• 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.



  • Sep 17, 2014
    This submission highlights Human Rights Watch’s concerns in Croatia, including developments in relation to human rights concerns identified during Croatia’s first Universal Periodic Review in 2009.It focuses on the rights of people with mental or intellectual disabilities; inadequate safeguards for unaccompanied migrant children, the human rights of minorities and accountability for war crimes.
  • Aug 25, 2014
  • 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 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.
  • 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.