Today, the Protector of Citizens, Mr. Zoran Pašalić, met via video call with the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Ms. Tatiana Nikolayevna Moskalkova and discussed human and minority rights protection and challenges they encountered every day after the proclamation of the coronavirus epidemic. In addition, one of the topics of the discussion was the improvement of future cooperation between the two institutions.

Mr. Pašalić explained that after the declaration of the state of emergency, only 25 percent of the employees were working in the premises, whereas the number of citizens addressing the Protector of Citizens increased tenfold in comparison to the previous period. He added that there were more than 250 telephone calls daily, whereas the number of written addresses was around 70. Mr. Pašalić highlighted that the citizens indicated in their complaints the violations of rights in numerous fields and that the Protector of Citizens paid special attention to the vulnerable groups rights protection.

“This is why I addressed competent state authorities and local self-government units in order to enable the elderly, persons with disabilities or mobility issues to receive unhindered care during the measure of movement restrictions due to the state of emergency”, Mr. Pašalić underlined.

Ms. Moskalkova specified that, since the declaration of the epidemic, the Russian Federation put in place an array of measures to protect the population, paying particular attention to those measures related to the protection of vulnerable groups rights. She pointed out that during the health crisis, complaints related to the problems of testing citizens for the presence of coronavirus were predominant, but also that a large number of them sought protection in other areas of law.