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SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN CROATIA

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POVERTY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Law on Employment (1996) therefore anticipates numerous insurance measures during employment, as well as active employment policy initiatives.  The social insurance system is expected to be partially changed, since the passing of the new Law on Social Welfare and the new Law on Pension and Disability Insurance is in progress.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans     

Priorities in the area of poverty are (1) Activities and measures to lowering the unemployment rate and (2) the Programme on the reconstruction of housing, economic and transport facilities.

The Republic of Croatia is working toward the elaboration of a National Employment Policy on the basis of the labour market survey with the help of the International Labour Association.  The objectives of the national employment policy measures are:

The Croatian Employment Agency has, by means of its active policy measures, embraced 4,887 persons in the first half of 1996, out of which 3,125 fall within, and 1,762 fall outside of the economic sector.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

As a constituent part of the Stabilisation Programme, the Government of the Republic of Croatia initiated, in March 1993, a Social Programme, which encompasses, along with the social welfare area, portions of the employment, pension and disability insurance, health, and child allowance, among other systems. Along with the Social Programme, some additional measures and forms of social welfare have been established.

The  Croatian Employment Agency will, during the 1997-1999 period, within its financial possibilities, conduct the following programmes:

- educational activities programmes
- employment programmes
- self-employment programmes
- spatial and professional mobility programmes
- programmes for the employment of individual groups of the unemployed
- programmes for the adaptation of work places for special groups of employed persons, and
- programmes referring to employed persons, if keeping a job is thereby secured, and if the job is economically justifiable.

Status   

The consequences of war and the economic problems emerging from the transformation of former public property have lead to a decline in the standard of living of most of the population. The unemployed, the retired, the beneficiaries of various types of aid and social welfare, in conjunction with a portion of the employed and other persons (not counting refugees and exiles) find themselves in a particularly difficult position.

Challenges  

Unemployment is at the moment one of the most important problems of the Republic of Croatia.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

The rights and the forms of social welfare guaranteed to the beneficiaries are:

Payment in ready money:

- social minimum compensation
- regular financial help
- temporary financial help
- one-time financial help
- help in obtaining working and earning qualifications
- help and care bonus
- financial help for children'' equipment for a single unemployed parent
- one-time financial help for funeral expenses
- financial help for the personal needs of the beneficiary
- salary compensation for the parent of a severely handicapped child

Payment in kind:

- help in provisions
- help in fuel acquisition for the beneficiary of permanent financial help
- help in clothes and footwear acquisition
- help in the form of presents
- financial help for paying the public or communal company bills of singles
- help and care in the house
- help in food, clothes and footwear, help in other material goods from humanitarian and state-operated sources (provision packages, public kitchens, clothes, footwear, and other material goods).

The social welfare system affects pension insurance as well, owing to the considerable increase in the number of pensioners in contrast to the number of employed persons, and considering the relatively low pensions. The pension and disability insurance system comprises the following protective social provisions: minimal pension; protective bonus; help and care allowance; financial compensation for physical damage; the right of the physically or mentally disturbed child to a job qualification; guaranteed minimum pension; monthly allowance of 100 kunas; and border-line sum of the lowest pension, amounting to 615 kunas (approx. 100 USD).

Cooperation  

No information is available

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Croatia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: January 1998.

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DEMOGRAPHICS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Government views population and fertility growth rates as too low and it is therefore promoting policies to encourage population growth. For example, a three-year maternity leave for employed parents for every third and subsequent child has been adopted. The system of children's allowance is currently being changed, as is the Law on the Status of the Parent-Educator.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government's priority in this area to increase population and improve the demographic structure. Responsible for decision-making are the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia, the Government of the Republic of Croatia, and the Ministry of Development and Reconstruction.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The National Programme for Demographic Development, a strategic development document, was passed by the Croatian Parliament on January 18, 1996. With this, the population of uninhabited areas has begun.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

Funding is provided by the State budget, budgets of units of local government and self-government.

Cooperation

International cooperation in this area is primarily with UNICEF.

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This information was provided by the Government of Croatia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: January 1998.

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HEALTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The health system is designed in such a way as to ensure state involvement in all its structures, i.e. at the State level, at the county level (21 in all), and at the level of local units of government and self-government. The so-called Administrative Councils are in charge of health care, while their decisions are executed by institutional management. The Administrative Council is also in place as the strongest public insurance institution, covering mandatory health insurance. Additional health insurance is available as well, but only on a private basis.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Health policy has been formulated in the new edition of the Croatian policy and strategy as "Health for Everyone by the Year 2005", confirming the existence of a long-term health policy expanding into the next century.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

The Croatian health system was established by the newly- independent State. Legislation promotes universality of access, health promotion, and primary health care. The new health system also foresees integration with the issues of the entire physical, chemical, biological, and social environment, according to not only the provisions of Alma Ata (Declaration on Primary Health Care, 1978), but of Agenda 21 as well.

Between 1990 and 1995, Croatia was a victim of war aggression, which resulted in several tens of thousands of killed, disabled, and wounded. Material destruction was considerably great as well, including, inter alia, the destruction of sixteen hospitals. For that reason, great attention is given to the reconstruction of the health care infrastructure, and to the provision of measures promoting general access to health services for all Croatian citizens, mostly through primary health care.

Due to scarcity of financial means (the latest data indicate that health appropriations have been reduced by 50% in comparison to 1990), numerous cost containment measures are being implemented, but, despite that, numerous health gains have been simultaneously achieved due to the good organisation of health services. It should be noted that infant mortality rates have been reduced, which is generally accepted as a primary indicator of health status: before the war the infant mortality rate was 10.7. During the war period, it was 11.1 and 11.6 in 1991 and 1992 respectively, and was later reduced to 8.7 per 1000 live births in 1995. There has also been an increase in life expectancy, from 72.5 (1990) to 73.1 (1994), accompanied by the decrease in the maternal mortality rate, from 10.83 to 10.3.

Additional data also bare out the point that health protection and health promotion measures have been effective. For instance, the number of deaths attributed to cardiovascular diseases was reduced from 528.1 to 518.2 per 100.000 inhabitants.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

Financing is provided by the state budget and the budgets of the units of local government and self-government.

Cooperation

Regional and international cooperation, particularly with the World Bank and WHO, are very prominent in all aspects of Croatian health policy enforcement. With respect to the WHO, foremost consideration is to the National Health and Environmental Action Programme, being prepared in compliance to with the decision of the Second Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment (Helsinki, 1994). This programme envisages close cooperation between all health-promoting and environment-promoting activities. There is a broad-spectrum of intersectoral cooperation within Croatia in this respect, including experts from health care areas, environmental protection, economy, industry, tourism, and so forth.

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This information was provided by the Government of Croatia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: January 1998.

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EDUCATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The State Directorate for Environment (SDE) and the Ministry of Education and Sport established an Environmental Education Training Team, with the primary objective of making environmental education an integral part of standard education in elementary and secondary schools and also to establish different methods of education according to the principles of sustainability. Specialized meetings, workshops and training of teachers for environmental education are organized by this Team.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The State Directorate for Environment is working on the development of an information system for raising public awareness and knowledge on the environment, and on SDE activities in that area. During the past six years, the SDE has issued a monthly "Environment" magazine, intended for a broad reading public, ranging from elementary school students, leaders of eco-sections, NGOs and governmental bodies, to journalists, companies, institutes and environmental experts. It provides various environmental information, gives recommendations, praise, advice from the environmental area and provides reviews of important environmental events in Croatia and abroad. Communication with readers is established through polls and correspondence.

April 1996 saw the First Croatian Congress on Environmental Education, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Sport. The same Ministry assists in the introduction of the GLOBE Programme in all Croatian schools. 

The SDE also issues periodicals and translations of booklets, supporting the active contribution of NGOs. SDE organizes or supports various meetings, events and Programmes.  Since 1993, annual prizes and awards for achievements in environmental protection are being given as an incentive for valuable contributions in this area. The State Directorate awards the prizes on the 5th of June, the World Environment Day, together with holding the traditional press-conference. For 1996, prizes were awarded for the conservation of biodiversity, for tourism, agriculture and forestry, water and sea protection, and education.

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

Ministry of Science and Technology supports a number of national research projects, international cooperative projects, and more than 30 study programmes of environmental protection at universities. A special graduate study program for environmental protection at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering in Split was established at the beginning of 1982, and so far 30 graduates have acquired a diploma in Environmental Protection. Through its support to research projects and study programmes at faculties which are in close connection with eco-efficiency topics and clean production processes, the Ministry of Science and Technology is forcing an "eco-climate" in Croatia. A substantial part of eco-efficiency, like Total Quality Management (TQM) and enhancing corporate productivity are promoted through special courses at universities and recently, at the newly established Centre for Technology Transfer.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

   

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This information was provided by the Government of Croatia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: January 1998.

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HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Development and Reconstruction is conducting a National Reconstruction Programme, with the participation of other development entities. The Ministry of Physical Planning, Building and Housing, other ministries, state directorates and public companies work within their competencies. The ministries administer and direct state level documents and policy implementation, involving representative bodies of local authorities.

The Institute of Physical Planning, in cooperation with other institutions, prepares documents on the physical reconstruction of settlements and acts as an intersectoral coordinator.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The National Physical Planning Strategy and Programme are the basic documents encompassing integral development and physical planning issues and therefore, the issues of sustainable settlement as well. Single documents for particularly relevant and endangered areas, and those for large urban agglomerations, are to follow. Local institutions develop their own plans and programmes, to be adopted by the representative bodies of the local authorities.

Priority attention is being given to the reparation of war damage, with a special emphasis on settlement reconstruction and return of the exiles. The consequences of war have caused the abandonment of the destroyed areas and exerted pressure on cities.

The development of cities and other settlements so far is marked by underdeveloped infrastructure, the need for transformation of the economy, and for the improvement of environmental status. Efforts are being made to prepare physical plans for cities and other settlements, aiming towards a more humane spatial arrangement and a more efficient functioning of urban systems.

Major thematic priority areas include: (1) return of the refugees and exiles; (2) renewal of the housing fund and the building system; (3) renewal and development of communal and social infrastructure, and the economy; and (4) endangered environment clean-up.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

Financing is provided by the state budget and the budgets of the units of local government and self-government.

Cooperation

No information is available

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This information was provided by the Government of Croatia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: January 1998.

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