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Croatia

A. UN Convention status

A1. Ratification or conclusion of the UN Convention

The Republic of Croatia signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 30 March 2007, and it was ratified by the Croatian Parliament on 1 June 2007 with the Law on Ratification of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Official Gazette, International Agreements, 6/2007, 3/2008, 5/2008). It was published on 27 June 2007 in the Official Gazette (6/2007). The ratification deed was deposited by the Secretary-General of the UN 15 August 2007 According to Art. 45 (2) both instruments came into force for the Republic of Croatia on 3 May 2008.

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Update date: Fri, 2015-03-13

A2. Ratification or accession to the Optional Protocol

The Optional Protocol was signed on 30 March 2007 and ratified on 1 June 2007. In accordance with Art. 45 (2) of the Convention, the Optional Protocol came into force for the Republic of Croatia on 3rd May 2008.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2012-06-06

A3. Declarations, Reservations and Objections

There are no reservations and objections. National adoption and implementation of the UN CRPD is provided for by the National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2007-2015 that was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia on 5 June 2007. The new National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities for 2017-2020 was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia on 18 April 2017. This Strategy is a form of the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Recommendations. The new Strategy includes 16 areas and 78 measures with 199 activities for which implementation government bodies, units of local and regional government, scientific institutions and civil society organizations are assigned responsible. The Strategy contains measurable indicators which will be used for the evaluation of the listed measures.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-05-31

A4. Comprehensive review

The UN Convention and the Council of Europe Action Plan to promote the rights and full participation of people with disabilities in society 2006-2015, were the basis for the adoption of the National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2007-2015, adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia on 5 June 2007. The Association of Organisations of Disabled Persons in Croatia (Zajednica saveza osoba s invaliditetom Hrvatske – SOIH) has reviewed necessary changes to the Croatian legislative system in implementing the Convention. For the purpose of improving implementation, co-ordination and reporting, the Ministry of Family, Veterans' Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity (now the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth), in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme in Croatia, has implemented a project since 2009: Support in Applying Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanisms for the Implementation of the National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2007-2015. In order to support Ministry of Family, Veterans Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity and in line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Ministry and UNDP in 2010, UNDP has supported Ministry in analysis of current mechanisms for monitoring of the implementation of National Strategy with the goal of introduction of UNCRPD indicators and the improvement of reporting requirements at the horizontal and vertical level.In 2011 the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth made a gap analysis of the implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in order to identify elements which have not been harmonized and implementation deficits. On the basis of this, elements which are for now missing in the national legislation have been identified.

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Update date: Fri, 2016-03-18

A5. Focal point

The focal point for the UN CRPD in accordance with the National Strategy of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020 is the Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-05-31

A6. Coordination mechanism

The coordinators of the implementation of the UN CRPD are the Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy and the Committee for Persons with Disabilities of the Government of the Republic of Croatia which is an advisory and professional body of the Government of the Republic of Croatia (according to Decisions on the establishment of the Committee for Persons with Disabilities of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Official Gazette 19/2017), and National Strategy of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020, (Concluding Remarks). They coordinate the implementation of the National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017 – 2020, which is the national implementation document of the UN CRPD. The Committee for Persons with Disabilities of the Government of the Republic of Croatia (a Government’s advisory body) was founded as an advisory and expert body of the Government with the task to monitor the implementation of UN CRPD and other international regulations which relate to the protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities; the Committee evaluates the implementation of national regulations, offers proposals, opinions and expert elaborations to the Government of the Republic of Croatia concerning the position, protection and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and their families, and conducts activities for their benefit (Decisions on the establishment of the Committee for Persons with Disabilities of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Official Gazette 19/2017). The Committee currently has no website.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-05-31

A7. Independent mechanism

Based on the Law on the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities (Official Gazette 107/2007) and the Rules of procedures of the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities (Official Gazette 103/08) the Office of Ombudsman was established. By the decision of the Croatian Parliament, an Ombudsman (Ombudswoman) was appointed, who assumed her duties as of 1 July 2008. The same person was again appointed for a eight year term on 17 October 2016. The Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities is an independent body, whose main task is the monitoring, promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. In this way, the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities represents a mechanism for the protection of the human rights of persons with disabilities that they may contact directly, advocates their rights and makes decisions that affect their lives. In her work, the Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities has authority that the Ombudsman does not have – the right to access facilities and get insight into the manner of providing care for persons with disabilities who reside, work or are temporarily, or permanently, placed with natural and legal persons and other legal entities on the basis of special regulations. The Ombudsman submits the annual report for the approval of the Croatian Parliament.

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Update date: Wed, 2017-05-31

A8. Official reporting

The initial report on the Implementation of the UN CRPD in Croatia was made in July 2011 by the Ministry of Family, Veterans' Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity (today Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy). Key sources for the report were national sectoral reports of the implementation in government bodies, the reports of public institutions, other national stakeholders, researches and statistical data. The Initial report is divided into four parts (general provisions of the Convention; special rights; specific situation of boys, girls with developmental difficulties and women with disabilities; and special obligations). This is a comprehensive document that addresses all aspects of disability rights. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concluded on 31 May 2015 its consideration of the Initial report of Croatia on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-05-31

A9. Shadow reporting

In 2014 three shadow reports submitted - a shadow report created by the Ombudsman for persons with disabilities, a shadow report created by the Croatian Union of Associations of Persons With Disabilities and the shadow report created by the Human Rights Watch. All three shadow reports are available on the website of the The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2015-03-11

B. General legal framework

B1. Anti-discrimination legislation

Equality as one of the core values of the constitutional system of the Republic of Croatia (Art. 3 of The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, Official Gazette 85/2010) was strengthened by the adoption of the Anti-discrimination Act (Official Gazette 85/2008, 112/2012) which unifies and summarizes provisions on discrimination that were contained in various laws prior to its adoption. The central body competent for the elimination of discrimination is the Ombudsman, and some tasks, when determined by special laws, are performed by special ombudsmen. In accordance with the Act, discrimination occurs when a person is treated in a less favourable way, regardless the grounds for discrimination. Discrimination encompasses not only a less favourable position of this person, but also concerns those related to that person by kinship or other relationship (Art. 1). The Act differentiates (Art. 2) the following forms of discrimination: direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment (Art. 3), encouragement to discrimination and failure to make reasonable adaptation (Art. 4), segregation, as a forced and systematic separation of persons on any of the discrimination grounds, and more serious forms of discrimination – multiple when discrimination is committed on more than one ground, repeated or continued discrimination or discrimination whose consequences are particularly harmful for the victim. The Croatian Parliament has adopted The Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons in 2005 (Official Gazette 47/2005), providing definitions, prohibiting discrimination and promoting employment. This Declaration affirmed the right of all citizens to participate equally in all segments of society and enjoy their legal and constitutional rights without difficulty. In the Republic of Croatia, everybody is equal before the law, and the Criminal Code (Official Gazette Criminal Code (Official Gazette NN 125/2011, 144/2012, 56/2015, 61/2015) foresees sanctions for a person who denies or limits the freedom or rights of a human being and citizen laid down in the Constitution, law or other regulation, or who on the basis of a difference or affiliation grants citizens privileges or advantages (e.g. Disability) (Art. 125).

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

B2. Recognition of legal capacity

The Family Law (Official Gazette 103/2015) through the institution of guardianship ensures the protection of juveniles without parental care, adults that are not capable of taking care of themselves and persons who for other reasons are not able to protect their rights and interests (Art. 218). According to Family Law persons deprived of legal capacity in Croatia were adults with physical or intellectual disabilities (Art 234). In non-contentious proceedings at the court adults who because of mental impairments or due to any other reasons are not capable of taking care of some of their rights, needs and interests, or threaten the rights and interests of other persons whom they are obliged to take care of, will be deprived of legal capacity. However, a person cannot be completely deprived of legal capacity. Procedure is initiated by the Centre for social welfare (Art 236) which sends a proposal to the court. The Court can return parts or complete legal capacity to a person who was deprived of legal capacity (Art 239). Legal changes from 2012 granted persons deprived of legal capacity the right to vote (The Law on modifications and amendments to the Law on election of the members to the European Parliament from the Republic of Croatia, Official Gazette 23/2013, The Law on registry of voters, Official Gazette 144/2012, 105/2015).

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

B3. Accessibility of voting and elections

The Constitution of the Republic Croatia (Art. 45, Official Gazette 85/2010) guarantees all Croatian citizens who are 18 years of age or older, universal and equal voting right for the elections of the members of the Croatian Parliament, of the President of the Republic of Croatia and of the European Parliament and in voting at referendums, in accordance with the law. Additionally, the Constitution (Art. 58/2) guarantees state’s special care regarding protection of disabled persons and their inclusion in social life. The Law on election of the members of the Croatian Parliament (Official Gazette 116/99, 109/00, 53/03, 69/03, 167/03, 44/06, 19/07, 20/09, 145/10, 24/11, 93/11, 120/11, 19/15, 104/15), Law on the election of the President of the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette 22/92, 42/92, 71/97, 69/04, 99/04, 44/06, 24/11, 128/14), the Law on local elections (Official Gazette 144/12, 121/16), the Law on the election of Croatian representatives to the European Parliament (Official Gazette 92/10, 23/13, 143/13), and the Law on referendum and other forms of participation in implementation of a state government and local and regional self-government (Official Gazette 33/1996, 92/2001, 38/2009, 100/2016), regulate equal voting opportunities for disabled persons and those who are not able to access polling stations. The Law on the election of the members to the Croatian Parliament in Article 83 states that in case a voter, who due to a physical disability cannot vote in the manner provided by this law, he/she may come to the polling station with another person that will circle the answer as instructed. A voter who, because of a physical disability is unable to approach the polling station, can notify the electoral commission at the earliest three days before the election or voting committee on the election day. At least two members of the voting committee will visit the voter and enable the voter to vote. Additionally, the Law on the election of the Croatian representatives to the European Parliament (Official Gazette 92/2010) has for the first time (Art. 40 and 49) regulated the right of blind persons to use voting ballots printed in Braille alphabet. If blind persons want to vote using this ballot they must submit a request to the town of the municipal election committee, at least 30 days before the elections. Then, a city or municipal committee will inform the State electoral committee about the number of requests so that voting ballots in Braille alphabet can be prepared. The State electoral committee will make a special instruction regarding the printing of voting ballots in Braille alphabet and the ways of voting of blind persons.

Until the end of 2012 persons deprived of legal capacity could not vote. At the end of 2012 Croatia changed its election legislation in accordance with Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and provided equal voting rights to all persons with disabilities, including persons with intellectual difficulties who are fully deprived of legal capacity. The Law on registry of voters (Official Gazette 144/2012) in Article 64 states that “persons who were until the day this law became active fully deprived of the legal capacity through the final decision of the responsible court, would be considered voters and will be entered into the registry of voters”. The Law on modifications and amendments to the Law on the election of the members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette 23/2013) in Article 4 abolished some previous regulations which prevented persons who were deprived of legal capacity by a final court decision from voting in the elections of the members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Croatia, so that persons deprived of legal capacity may vote on elections to the European Parliament. Before each election, the State electoral committee creates mandatory instructions with the objective of filling legal gaps, ensuring transparency and a clear election procedure. During the Presidential elections in 2009 and 2010, on the basis of technical instruction of the State electoral committee, blind and short-sighted persons could for the first time personally vote by using a translation of a voting ballot to the Braille alphabet, which is a great improvement in achieving voting rights. For the Parliamentary elections held on 4 December 2011 the State electoral committee passed Mandatory instructions no. DR – V of voting ways of voters – disabled persons, illiterate voters and voters who cannot reach the polling station (Official Gazette 153/11). The Mandatory instructions no. Z VII (2015) regulate the procedure of informing the electoral committee or the voting commission about those voters who are unable to approach the polling station and include a detailed description of the voting procedure.

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

B4. Official recognition of sign language

In 2015 the Law on the Croatian Sign Language and other systems of communication of deaf and deaf-blind persons in the Republic of Croatia (Official gazette 82/2015) was passed, which regulates rights of deaf and deaf-blind persons and other persons with communication difficulties to use, informing and to education in the Croatian Sign Language and other communication systems which suit their individual needs, for the purpose of equalizing opportunities of access to social, economic and cultural environment, and providing equal realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

B5. National disability strategy and action plan

The National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2007-2015 was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia on 5 June 2007. Both the UN CRPD and and the Council of Europe Action Plan to promote the rights and full participation of people with disabilities in society: improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in Europe 2006-2015 were the basis for the adoption of the National Strategy in the Republic of Croacia, and this Strategy is conceived as a key tool for their implementation.
The second National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020 was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia on 18 April 2017. This Strategy is a form of implementation of the UN CRPD and its Recommendations. This new Strategy includes 16 areas and 78 measures with 199 activities for which implementation government bodies, units of local and regional government, scientific institutions and civil society organizations are assigned responsible. The Strategy contains measurable indicators which will be used for the evaluation of listed measures.
Among the General objectives of the Strategy are the following: respect for human rights, non-discrimination, creating equal opportunities, full citizen participation, full participation in the community life and the inclusion in global and European policy frameworks for persons with disabilities. The objective of the National Strategy is to make Croatian society as sensitive and adapted as possible to necessary changes aimed at equalisation of opportunities for persons with disabilities, create conditions for their successful inclusion and equal participation in society through prevention of any kind of discrimination and strengthening of all forms of social solidarity. Key areas that are covered by the Strategy are: family; life in the community; education; health care; social care and pension insurance; housing, mobility and accessibility; professional rehabilitation, employment and work; legal protection and protection from violence and abuse; information, communication and awareness raising; participation in cultural life; participation in political and public life; research and development; recreation, hobbies and sports; situations of risk and humanitarian crisis; organizations of persons with disabilities in civil society; international cooperation.

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Update date: Wed, 2017-05-31

C. Accessibility

C1. Transport accessibility

As prescribed by the Law on Obligatory and Proprietary Rights in Air Transport (Articles 9e, 9h, 31c-31s, Official Gazette 132/1998, 63/2008, 134/2009, 94/2013), the obligation of airports is to ensure human and technical services to assist persons with disabilities at arrival and departure, and providing a transfer by an adapted vehicle. Daily public transport for persons with disabilities and children with developmental difficulties to work, university, school, to recreational activities and work therapy is organised in the City of Zagreb by a city transport company.
The Law on Road Traffic Safety (Official Gazette 67/2008, 48/2010, 74/2011, 80/2013, 158/2013, 92/2014, 64/2015,108/2017) provides local and regional self-government units with a possibility to regulate traffic on their territories, which includes ensuring free parking for vehicles of persons with disabilities, reserved parking spaces on public parking lots or in front of residential buildings regardless of whether these are public parking lots, and the possibility to issue licenses for movement and stay of vehicles of persons with disabilities on public spaces on which traffic is limited or prohibited. Specifically, the Law on Road Traffic Safety (Art. 40, Official Gazette 67/2008, 74/2011, 80/2013) and the By-law on accessibility (Official Gazette 78/2008) prescribe that persons with physical disability of 80% or above, and persons with lower extremities' disability of 60% or above, may have the vehicle in which they are transported marked with the prescribed accessibility sign, which enables them to park the vehicle in parking spaces specially marked for this purpose.
The Law on roads (Art. 88, Official Gazette 84/2011, 22/2013, 54/2013, 148/2013, 92/2014) and the By-law on procedure for achieving the right on exemption from paying annual fees for using public roads (Official Gazette 136/2011) declare that persons with physical impairments that have as a consequence lower extremities’ disability of 80% or above and the Croatian disabled war veterans with 100% physical disability, have the right to be exempt from paying tolls ('smart' card) for one personal vehicle in their ownership, and persons with physical disability of 80% or above, and persons with determined physical disability that has as a consequence lower extremities’ disability of 60% or above do not pay the annual fee for using public roads for one personal vehicle in their ownership.
Provision of driving lessons for persons with disabilities is regulated by the Law on Road Traffic Safety (Official Gazette 67/2008) and the By-law on training on candidates for drivers (Official Gazette 124/2012, 129/2012, 146/2012) which in Article 13 states that driving classes for persons with disabilities can be realised in their own vehicles, and are carried out in accordance with theb special instructions provided by an authorised expert organisation.
In accordance with Art. 8 of the Law on Privileges in Domestic Passenger Transport (Official Gazette 97/2000, 101/2000), persons with disabilities have the right to get a discount of up to 75% from the regular ticket price in domestic passenger railroad or maritime transport for four trips per year, and also the right to free travel for a person accompanying them.
According to the By-law on ensuring accessibility of buildings to persons with disabilities and reduced mobility (Official Gazette 78/2013) the obligations of providing accessibility for persons with disabilities also include public transport buildings such as: airports; bus and train stations; bus and tram stations; train platforms; passenger buildings at ferry and boat terminals; highway rest areas; public parking spaces; public parking garage with capacity for 300 or more vehicles; gas stations, etc.

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

C2. Built environment accessibility

The accessibility of buildings for persons with disabilities in accordance with the Law on construction (Official Gazette 153/2013, 20/2017) is regulated by the By-law on ensuring accessibility of buildings to persons with disabilities and reduced mobility (Official Gazette 78/2013). Obligations from this By-law apply to all public and business buildings, and to residential and residential-business buildings. This includes buildings for trade, hotels/restaurants and/or other tourist purposes; postal and/or telecommunication offices; provision of cash services and other financial services; administration and similar buildings; health, social care and rehabilitation facilities; buildings where persons with disabilities often stay for education, culture, sport and recreation, and entertainment; buildings for religious purposes; for executing prison sentences; public spaces and areas, and other buildings such as fairs, public toilets, public shelters, etc. Control of the accessibility provisions implementation is performed in all phases of the construction of a building: starting from its design, and continuing throughout the construction and/or reconstruction processes, and during its use and maintenance. Penalty provisions for non-compliance with accessibility provisions are foreseen for designers, constructors, construction supervisors and the owner of the building. By-law on simple buildings and constructions (Official gazette 112/2017, 34/2018) defines (Article 3) that works realized with the objective of enabling and increasing accessibility (physical access, sound signals, tactile paving) can be done even without normally required construction and location permits. With the aim to ensure accessibility in residential buildings constructed prior to the regulation by the above mentioned Law and Rulebook, the Law on Ownership and Other Proprietary Rights (Official Gazette 91/1996, 68/1998, 137/1999, 22/2000, 73/2000, 129/2000, 114/2001, 79/2006, 141/2006, 146/2008, 38/2009, 153/2009, 143/2012, 152/2014) prescribes that not all co-owners of a building must give their consent for the construction of a ramp or lift in the residential building for enabling accessibility to a disabled person. One of the measures of the National Strategy of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020 is the obligation placed on the state administration to collect data on accessibility of public administration buildings. These data should be gathered by the Registry of state property which would serve as a basis for systematic adaptation of accessible buildings (measure 6.2.).

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

C3. ICT and Web accessibility

The By-law on procedures and conditions for performing activities regarding electronic communication networks and services (Official Gazette 154/2011, 149/2013, 82/2014, 24/2015, 42/2016) regulates the ways in which services, including user support service and equipment, must be adapted to the needs of disabled persons and states that participation of operators in advisory mechanism related to accessibility of electronic communication networks and services is mandatory. The Law on electronic communication (Official Gazette 73/2008, 90/2011, 133/2012, 80/2013, 71/14, 72/2017) states (Art. 5) that one of the roles of the Croatian agency for post and electronic communication is to ensure that all users, including disabled persons, have an opportunity to have the best choice, price and the quality of services. Art. 24 states that electronic communication network, electronic communication infrastructure and related equipment have to be planned, developed, produced and installed in such a way that access and availability of public electronic communication service is enabled to disabled persons. Art. 43 states that operators of public communication services have to, within their technical possibilities, ensure that disabled persons have equal access to their services. Copyright and Related Rights Act (Official Gazette 167/2003, 79/2007, 80/2011, 125/2011, 141/13,127/14) (Article 86) states that people with disabilities are allowed to use copyrighted works in a way that is directly connected to their disability and which is non-commercial, and in ways that are necessary for that disability. Croatia has so far not ratified or signed Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

D. Independent living

D1. Choice of living arrangements

According to the National Strategy of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020, everyone has the opportunity of choosing their living arrangements. The Anti-discrimination act (Official Gazette 85/2008, 112/2012) applies to the conduct of all state bodies, local and regional self-government units, legal persons vested with public authority, and to the conduct of all legal and natural persons, regarding housing, access to goods and services and their provision (Art. 8). The Social Welfare Act (Official gazette 157/2013, 152/2014, 99/2015, 52/2016, 16/2017, 130/17) states that the principle of freedom of choice is one of the basic principles in this law (Article 9). When it comes to persons with disabilities, their basic needs incorporate additional needs arising from their medical condition or disability (Article 4). Therefore, the Law lists a variety of social services related to housing for persons with disabilities: accommodation in an institution, day-care programmes and organised housing, community living or independent living with social support and home assistance (Article 74).

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

D2. De-institutionalisation

With the aim to intensify the reform processes of transformation and deinstitutionalisation, the National Plan for Deinstitutionalisation and Transformation of Social Welfare Institutions and Other Legal Persons Providing Social Welfare in the Republic of Croatia 2011-2018 (Official Gazette 36/11) was adopted, which represents a basis for planning the network of institutions and activities of social welfare. The purpose of the National Plan is to reduce the entry of users in institutions and increase their exit from the existing institutions into new forms of care, specially by stimulating family reintegration (with the guarantee of one or more family support services in the local community), which should be harmonised with the priorities of the network of services established at local level and taking into account regional balance. The Plan pledges to move 29% of people with intellectual disabilities out of institutions by 2016 and 32 % of people with mental disabilities by 2017, while developing community-based support for these populations, such as organised housing (Art. 6). The key principle behind the new Social Welfare Act (Official Gazette 157/2013, 152/2014 and 99/2015) is inclusion in the community (Art. 12) which means that social welfare services should be provided to beneficiaries primarily in their homes and local community through out-of-institution forms of care ensured by various providers, with the objective of improving quality of life and community inclusion.

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

D3. Quality of social services

The Social Welfare Act (Official Gazette 157/2013, 152/2014, 99/2015, 52/2016, 16/2017, 130/2017) regulates that social services have to be provided in accordance with the quality standards defined by the relevant by-law (Article 196). These standards are regulated by the By-law on Quality Standards of Social Services (Official Gazette 143/2014). This by-law defines seventeen quality standards for social services and sets guidelines for their introduction, together with benchmarks for determining whether the quality standards of social services have been achieved. The quality standards of social services defined the following: availability of information, availability of services, connection and cooperation, evaluation and planning, reception and release, decision-making and self-determination, privacy and confidentiality, safeness from abuse, restrictive procedures, complaints, management, employees, work of volunteers, students doing practice and apprentices, accessibility of the environment, conditions adapted to beneficiaries, security and protection (Article 3).

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

D4. Provision of assistive devices at home

The services for assistance to disabled persons in their homes are financed exclusively by persons themselves and their families. Those with health insurance have rights to some devices according to the Rule book on Orthopaedic and Other Tools which has a number of amendments (Official Gazette, 7/12., 14/12., 23/12., 25/12., 45/12., 69/12., 85/12., 92/12, 119/12., 147/12., 21/13., 38/13., 93/13., 119/13., 125/13., 129/13., 136/13., 141/13., 154/13., 11/14., 12/14., 22/14., 34/14., 45/14., 54/14., 59/14., 86/14., 92/14., 119/14., 129/14., 149/14., 17/15., 29/15., 41/15., 62/15., 77/15., 86/15. i 124/15, 129/15, 132/15, 139/15, 26/16, 30/16, 53/16, 94/16, 106/16, 108/16, 36/17, 55/17, 102/17, 131/17). For example, fax devices or an alarm clock with light as assistive devices for deaf persons or a clock and a screen reader for blind persons, a screen reader with a speech unit for blind persons, etc. The National Strategy of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020 states that new technologies need to be used with the objective of increasing the independence and quality of life of disabled persons. The application of the universal design principle is one of the measures promoted by the National Strategy for Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020, which includes ensuring an accessible environment in line with universal design principles (Measure 6.7.). According to the By-law on Procedures and Conditions for Performing Activities Regarding Electronic Communication Networks and Services (Art. 32, Official Gazette 154/2011, 149/2013, 82/2014 i 24/2015) devices have to be adapted to disabled persons.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes

A personal assistant service for people with the most severe and highest degree of disabilities was introduced with the Joint Memorandum on Social Inclusion of the Republic of Croatia, 2007 (4.4.1.2. Priorities and measures). Provision of personal assistance is funded since 2006 through the state budget with some additional funding from lottery funds since 2010. Personal assistants can be chosen with the mediation of an organisation (Art. 4). In special cases, a personal assistant can be a family member (Specific rules applying for programmes ensuring the service of personal assistants to persons with the most severe and highest degree of disability (Article 3, 2015). Services of personal assistants are funded through three year projects. The tenders are announced by the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, and organisations and associations of organisations can apply, and they should use the allocated funds to provide services of personal assistants for persons with disabilities. In the tenders there are designated priority areas. In the tender 11/2015 those were three groups of services: 1) provision of personal assistants for persons with the most severe type and degree of disability; 2) provision of services of an interpreter / translator of Croatian sign language; and 3) provision of services of persons accompanying blind persons who cannot move independently. Users can be persons with the most severe type and degree of disability aged 18 to 65 (Barthel index 0-45). All users to whom the organisation plans to provide personal assistance service shall undergo evaluation by an independent multidisciplinary expert commission.

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

D6. Income maintenance

The basic law that determines social welfare rights is the Social Welfare Act (Official Gazette 157/2013, 152/2014 i 99/2015, 25/2016, 16/2017, 130/2017). The main instrument for income maintenance of persons with disabilities is, according to this law, the personal disability allowance. The Personal Disability Allowance is intended for persons with severe disability or some other permanent severe impairments regarding their medical situation, with the objective of meeting their needs to be included in everyday life of the community (Article 54). The disability allowance cannot be received by a person with disability who either receives some other form of social welfare allowance or is placed in an institution. Also, it depends on the income and assets of the person – the person who owns real estate other than the one in which he/she lives cannot receive a disability allowance. The provisions of the Social Welfare Act that were meant to motivate users of this allowance to actively search for employment stipulated that beneficiaries who are able to work can receive this allowance for up to two years, and cannot apply for a new allowance for at least three months after that. The person who is employed can receive only the amount defined as a difference between the person's salary and the amount received by non-employed recipients of disability allowance (Article 55). The Law on Income Tax (Articles 8, 14,42, Official gazette 115/2016), the By-law on Income Tax (Official gazette 10/2017, 128/2017), the Law on the Value-added Tax (Article 38, Official gazette 73/2013, 148/2013, 143/2014, 115/2016), the By-law on the Value-added Tax (Official gazette 79/2013, 85/2013, 160/2013, 35/2014, 157/14, 130/15, 1/2017, 41/2017, 128/2017) regulate tax deductions or tax reductions for persons with disabilities. In accordance with the Law on the Rights of the Croatian Homeland War Veterans and Members of Their Families (Official Gazette 121/2017, Article 57), Croatian Homeland War Veterans and Members of Their Families are categorised in ten groups according to the degree of their impairment, among which are the following: personal disability benefit; orthopaedic allowance; single cash allowance; special allowance for unemployed; war veterans’ cash benefit, allowance for assistance at home, etc. Disabled war veterans can also receive a personal disability benefit on the basis of the Law on the Protection of the Military and Civilian War-Disabled.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

D7. Additional costs

The right to compensation for the cost of housing is recognised in the Social Welfare Act (Art. 41 Official Gazette 157/2013, 152/2014 i 99/2015, 25/2016, 16/2017, 130/2017) for beneficiaries of the guaranteed minimum allowance, which is important for persons with disabilities. The costs of housing in terms of this Law apply to the rent, utility charges, electricity, gas, heating, water, sanitation and other costs of living in accordance with special regulations. A guaranteed minimum allowance is recognised for a single person or a household with no means of and without ways to obtain those means through work or other income sources. Amounts are prescribed by law. The provisions of the Social Welfare Act that were meant to motivate users of this allowance to actively search for employment stipulated that beneficiaries who are able to work can receive this allowance for up to two years, and cannot apply for a new allowance for at least three months after that. In order to reduce the risks of poverty among vulnerable groups the Government has passed the Directive on criteria for acquiring a status of disadvantaged buyer of energy from the network systems (Official gazette 120/12, 14/14 and 95/15) through which it transferred Directives 2009/72/EZ and 2009/73 of the European Parliament and the Council from 13 July 2009. With this Directive the criteria for acquiring the status of 'a disadvantaged buyer' is identified in order to reduce the poverty of disadvantaged buyers through social support. The beneficiaries of the guaranteed minimum allowance or personal disability allowance have this status. With the Directive on amendments to the Law on Energy (Official gazette 95/2015) the solidarity payment of electrical energy became possible. The allowances payment is regulated by the Directive published in Official gazette 102/2015. Vouchers for electricity should be allocated to households and people who are currently beneficiaries of the guaranteed minimum allowance or personal disability allowance. Disabled military veterans have some additional benefits. According to the Law on the Rights of the Croatian Homeland War Veterans and Members of Their Families, Croatian military disabled war veterans with impairments of 100 % from the first group have the right to receive a car with installed adequate adaptations from the ministry responsible for homeland war veterans every seven years. Besides the state regulations, some ICT providers provide cheaper phone, internet or cable TV services to persons with disabilities. Similar benefits are provided by some museums, theatres and transport providers.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

D8. Retirement income

Pension insurance is a part of the social security system that insures against the risks of losing income due to old age, disability and death of the family member realised in accordance with the Law on Pension Insurance (Official Gazette 157/2013, 151/2014, 33/2015, 93/2015, 120/2016, 18/2018). According to this Law, a physical impairment is considered to be a loss, serious impairment or significant inability of organs or body parts, which aggravates normal activity and requires greater efforts in performing daily needs, regardless of whether it causes or not the reduction or loss of working capacity (Art. 61). The percentage of physical impairment is determined on the basis of a special Ordinance on Assessment Methods (Official Gazzete Croatia, 67/2017) and types and percentages of impairment. The expertise is conducted on the basis of this list, and opinions are made on the type and degree of impairment with the purpose of realising the right to receive allowance because of physical impairment in accordance with the Law on Pension Insurance. The Law on the Protection of the Military and Civilian War-Disabled Persons regulates the rights of war-disabled veterans from the World War II, peacetime military disabled persons and civilian war disabled persons and members of their families. These groups of persons with disabilities are categorised, according to the determined percentage of the impairment, in ten groups. According to Art. 1 of the Law on Insurance with Increased Duration, persons with disabilities including: blind persons, persons with dystrophy and related muscular and neuromuscular diseases, persons with paraplegia, cerebral palsy and polio, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, deaf persons and persons with functional disorders due to which they cannot move independently without using a wheelchair, are enabled to realise rights from the pension insurance under more favourable conditions, in a way that the period spent in full time employment is counted into the years of insurance with increased duration (each 12 months of service is counted as 15 months, and the age limit for acquiring the right to an old age pension is lowered by one year for each five years of employment). The Law on Pension Insurance prescribes the conditions and manner of ensuring the right to professional rehabilitation of insured persons and pension beneficiaries (Articles 44-55) of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute who became disabled (professionally unfit for work) but who still have some remaining work capacity. This Law ensures the right to professional rehabilitation, but only for persons insured in the pension insurance system, not to all persons with disabilities. The pension amount is calculated by multiplying personal points with pension factor and actual pension value. Personal points depend on the duration of pension insurance and the wages that the insured persons was receiving during their career, and is determined by multiplying average value points by total duration of pension insurance and a starting factor. According to Article 86 of the Law on Supplement of Pension realised in accordance with the Law on Pension Insurance (Official gazette 79/07, 114/11), when personal points for disability pension are determined, if the partial or complete loss of working capability is caused by an injury at work or professional illness, value points for at least 40 year of pension insurance are taken into account.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

E. Education

E1. Special schools

Until the adoption of Law on Primary and Secondary Education in 2008 (Official Gazette 87/08, 86/09, 92/10, 105/10, 90/11, 5/12, 16/12, 86/12, 94/13, 136/14 , 152/14 and 7/17), children with more severe developmental difficulties could be educated in special educational institutions, mainly located in larger cities, county centres. With the new Law and adoption of the National Pedagogical Standards (State pedagogical standard for pre-school education, Official Gazette 63/2008, 90/2010; State pedagogical standard for primary education, Official Gazette 63/2008, 90/2010; State pedagogical standard for secondary education, Official Gazette 63/2008, 90/2010), education of pupils in special educational institutions is only exceptional in cases when the pupil also needs additional health and social care. By-law on primary and secondary education of students with disabilities (Official gazette (24/2015) regulates education of students with difficulties in regular schools and special organizations. This by-law specifies the types of difficulties on the basis of which students with disabilities are assigned appropriate education programmes and appropriate forms of assistance during their education. The by-law contains a list of the eligible difficulties and subgroups of difficulties in order to define the programme and appropriate professional support according to the individual students' needs. The by-law defines the appropriate programmes of education as: a regular programme with individualised procedures, a regular programme with the adaptation of content and individualised procedures, a special programme with individualised procedures, special programmes for the acquisition of competence in daily life activities, and work with individualised procedures. These programmes can be implemented either in regular class; or partly in regular and partly in a separate class; or in a separate class and in an educational group. The types of disabilities, appropriate training programmes and appropriate forms of assistance for individual students with disabilities are established by an expert committee responsible for determining the psychological and physical condition of a child. The Strategy of education, science and technology (2014) promotes inclusive education and provision of accessibility on all levels (from pre-school education to higher education and adult education). It states that it is necessary to expand the scope of activities of special educational institutions by providing education-rehabilitation support to the regular system of education, and expert support to parents. It is necessary to provide well-developed activities of institutions with special programmes as centres for support for early intervention, education, rehabilitation and diagnostics.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-05-31

E2. Mainstream schools

For pupils with developmental difficulties, legislative and other measures ensure access to schools (spatial adaptation, classes with special programmes) and reasonable adaptation of school curriculum, from individualised approach in work to special programmes, as well as the possibility of conducting instructive classes at home or in healthcare institutions. The Law on Primary and Secondary Education states that the local government can provide funds for personal assistants in classes for pupils with special educational needs (Art. 143/ 3, Official Gazette 87/08, 86/09, 92/10, 105/10, 90/11, 5/12, 16/12, 86/12, 94/13, 136/14 , 152/14 and 7/17). The procedure of inclusion of students with difficulties is regulated by this law and by the By-law on primary and secondary education of students with disabilities (Official gazette 24/2015) which regulates schooling of students with difficulties in regular schools and special organisations. Personal assistants are not provided systematically, some are provided by the school founders (units of local and regional government), NGOs, with funding from international donors and with support from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. Funding is also available from the European Social Fund framework 'Ensuring assistants in class for the students with difficulties in elementary and secondary educational institutions'. Special procedure for the evaluation of children with difficulties is regulated by Article 5 of the By-law on ways, procedures and elements of evaluation of students in primary and secondary schools (112/10). There is an important strategic role in ensuring inclusive education for children with developmental difficulties contained in: the National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020 (Official Gazette 42/2017); the Law on Primary and Secondary Education (Official Gazette 87/2008, 86/2009, 92/2010, 105/2010, 90/2011, 16/2012, 86/2012, 126/2012, 94/2013, 152/2014), the Anti-discrimination Act (Official Gazette 85/2008, 112/2012) and the Strategy of education, science and technology (Official Gazette 124/2014). The Strategy of education, science and technology (2014) promotes inclusive education and provision of accessibility on all levels (from pre-school education to higher education and adult education). Regarding schools, it states that it is necessary to expand the scope of activities of special educational institutions by providing educational-rehabilitation support to the regular system of education, and expert support to parents.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

E3. Sign language and Braille in school

The National Pedagogical Standard regulates the right of a deaf child to an interpreter for the sign language in classes (State pedagogical standard for secondary education, Art. 47(5), Official Gazette 63/2008, 90/2010). Providing material in formats accessible to blind children in schools is regulated by the National pedagogical standards, for pre-school, elementary schools, and standards for secondary schools (Official Gazette 63/2008). By-law on primary and secondary education of students with disabilities (Official gazette 24/2015) specifies the types of impairments of students with disabilities, including hearing and visual impairments, and states that pedagogical and didactical adaptations that can be provided to a student in accordance with the student's difficulties include: adapted ICT equipment, specific didactical instruments and aids, textbooks adapted to special educational needs of students (regarding language, writing or media), electro-acoustic equipment and adapted means of communication. Law on textbooks for primary and secondary schools (Official gazette 27/10, 55/11, 101/13) defines that the Ministry is approving textbooks and supplementary materials that are printed in small number of copies, for students with developmental difficulties. According to Law on Croatian sign language and other means of communication of deaf and deaf-blind persons in Republic of Croatia (Official gazette 82/15, Article 14) deaf persons have the right to be educated using the assistance of system of communication of deaf and deaf-blind persons.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2016-03-21

E4. Vocational training

Inclusive education of pupils in secondary VET schools is regulated by the National Pedagogical Standard (State pedagogical standard for secondary education, Official Gazette 63/2008, 90/2010). The VET System Development programme 2016-2020 was passed in September 2016. This Programme mentions disabled students as a special group: disabled persons are mentioned in Measure 1.4. which foresees setting up regional centres of competence. Persons with disabilities are mentioned together with other vulnerable groups. The Programme also foresees acquiring competences for persons with disabilities and for students with difficulties based on specially adapted programmes that aim at their social inclusion. Before the start of the academic year, the Decision by the Minister defines the procedure of enrolling students, quotas in the first grades of high schools, the deadlines for application and enrolment and other conditions and procedures. This also defines the enrolment for children with difficulties. There is a structure for vocational education programs alongside the Decision which defines special programmes for children with difficulties. One of 17 members of the Council for vocational training and education (advisory body to the Minister of science, education and sports, responsible for VET) is a representative of national organizations of disabled persons, with the task of representing disabled learners in the Council (Vocational Education and Training Act, Art. 14 (1), Official Gazette 30/2009, 24/10, 22/13). The sector council (advisory and expert bodies responsible for defining necessary vocational qualifications) also includes representatives of national unions of persons with disabilities (Vocational Education and Training Act, Art. 16 (4)), Official Gazette 30/2009, 24/10, 22/13).

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-05-31

E5. Higher education

The Law on Science and Higher Education (Official Gazette 123/03, 198/03, 105/04, 174/04, 02/07, 46/07, 45/09, 63/11, 94/13, 139/13, 101/14,60/15, 131/17) does not include special provisions related to the rights of students with disabilities. This field is left to the university autonomy, although amendments to the legislative framework (with regard to relevant rulebooks) indicate progress towards more systematic organisation in ensuring the social rights of students with disabilities in the education and science system. Modification of the Law on science and higher education has defined that the Minister will regulate (through by-laws) the conditions and ways to realise the rights of regular students, that is: subsidised accommodation, subsidised meals, transport of students with disabilities, state scholarships, loans and other forms of financial support and employment through students' centres. The law has also regulated the Ministry’s obligation to keep a list of students with disabilities (Article 90). All major universities have established an Office for students with disabilities, responsible for granting equal conditions for studying for students with disability, providing information to students with disabilities and offering direct assistance. Full-time students with disabilities are entitled to financial support for transportation cost of 1,000 kunas per month (about EUR 135). According to the Ordinance on the conditions and manner of exercising the right to financial support to cover transport costs for full-time students with disabilities (Official Gazette 23/2015) the right to financial support for the part of the transportation costs of 1,000 kunas per month is realised by full-time students and postgraduate students with disabilities who are studying at universities in the Republic of Croatia, and who have at least 60% of physical and sensory impairment (in accordance with the Regulation on methodologies of expertise). Students who have enrolled in the same academic year for the second time are entitled to financial support if in the previous academic year they have acquired at least 30 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits. The decision on the full subsidy for participation costs of regular students in public higher education institutions in Croatia in the academic years 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 states that the right to full subsidy for participation costs is realised by full-time students who: 1) in the academic year 2015/16 or 2016/17 or 2017/18 for the first time enrolled in the first year of study; and 2) who at the beginning of the academic year 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 in the previous academic year earned at least 55 credits in the study program or at least 30 credits in case of students with disabilities (with impairment level of 60% or above). The Strategy of Education, Science and Technology (2014) promotes inclusive education and provision of accessibility on all levels (from preschool education to higher education and adult education). Regarding higher education, in the measure 6.4.3. the Strategy states that classes and assessment of knowledge, skill and capabilities should be adapted to students with disabilities and they have to be provided with an opportunity to prove, in a fair way, achievement of defined learning outcomes. According to the measure 6.4.4., assistive technology and teaching assistants for student with disabilities need to be provided.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

F. Employment

F1. Non-discrimination in employment

The Labour Act (Official Gazette 93/2014) and the Anti-discrimination Act (Official Gazette 85/2008, 112/2012) prohibit direct or indirect discrimination in the field of work and working conditions, including criteria for the selection and conditions of recruitment, promotion, career guidance, professional habilitation and training and retraining, in accordance with special laws. In addition, the Anti-discrimination Act prohibits encouraging discrimination and failure to make reasonable adaptations.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2015-02-27

F2. Public employment services

The Croatian employment service is responsible for the implementation of active employment policy measures of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, and some of these measures relate to population groups with reduced employability, including persons with disabilities. In 2017, the new Law on Mediation in Employment and Rights During Unemployment was passed (Official Gazette 16/2017). Article 26 of this law regulates vocational rehabilitation which enables unemployed persons with disabilities to gain knowledge and skills required for employment or to maintain a job. In order to prepare the unemployed persons with disabilities for employment, the Employment bureau may direct a person to the following processes of vocational rehabilitation:

  1. determining pertaining work and general abilities;
  2. work training, education and programs for maintaining and improving work and social skills and abilities up to the moment of employment; and
  3. individual and group programs for improving work-social inclusion in the community.

According to Article 54, persons with disabilities who are war veterans and who were granted the right to vocational rehabilitation receive an allowance from the pension system.
The period during which an unemployed war veteran with disabilities receives vocational rehabilitation is counted as time spent working for the purpose of determining the rights to a financial subsidy.
Since March 2017, the Government passed nine measures of active employment policies. The key measures for persons with disabilities are the Employment Support and the Public Works scheme. The Employment Support measure lasts up to 12 months. Under this measure, employers get financial compensation for the work of the employee up to 50% of his/her annual salary or 75% in case of persons with disabilities. The Public Works scheme measure is based on initiatives of the local community or civil society organisations. The aim is to include unemployed persons in an activation program in public work. This measure may also be used by persons with disabilities. For persons with disabilities,100% of the minimum salary is financed in the amount of 3.839,47 Kuna (about EUR 517).
The Croatian Employment Service plays an important role in ensuring assistance for the employment of persons with disabilities. According to Article 5 of the Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with disabilities, the Croatian Employment Service decides at the first instance of gaining rights to professional rehabilitation of the unemployed persons with disabilities.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

F3. Workplace adaptations

The Anti-discrimination Act (Official Gazette 85/2008, 112/2012) states that discrimination includes a failure to provide persons with disabilities, in accordance with their specific needs, access to the workplace and satisfactory working conditions, which should be granted by adapting the infrastructure and space, by using equipment or in any other way. The Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities (Art. 7, Official Gazette 157/2013, 152/2014, 39/2018) defines that reasonable workplace adaptations relate to necessary and appropriate adaptation and adjustments, which do not represent a disproportionate or inappropriate burden, in order to ensure, on an individual basis, and where it is needed, that the person with disability can be employed and work on an equal basis. The By-law on Incentives for Employment of Persons with disabilities (Official Gazette 44/2014, 2/2015, 13/2015, 113/2016, 116/2017) regulates the conditions and manner of realising the right to incentives for employment that are provided to an employer who employs persons with disabilities, to persons with disabilities engaged in integrative workshops and protective workshops and/or to self-employed persons with disabilities, and include special incentives such as: single material payments, education of persons with disabilities; funds for adaptation of the workplace and architectural adaptation (Articles 15-20); funds for adaptation of the workplace and technical adaptations (Articles 21-26); co-financing interest on credit funds under favourable conditions and co-financing of work therapist expenses. There are special conditions for adaptation of working places in work centres which are regulated by the By-law on conditions regarding premises, equipment and professional workers in work centres (Official gazette 2/06), where persons work who due to their impairments cannot be included in other forms of labour.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

F4. Financial incentives

On 1 January 2014, the new Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with disabilities came into force (Official Gazette no.157/13, 152/14, 39/2018). Pursuant to Article 7 of this Law, persons with disabilities can be employed in the open labour market or under special conditions along with the obligation to ensure reasonable accommodation of the workplace by the employer. An employer who employs at least 20 employees must employ, at the appropriate workplace, according to his/her choice, in the appropriate working conditions, a number of persons with disabilities, depending on the total number of employees and the activities being performed (Article 8 of the Law). The quota (or number of persons with disabilities) that the employer must employ is different according to the size of the business and cannot be less than 2% or more than 6% of the total number of employees. If the employer fails to fulfil this obligation, and does not employ the number of persons with disabilities prescribed by the Law, he will pay a fine. However, the employer does not have to pay any fine if he makes one or more agreements on business cooperation with a person with disabilities who is self-employed, or accepts pupils with developmental difficulties or students with disabilities for practical on-the-job training. In Article 3 of the By-law on incentives for employment of persons with disabilities (Official Gazette 44/2014, 2/2015, 13/2015, 113/16, 116/17) the incentives for employers that employ persons with disabilities can be the following:

  • salary subsidy for persons with disabilities;
  • co-financing of education costs for persons with disabilities;
  • co-financing of the workplace adjustment costs for persons with disabilities;
  • co-financing of working conditions adjustment costs for persons with disabilities;
  • co-financing of interests on credit funds for the procurement of equipment, tools or accessories needed for employment of a person with disability;
  • co-financing of professional support costs;
  • special funds for innovative programs of employing persons with disabilities.

Integrative workshop can receive the following incentives: salary subsidy for a person with disabilities, co-financing of the education costs for a person with disabilities, co-financing of the working conditions adaptation costs for a person with disabilities, co-financing of interests on credit funds for the procurement of equipment, tools or accessories needed for employment of a person with disabilities, special funds for the development of new technologies and business processes with the objective of employment and maintenance of employment in sheltered workshops and integrative workshops.
Sheltered workshop can receive the following incentives: salary subsidy for a person with disabilities, co-financing of interests on credit funds for the procurement of equipment, tools or accessories needed for the employment of a person with disabilities, special funds for the development of new technologies and business processes with an objective of employing and maintaining employment in sheltered workshops and integrative workshops.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

G. Statistics and data collection

G1. Official research

The Registry of persons with disabilities is administered by the Croatian National Institute of Public Health. The Disability Prevention department of the Institute Epidemiology of chronic mass diseases service is responsible for the Registry, and publishes a Report on persons with disabilities. The Law on the Croatian Registry of Persons with Disabilities (Art. 19, Official Gazette 64/2001) regulates the manner of publishing and collecting data from the Croatian Registry of Persons with Disabilities on the cause, type, degree and severity of health impairment of persons with disabilities. In accordance with Art. 43 of the Directive on the internal structure of the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy (Official Gazette, 43/17), the Section for Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with disabilities and Guardianship creates reports relating to the field for which it is responsible. The Croatian Employment Service, on the basis of Art. 9 of the Law on Mediation in Employment and Entitlements During Unemployment (Official Gazette 16/2017), manages the register of unemployed persons and other persons seeking employment and presents those data. The data are presented in four basic categories: 1) registered unemployed persons; 2) new entrants to the register; 3) exits from the register; and 4) reported job vacancies. Data on registered unemployed persons are presented according to the following criteria: registered unemployment trends, by years and counties, educational background, unemployment duration, work experience, sectors of economic activity, occupations, municipalities and towns, Croatian war veteran status, persons with disability, unemployment benefit recipients. The Croatian Pension Insurance Institute, on the basis of Art. 104 of The Law on Pension Insurance (Official Gazette, 157/2013, 151/2014, 33/2015, 93/2015, 120/2016, 29/2018) manages the primary register of persons that are insured, persons obliged to pay contributions and persons who are beneficiaries of pension insurance. It also publishes a Newsletter with the 'Statistical Information of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute' (Statisticke informacije) about insured persons and pensioners and the amounts of pensions (available only in Croatian). In all data, the number of persons with disability pensions is stated.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

G2. Census data

The Croatian Bureau of Statistics (CBS) is a state administrative organisation, central authority, principal producer, disseminator and coordinator of the official statistics system of the Republic of Croatia. The operation of the CBS is based on The Official Statistics Act (Official Gazette 103/03, 75/09, 59/2012) Its regular statistical surveys are based on the Programme of Statistical Surveys of the Republic of Croatia 2008-20012 (Official Gazette 65/08) and Programme of Statistical Surveys of the Republic of Croatia 2013-2017 (Official Gazette 69/13) , which also includes other institutions and ministries that make, together with the Bureau, the system of the official statistics. The Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011 was carried out in the Republic of Croatia from 1 to 28 April 2011 on the basis of the Act on the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in the Republic of Croatia in 2011 (Official Gazette 92/10). As opposed to the 2001 Census when a question on any type of disability had been asked, in the 2011 Census a question on difficulties in performing activities of daily living due to a long-term illness, disability or old age was asked. The intention was to obtain the number of persons with difficulties in the functioning in everyday life. The answer to this question was given independently of the certificate issued by competent government institutions confirming the person's difficulties (disability, impairment, handicap). According to Act on census The Central Bureau of Statistics shall publish and disseminate statistical data collected by the Census on web site (www.dzs.hr) and in printed publications. (Statistical reports).

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

G3. Labour Force Survey

The Labour Force Survey is conducted by The Croatian Bureau of Statistics in accordance with the Programme of Statistical Surveys of the Republic of Croatia 2018-2020 (Official Gazette 31/2018). The first Labour Force Survey in Croatia was conducted in November 1996 and the second one in June 1997. In order to fulfil the need for more frequent data collection and following the example of the European countries and recommendations of international institutions, the Labour Force Survey was carried out continuously since 1998 until 2006, meaning that every month a part of the total sampled households was interviewed and data were processed semi-annually. Since 2007, the Labour Force Survey has been carried out continuously, that is, households are interviewed throughout the year, which means that every week is both a reference and interviewing week. Collected data are processed and published in quarterly dynamics. The survey results for the Labour Force Survey are also published in other statistical publications: the Statistical Yearbook, the First Release, the Monthly Statistical Report and the Statistical Information. The methodology for the Survey is fully harmonised with regulations of the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), results for the Republic of Croatia are regularly published on the web pages and in all Eurostat's publications, thus enabling the comparison of the Republic of Croatia with all EU Member States.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

G4. Disability equality indicators

There are neither national/regional monitoring points for disability equality indicators, nor comprehensive independent monitoring mechanisms. Most indicators are separately presented in annual reports of the Ombudsman, the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, the Croatian National Institute of Public Health, as well as education agencies, institutions that are part of the University, and the Croatian employment service.
These reports have been supplemented by the gap analysis of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The objective is to determine whether national indicators contain Convention indicators and whether the national strategy should be corrected in that sense. The important part of this analysis is the analysis of the standards of equality and discrimination (Article 5 of the Convention).
The United Nations Development Programme in Croatia (UNDP) has also implemented a project since 2009 on Support in Applying Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanisms for the Implementation of the National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2007-2015.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

H. Awareness and external action

H1. Awareness raising programs

Measure 9.3 of the National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (2017-2020) states that it is necessary to raise public awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities by implementing various activities contributing to general tolerance for diversity in society and the reduction of stereotypes and of discrimination against persons with disabilities. In Accordance with Article 6 of the Law on the Ombudsman for persons with disabilities (Official gazette 107/07), the Ombudsman for persons with disabilities is advocating protection and promotion of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities; and public activities are an important instrument in realising these tasks. Part of the activities relate to the implementation of the Anti-discrimination Act by the Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, established by the Directive on the Office for Human Rights and National Minorities (Official Gazette, 42/2012). One of the main tasks is to raise public awareness of the discrimination problem. According to Art. 5, the Office for Human Rights pays special attention to promoting cooperation with the non-governmental sector, by including representatives of civil society organisations into activities of national bodies responsible for specific areas of human rights and development of national programmes. Cooperation with civil society organisations takes place through co-financing of programmes and projects of organizations from the areas of protection, promotion and respect of human rights. The Ministry of Culture is financially supporting programmes which help promoting and raising public awareness about the equality and rights of disabled women and men. The activities of the national sports associations, the Croatian Olympic Committee, the Croatian Paralympic Committee and the Croatian Sports Association of Deaf Persons are considered to be public awareness raising at the national level according to The Law on Sport (Art. 54). The Croatian Paralympic Committee raises awareness on disability issues and equal treatment of Paralympic athletes through public campaigns. Each year, a Festival of equal opportunities takes place in Zagreb. During the festival, which lasts several days, a number of performances, concerts and other events are organized in various locations around the city centre. The performers and participants are persons with disabilities and other artists. The objective of the festival is to raise awareness about disability, present artistic capabilities of persons with disabilities and share the message that persons with disabilities should enjoy the same rights and obligations as other citizens.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

H2. Training for teachers

All universities within the initial teacher training have a mandatory course on inclusive education, Inclusive pedagogy (Zagreb and Rijeka) or Pedagogy of children with special needs (Zadar). In Zagreb a new university course has been introduced: “Peer Support for Students with disabilities”. The course is open to all students who are enrolled in any faculty or academy at the University on undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate level. Teachers of the physical and health culture who have part of their education at the Faculty of kinesiology can also take an elective course “Sport of persons with disabilities”

The Education and teacher training agency is responsible, on the basis of Law on Education and teacher training agency (Official Gazette 85/06) for organization and implementation of professional further training of educational workers and headmasters (Art. 4). In cooperation with the Agency for Vocational Training and Adult Education (Official Gazette 24/10.) professional training of teachers in primary and secondary schools for work with pupils with difficulties is organized. Where required, such education is ensured for a particular pupil and school.

According to Art. 2 of Law on education-rehabilitation activity (Official Gazette 124/11) education-rehabilitation activity relates to individually or group-focused procedures and measures based on principles and insights of education-rehabilitation science and practice which includes promotion of participation of disabled persons in all forms of public life and processes of public decision-making, education-rehabilitation supervision, support regarding advancement of professional competences for improvement of services provided to beneficiaries. Educational activities include education of individuals and groups with the objective of acquisition of professional competences of education-rehabilitation education. According to Art. 4, Croatian chamber of educational-rehabilitators determines, during the procedure for awarding license for independent work, whether conditions from the Paragraph 1 of this article have been met.

The Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, in addition to training professional logopaedists, education rehabilitators and social pedagogues, also conducts classes in graduate studies of some teacher faculties and trainings of teachers from primary and secondary schools for gaining competences required for the work in an inclusive class.

On the basis of Art. 23 of By-law on Ph.D. studies on University of Zagreb, since 2012 Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences has been implementing Ph.D. programmes Prevention sciences and disability study.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

H3. Training for lawyers

Initial training for lawyers includes disability issues only as part of lectures on human rights, European public law, work and social law or social policy (Universities in Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek and Split). Disability issues are included in graduate study courses on human rights. There are no special courses for graduate studies which would relate to disability. At the Faculty of Law at the University in Osijek, a postgraduate specialist study on 'human rights' is implemented, within which there is a course on 'Protection of rights of persons with disabilities'. The Croatian legal centre is implementing legal education on human rights for experts and activists. That way they try to make positive effects on the legal profession, public opinion and contribute to a better understanding of the significance of legal instruments in the protection of human rights. They prepare and organise workshops for acquiring legal knowledge on legislation and legal practice in the field of protection of human rights. One of such projects was entitled 'Use your rights! Ensuring Equal Opportunities and Non-discrimination at the Local Level'. The National Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020 (measure 8.8) states that it is necessary to organise targeted education and training of police and judicial employees about rights from the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
On the basis of Art. 3 of the By-law on the Activity of the Committee for Monitoring and Improvement of Criminal Proceedings and Penalties for Juveniles of the Ministry of Justice (Official Gazette 20/2012), the Committee creates proposals for the Ministry of Justice regarding programmes for the professional training of judges, state attorneys, lawyers and other professionals working on activities of penal protection of children and juveniles and criminal activities of juveniles and younger adults with the objective of prevention of criminal behaviour and timely discovery, processing and adequate penalisation of perpetrators.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

H4. Training for doctors

Medical faculties do not have special departments or syllabus which relate to disability, these issues are included in other parts of the education (Medical faculty in Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek). These issues are especially present in Orthopaedics and Physical and Rehabilitation medicine. Within the module 5 'Health care for vulnerable social groups' of the course Medical Humanities – Medical Ethics, there is a special topic which relates to persons with disabilities (University in Split). The Croatian National Institute of Public Health, in accordance with Art. 100 of the Health Care Act, recommends that further training of health care workers regarding disability should be implemented (namely, a course within the post-graduate programme Disabled Persons). According to the Zagreb Strategy of Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2011-2015, the Andrija Štampar School of Public Health, should organise the education of health workers (doctors in primary medical care, nurses, dentists, gynecologists) regarding communication skills and the appropriate approach to disabled persons. The Education-Rehabilitation faculty has introduced a post-graduate programme on Disabled Persons and Special Education which includes lectures on the significance of the National Strategy for Disabled Persons, the development of disability epidemiology and opportunities for inclusion of students in the implementation of the Strategy. In 2012, a PhD programme started in the faculty. According to the By-law on Specialist Further Training of Doctors of Medicine (Official gazette 100/11, 133/11, 54/12, 49/13, 139/14, 116/15, 62/16, 69/16, 6/17) disability is present in several specialisations: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Occupational and Sports Medicine (where one of the elements is prosthetics, orthotics and rehabilitation); Public Health Medicine (contains contents which relate to reports on persons with disabilities and the National Strategy for Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, use of programme system of the Registry of person with disabilities, issues of accessibility and specific characteristics of dealing with all kind of disabilities and cooperation of non-governmental organisations and institutions on solving the problems).

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

H5. Training for engineers

The National Strategy of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities 2017-2020 (Measure 6.9.: To stimulate Universal Design Development) states that it is necessary to encourage the implementation of Universal Design through education of vocational school employees. Cooperation with NGO and Chambers is foreseen in the implementation of the Strategy. The accessibility of objects and design adapted to persons with disabilities are not special courses at the University, but are incorporated in programmes of the Faculty of Architecture, Faculty of Civil Engineering or Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. Seminars and final thesis are written on that subject and faculties publish books on that subject (for example Architecture without barriers in educational facilities, Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb).

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

H6. International development aid

Croatia has been primarily a recipient rather than a donor of international development aid. As a new EU member, Croatia is mostly counting on European social funds. That means that within a number of policy documents created at local or national level, key improvements in everyday life of persons with disabilities are seen as dependent on the EU funds (deinstitutionalisation, integration of children with disabilities in regular schools, integration in labour market, rehabilitation). This approach can be seen in the documents of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of the Republic of Croatia, the Operational Programme 'Competitiveness and Cohesion' and 'Efficient human resources' for the period from 2014 to 2020, which have been published. In these operational programmes, all key challenges of the Croatian disability policy are listed (school integration, gender dimension of disability, enhancing access to affordable, sustainable and high quality services, including health care and social services for persons with disabilities, access to lifelong learning, implementation of Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities). The Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy took part in the EU PROGRESS programme and is planning to continue activities through the Programme for Social Changes and Innovations – PSCI project. The government office for NGOs has prepared a review of opportunities for inclusion of civil society organisations in the use of the EU structural funds. One of the priorities is the inclusion of vulnerable groups into the labour market, their education and social inclusion (especially in rural areas).

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Update date: Thu, 2018-08-23

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