On October 20th and 21st, Dr. Petar Teofilović, from the University of Novi Sad, gave lectures dedicated to Special Mechanisms for Minority Protection and Representation: Ombudspersons and Minority Councils in Chisinau and Comrat respectively.
These lectures took place within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Programme, run by the European Center for Minority Issues and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
The seminar in Chisinau was also held in cooperation with the Bureau for Interethnic Relations of Moldova, and the seminar in Comrat, in cooperation with the Executive Committee of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia.
In his lecture, Dr. Teofilović shared his vision and practical experience with the participants, while addressing questions regarding the role of the Ombudsperson institution and its legal status. Dr. Teofilović raised the issues of human rights legislation implementation and of the extent of the Ombudsperson’s powers. He also told the participants about his activities as the first Ombudsman in Serbia and illustrated the discussion about the cooperation of authorities with ethno-national communities with real-life examples.
Representatives of the Moldovan central government, officials from the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia, civil society activists, ethno-national community heads and representatives, members of the academic community and participants in the working group from Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova all took part in the seminars.
About the lecturer:
From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Teofilović served as senior advisor at the Provincial Secretariat for National Minorities in Vojvodina. In 2003, he was appointed Provincial Ombudsman, becoming the first Ombudsman in Serbia. For his contribution to human rights protection, Dr. Teofilović received the honor of being selected as the Person of the Year in Serbia by the OSCE in 2006. He was also awarded the Konstantin Obradović prize by the Belgrade Center for Human Rights in 2007.
Dr. Teofilović currently teaches Human Rights Protection, Constitutional, Criminal and Administrative Law at the University of Novi Sad.