Visit of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission
Four representatives of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission visited the Austrian Ombudsman Board on 23 March 2011. The institution active since 2005 is based on the constitution of Ethiopia and is provided with a comprehensive mandate to protect human rights.
Its many tasks include in particular the handling of complaints regarding human rights violations, human rights education in schools, creating awareness of human rights in collaboration with the Ethiopian media, and networking with actors of civil society. Since the EHRC is a very young state institution, the exchange with other institutions that have similar functions is of particular importance.
In the talks with Ombudswomen Dr. Gertrude Brinek and Mag.a Terezija Stoisits basic questions concerning Ombudsman activities were discussed. Both the EHRC and the Austrian Ombudsman Board strive to be easily accessible for the population and to identify grievances quickly. The Austrian Ombudsman Board achieves this goal by regularly holding consultation days in the different states; due to its size, the EHRC is about to create local offices in addition to the main office building in the capital Addis Ababa. In addition, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission takes the opportunity to spread their concerns and human rights issues through the education and university system - 18 million pupils and students in the state should serve as multipliers.