts to ensure the full implementation of all measures aimed at fighting discriminatory attitudes and behaviours against all persons belonging to minority groups (Italy);

137.180 Protect the rights of the Serbian minority, including by eradicating public statements of ethnic intolerance, combating discrimination, and protecting economic, social and cultural rights, including equal use of language and script (Netherlands);

137.181 Consider enhancing further efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of hate speech and hate crimes against members of national minorities (Cambodia);

137.182 Take further measures to condemn incitement to hatred and hate crimes against national minorities, not least the Serb minority (Sweden);

137.183 Nurture tolerance among segments of society and reinforce the rights of racial and ethnic minorities (Lebanon);

137.184 Fully ensure that the linguistic, religious and other rights of minorities are in line with international obligations (Russian Federation);

137.185 Review the current legal framework regarding the representation of minorities in Parliament in order to guarantee that their interests are fully represented (Slovenia);

137.186 Ensure that constitutionally recognized rights of the Slovenian autochthonous minority in Croatia are secured and implemented to a full extent, especially with regard to their right to be educated in their mother tongue (Slovenia);

137.187 Strengthen measures to combat intolerance and hate speech targeting minority, ethnic and religious groups (Sudan);

137.188 Condemn historical revisionism, discrimination, and hate speech at the highest levels, particularly against Roma, Serbs, and members of other minority communities, at every available opportunity (United States of America);

137.189 Ensure greater inclusion of Serb and Roma minority groups into the public administration and in the judiciary, as well as adopt and implement local action plans for the integration of Roma (Switzerland);

137.190 Implement strategies and action plans for the integration of the Roma and address their socioeconomic problems and discrimination (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela);

137.191 Continue efforts for the participation of the Roma in public and political life (Albania);

137.192 Ensure that the right to use minority languages is fully respected and take measures to address discrimination against minorities, notably in the areas of labour, access to public services, public information and the media (Austria);

137.193 Adopt public policies to combat and eliminate all forms of discrimination against ethnic minorities and ensure full respect for their human rights and good treatment by State agents (Chile);

137.194 Adopt effective legislative and administrative measures to eliminate discriminatory acts against Roma and other ethnic minorities (China);

137.195 Accelerate efforts to protect the rights of minorities, by promoting the use of the Cyrillic alphabet and safeguarding the right to housing of the Roma community (Cyprus);

137.196 Improve the socioeconomic situation of the Roma national minority, also by ensuring adequate living conditions and access to education and health care (Germany);

137.197 Fully implement the right to equal usage of minority languages and scripts, in compliance with Croatia ’ s legal framework, with a special focus on those regions where this right especially applies (Germany);

137.198 Fully implement policies and programmes on anti-discrimination to protect the rights of minorities, advance inter-ethnic relations and address societal discrimination against minorities (Indonesia);

137.199 Continue efforts to promote inter-ethnic harmony, including effective steps towards protection and social inclusion for all minority groups (Japan);

137.200 Further promote the increase of employment of persons with disabilities in the open labour market (Montenegro);

137.201 Take measures to make the electoral process fully accessible to all persons with disabilities and facilitate their participation in the representative and executive bodies (Poland);

137.202 Strengthen its efforts to adapt its legislation and practices to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including by restoring legal capacity, substituting involuntary institutionalization with psychiatric services at liberty, and restricting the application of coercion in respect of persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities (Portugal);

137.203 Provide training on the rights stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for all government officials and professionals in the public and private sector who work with persons with disabilities (Qatar);

137.204 Continue efforts deployed to integrate socially and economically persons with disabilities and members of minorities (Tunisia);

137.205 Establish measures to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to quality social and community support, with an emphasis on health care, education and employment (Bahamas);

137.206 Ensure full access to education for people with disabilities, implementing all reasonable adjustments, in the terms provided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Chile);

137.207 Extend the National Strategy for People with Disabilities beyond 2020, and incorporate among its priorities the comprehensive response to health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and its impacts in all spheres of the lives of people with disabilities, as well as the specific protocols to deal with them in that population group (Cuba);

137.208 Provide to refugee and asylum seekers effective access to international protection, and review its policy of return and collective deportation of migrants (Mexico);

137.209 Reinforce the protection of the rights of migrants and refugees, including by ensuring the enjoyment of their rights to education and to health (Portugal);

137.210 Investigate all allegations of irregularities in the treatment of migrants as well as grant the Office of the Ombudswoman full access to documents requested and to facilities for migrants, in line with target 10.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (Switzerland);

137.211 Proceed with the investigations of allegations regarding mistreatment of irregular migrants, in an objective, transparent and comprehensive manner (Turkey);

137.212 Investigate all complaints from civil society about excessive use of force and intimidation by Croatian law enforcement agents against migrants that reach Croatian borders, and ensure fair and individualized asylum procedures that are available to asylum seekers (Spain);

137.213 Ensure effective access of persons in need of international protection to the territory and continue to follow up on reported incidents of mistreatment and excessive use of force at the borders (State of Palestine);

137.214 Continue to follow up on reports of mistreatment and excessive use of force against migrants at the borders, including through effective and independent monitoring and investigation, and taking action to prevent its recurrence (Afghanistan);

137.215 Ensure border police are provided with guidance in line with international law and that all reports of improper uses of force at the border are thoroughly and transparently investigated and prosecuted as appropriate (United States of America);

137.216 Ensure effective access of refugees and asylum seekers to the territory and a fair and efficient asylum procedure (Afghanistan);

137.217 Use the expertise of international, regional and national institutions to ensure that border management measures are in full compliance with international human rights obligations and European Union asylum laws, and to enable independent investigations and monitoring (Austria);

137.218 Ensure all migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are treated in accordance with international human rights law by providing training for border authorities on their obligations, and by providing immediate and unrestricted access to the Ombudsperson for Human Rights to ensure transparent investigations into reports of mistreatment (Canada);

137.219 Put an end to the attacks and harassment on non-governmental organizations promoting the rights of refugees and migrants in Croatia and their activists and offer a safe environment for their work (Luxembourg);

137.220 Ensure protection of the human rights of migrants and refugees, including through the development of effective integration policies (Azerbaijan);

137.221 Take concrete steps to protect the human rights of migrants and persons seeking international protection in the country, including by promoting a culture of tolerance and the prevention of unlawful deportations (Brazil);

137.222 Stop implementing policies and measures that violate the rights of migrants (China);

137.223 Ensure adequate accommodation and care to unaccompanied migrant children (Cyprus);

137.224 Enhance protection for migrants, including taking serious efforts to incorporate principles under the Convention on Migrant Workers (Indonesia) .

138. All conclusions and/or recommendations contained in the present report reflect the position of the submitting State(s) and/or the State under review. They should not be construed as endorsed by the Working Group as a whole.

Annex

Composition of the delegation

The delegation of Croatia was headed by His Excellency Mr. Gordan Grlic Radman, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, and composed of the following members:

•H.E. Ms. Vesna Batistić Kos, Permanent Representative to the UN, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the UN Office in Geneva;

•Mr. Frano Matušić, State Secretary for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, Deputy Head of Delegation;

•Ms. Terezija Gras, State Secretary for European and International Affairs, Ministry of the Interior;

•Mr. Tomislav Paljak, State Secretary, Ministry of Science and Education;

•Ms. Tatjana Vukobratovic Spasojevic, Deputy State Secretary, Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care;

•Mr. Alen Tahiri, Director of the Office for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities, Government of the Republic of Croatia;

•Mr. Ivan Crnčec, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Justice and Public Administration;

•Mr. Mato Škrabalo, Acting Director-General of the Directorate for Multilateral and Global Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia;

•Ms. Romana Kuzmanić Oluić, Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia;

•Ms. Ivana Pavić Šimetin, Acting Deputy Director of Croatian Institute of Public Health;

•Ms. Vesna Vuković, Director of Directorate for the UN and International Organisations, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia;

•Ms. Dunja Skoko-Poljak, Head of Sector for Public Health, Ministry of Health;

•Ms. Tatjana Katkić Stanić, Head of Sector for Coordination of Policies and Improvement of Social Welfare Centres’ Expert Work, Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy;

•Mr. Vatroslav Subotić, Head of the Division for International Cooperation in the Field of Work, Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy;

•Ms. Tihana Balija, Head of the Division for Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia;

•Ms. Ivana Kožar Schenck, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the UN Office in Geneva;

•Mr. Ivan Pepić, Third Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the UN Office in Geneva;

•Mr. Dean Strbačko, Attaché, Directorate General for Multilateral and Global Affairs Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia;

•Ms. Ana Filko, Professional Associate, Sector for Tracing Persons Detained and Missing in the Homeland War, Ministry of Croatian Veterans.