The Catalan Ombudsman meets with the authorities of the Council of Europe to address criteria for the protection of human rights and to inform about the situation in Catalonia


Rafael Ribó met with Thorbjørn Jagland (Secretary General) and Dunja Mijatović (European Commissioner for Human Rights), among others

The Catalan Ombudsman has delivered the report on the events of October 1 in Catalonia and the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which will be debated on November 7 in the Plenary of the Parliament

Rafael Ribó, Catalan Ombudsman and European President of the IOI (International Ombudsman Institute), has traveled on 30 and 31 October 2018 to Strasbourg and Paris to meet with the main European authorities in the field of people's rights.

In Strasbourg, he has met with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland; the European Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović; the head of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Günter Schirmer, and the Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

Ribó has met separately with them to address the role that European ombudsmen play in difficult times in the history of the European Community. He has emphasized the challenges and obstacles that must be tackled, such as populism, xenophobia and setbacks in human rights.

These issues were dealt with comprehensively in Barcelona in 2016 and 2017 within the framework of two seminars in which ombudsmen from all over the world participated and made two joint statements. The task of the ombudsman and the contributions that this institution can make to the current situation have also been debated in the last European Congress of the IOI, recently held in Brussels, in which the focus was on participation -from a local to a global level-,transparency and the application and utility of the international standards in the task of ombudsmen institutions.

During these meetings, the Catalan Ombudsman informed the Council of Europe about the situation in Catalonia, and referred to the need to demand the Spanish Government the report on the police action of October 1, 2017. He has also proposed that the possibility of sending observers to the trials of Catalan leaders and parliamentarians be studied, and has delivered the institution's report on the Violation of fundamental rights and public freedoms on the occasion of the criminal reaction to October 1 and the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, published on May 2017. 

Ribó has also met with the European Commissioner for Human Rights, with whom he addressed issues of concern for both institutions, such as migration flows and emerging human rights.

The meeting of the Venice Commission, which took place in the Council of Europe's office in Paris on Wednesday, October 31, aims to work on the document on principles for the protection and promotion of ombudsman institutions (Principles of Venice ). During the drafting process the main authorities and reference institutions in the field of human rights have been consulted.

The Paris meeting was attended by representatives of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), the Association of Ombudsmen and Mediators of the French-speaking World (AOMF), the Iberoamerican Federation of Ombudsman (FIO), the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI ) and the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen.