A two-day study visit for the staff of the Montenegrin Ombudsperson’s Office to the office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman of Finland was organised on 12-13 September 2017.
The delegation had an opportunity to discuss with their counterparts a number of key issues such as the organisational efficiency, relationships with institutional stakeholders and civil sector as well as concrete application of human rights standards. Working sessions were divided in manner to reflect the most relevant topics from the practice of Finnish Parliamentary Ombudsman, which Montenegrin counterparts might use to improve, compare and/or validate their practical operations in the areas such as monitoring of police coercive measures and surveillance techniques, detention and facilities under the competencies of border and customs guards. In addition, specific presentations focused on the socio-economic rights, especially in regard to the marginalised groups, as well as monitoring of the closed institutions such as psychiatric hospitals and wards. During the discussions, it was highlighted that the quality of the Ombudsperson’s work and public support are vitally important to strengthen the effects of their recommendations which are not legally binding.
In addition, the delegation visited the Human Rights Centre, an expert institution for the promotion of fundamental and human rights, which is administratively connected to the Office of the Ombudsman. This highly interesting institution, based upon the Paris principles for national human rights institutions, works on the promotion of human rights issues, public outreach and researches and thus it allows the Ombudsperson to intensify the focus on addressing the human rights concerns and concrete cases and in parallel to broaden the public support to their work and thus enhance the relevance and legitimacy of their critics and recommendations.
The activity was organised under the framework of the European Union/ Council of Europe Joint Programme on Support to the National Institutions in Preventing Discrimination in Montenegro (PREDIM).