The Catalan Ombudsman presents the institution’s international and cooperation responsibilities in the Parliament of Catalonia


(c) Parlament

Rafael Ribó mainly referred to the presidency duties he carries out for the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), from the European Board of Directors which he chairs, while also summarizing the cooperation programs that the Catalan Ombudsman has been conducting in the Balkans since 1999.

The Catalan Ombudsman Institution has been a member of the International Ombudsman Institute since 1994. The Institute brings together advocates or ombudsmen from eighty countries around the world. Rafael Ribó has been a member of the European Board of Directors of the IOI and has chaired this board since 2009. His appointment coincided with the European division secretariat general’s relocation to the offices of the Catalan Ombudsman in Barcelona.

Ribó also announced that the next European conference and assembly will be held next October in Barcelona under the title, “Europe, an open society”. Some 80 delegations from around the continent are expected to attend.

The Catalan Ombudsman is also an active member of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC), the European network of children’s rights advocates, the Latin American Ombudsman Association (FIO) and the Ombudsmen Association of French-speaking countries (AOMF), a group of mainly French-speaking ombudsmen.

The international relations and membership in these associations allow the Catalan Ombudsman to enjoy the advantages of networking and exchanging information and experiences with ombudsmen from around the world, while also internationally disseminating the work carried out by the Catalan Ombudsman in the defence of rights.

With the cooperation projects  that have been underway in the Balkans since 1999, the Catalan Ombudsman aims to contribute to the reinforcement of the rule of law, the Justice Administration and the promotion and defense of human rights through specific projects, study visits and exchanges, training seminars, round table discussions, conferences, and continued technical advising to public institutions of other countries.

The most recent projects have included the implementation of a free legal aid system in Serbia (2004-2010), the Ombudsman as a driver for improvements in the Justice Administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2005-2008) and support for the Serbian Ombudsman (2008-2010).