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b_280_0_16777215_00_images_Zoran_Paali_foto.jpegThe Institution of the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia, as a national human rights institution, will have the highest A status granted by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) for next five years which will contribute to more efficient work and further strengthening of this independent state institution, said Zoran Pašalić, the Protector of Citizens.

"GANHRI Sub-committee on Accreditation, on the grounds of all expert criteria we have met, has decided to re-accredit the Institution of the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia with the status A it has held since 2010. This decision is a logical outcome of professional and efficient work of the Protector of Citizens in previous years," said Pašalić.

Pašalić stated that, paired with the right to vote, the A status enabled the Protector of Citizens to actively participate in the work of regional and international networks of human rights institutions, and provided the Protector of Citizens with a special right to address the UN Human Rights Council at its sessions.

“Although I am not mandated to act outside the Republic of Serbia, I will always use the right to address the UN Human Rights Council, alongside the bilateral agreements that I initiated with the Ombudspersons of 17 countries, to protect the rights of our citizens in other countries, which I have done several times in individual contacts with Ombudspersons or in international networks of Ombudspersons," said Pašalić.

"A status confirmation of the institution of the Protector of Citizens matches a positive assessment of the European Commission regarding the progress of the Republic of Serbia. By strengthening the Institution and authority of the Protector of Citizens, including through A status confirmation, the citizens of Serbia will be able to solve the problems they have in everyday life and in contacts with the competent authorities in a faster and more efficient way", said Pašalić.

Pašalić stated that the A status, as well as the new Law on the Protector of Citizens, would contribute to even greater efficiency and independence of this institution, as well as to strengthening the trust of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia in this institution.

The Institution of the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia was first granted GANHRI highest A status as a national human rights institution in 2010. The status review is performed periodically every five years for all GANHRI members, Pašalić reminded.

The Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia, in addition to GANHRI, is a member of 12 other international networks that bring together national Ombudspersons and peer independent institutions from almost all world countries, and it is the initiator and member of the informal Balkan Network of Ombudspersons. The A and B status granted by GANHRI indicate the degree of compliance of national human rights institutions’ work with Paris Principles.