Our Activities

In connection with our mission and goals, we have actively participated in a number of campaigns run by non-governmental organisations. During the pre-election period in 1998, our organisation provided backing to Šarlota Pufflerová, a spokesperson of the Občianska kampaň ’98 (Civic Campaign ’98). We were similarly active prior to the general election of 2002, in promoting the Act on Free Access to Information, drafting a constitutional amendment, establishing the office of the Public Defender of Rights – Ombudsman, as well as in activities carried out by various civic associations such as Ľudia proti rasizmu (People Against Racism), Stop konfliktu záujmov (Stop the Conflict of Interest), etc.

After another legislative change, the foundation changed its legal form. In November 2002, our organisation was registered as a civic association under the name of Občan a demokracia (Citizen and Democracy – OaD). With the growing number of activities performed, the scope and volume of our operations have also increased. However, the existing social conditions still fail to provide enough room and possibilities for systematic functioning of independent non-governmental organisations. Practical consequences of this situation are reflected in the lack of human and financial resources compared to the volume of problems being addressed. Our organisation also has to constantly take measures to ensure its sustainable operation. In light of the current state of play concerning insufficient enforcement and protection of human rights by public authorities, which has long been adversely affecting the development in Slovak society and its values, we have decided to update our priorities. With new core activities, our name has changed as well – since 7 January 2010, our civic association has been known as Občan, demokracia a zodpovednosť (Citizen, Democracy and Accountability).

We still advocate the idea and values of open society based on the respect for civil and human rights. We endeavour to raise public legal awareness (in particular in relation to public authorities) and public participation in decision-making on public affairs. We defend citizens’ interests and rights and, in selected cases, provide legal assistance as well. At the same time, we seek to systematically improve work performed by public authorities with the aim of changing unsatisfactory practices of public administration bodies and institutions.

The key element of our current activities is to hold public authorities consistently accountable for the missing systematic enforcement of human rights. Therefore, we primarily focus on the realisation of a right to human dignity for all, protection against discrimination and women’s human rights. We work towards positive changes in society at all levels – from individuals up to systematic changes in governance. Direct involvement in law-making and public policy-making is a substantial component of our activities. We also provide comprehensive accredited trainings to the public and private sector on (anti)discrimination and gender equality in particular. We continue our efforts to provide information to people on their rights, to develop their social and legal skills, as well as encourage them to actively exercise their rights and participate in public affairs. In addition, we strive to contribute to providing room for a dialogue between public authorities and civil society.

© 2010 Občan, demokracia a zodpovednosť