• Croatia, the newest European Union member state as of July 1, 2013, faces ongoing challenges in human rights protection. People with mental and intellectual disabilities remain stuck in institutions despite a national strategy to move towards community-based living arrangements. Reception centers for asylum seekers and refugees are overcrowded, and unaccompanied migrant children lack special protection. Greater efforts are needed to protect the rights of ethnic Serbs and Roma, including improving access to a program designed to help Serbs stripped of housing rights during the war, and facilitating access to medical care and education for Roma who lack identity documents.



  • May 28, 2014
  • Jan 21, 2014
    European Union (EU) leaders in 2013 acknowledged problems of rising intolerance and persistent human rights violations across the EU, but failed to take concerted action, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014.
  • Jan 21, 2014
    Governments in the Western Balkans did little during 2013 to address longstanding human rights problems, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014.
  • Nov 4, 2013
    When I was growing up in Greece, my grandparents often told me that if I didn’t eat my food, they would call the Gypsies to take me away. Sadly, the old myths about Roma snatching babies were revived after police took a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl named Maria into custody in a Roma settlement in Farsala, central Greece, on October 16.
  • Jul 9, 2013
    By most measures, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is the gold standard for international justice.
  • Jul 2, 2013
    Moving boxes were everywhere in the office of the EU delegation in Zagreb when I visited in early June. As Croatia joined the Union on July 1, the EU delegation in Zagreb is closing shop. But just because Croatia has been formally admitted to the Union doesn’t mean that it has met all its human rights obligations under EU law.
  • Jun 28, 2013
    Croatia’s accession to the EU includes assuming the obligation to respect the principles of human dignity, democracy, and human rights as enshrined in the EU Treaty and further outlined in the legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights. The government should use the formal accession as an opportunity to further strengthen the protection of human rights in several areas of concern and implement necessary measures to improve legislation and practices.
  • Jun 28, 2013
    Croatia’s European Union (EU) accession on July 1 is an opportunity for the government to show its commitment to safeguard human rights and to properly address outstanding abuses in the country, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter to the Croatian prime minister, Zoran Milanović.
  • Apr 10, 2013

    A public debate at the UN on April 10 will serve up a revisionist denial of the worst killings in Europe since the end of World War II: the ethnic slaughter in the former Yugoslavia that horrified the world in the 1990s. While the session's ostensible purpose is to take "a closer look at the long-term impact of international criminal justice, in particular as it relates to reconciliation..." it is unlikely much thoughtful discussion will occur. 

  • Jan 31, 2013
    Human rights protection in the Western Balkans fails to match the region’s aspirations for European integration, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013. Human Rights Watch documented human rights concerns in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo during 2012.