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The President of the Republic nominates Zdenka Čebašek - Travnik for the human rights ombudswoman

Ljubljana, 11/21/2006  |  press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Janez Drnovšek, today proposes to the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia to elect Dr. Sc. Zdenka Čebašek - Travnik, MD, specialist in psychiatry, as the human rights ombudswoman.

The letter sent by President Drnovšek to the National Assembly gives information on the candidate and explanation of the proposal:

Dr. Sc. Zdenka Čebašek - Travnik, born 13 February 1955, is a doctor of medicine and a specialist in psychiatry. She is employed with the Clinical Hospital for Psychiatry in Ljubljana and was appointed a deputy medical director for educational activities in October 2004; since 1995, she has been engaged by the Faculty of Medicine and was appointed the teaching assistant at the chair for psychiatry in 1993.

In 1985, she completed her postgraduate psychopathology studies and in 1990 her psychotherapy studies. In 1993, she finished her studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Zagreb with the master's thesis Alcoholism and Other Addictions. She was also educated abroad: in 1994, at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, and in 1997 in London where she studied family therapy at the Institute of Family Therapy. She obtained her doctoral degree from the Faculty of Medicine in Ljubljana in 1998.

In the period 1979 to 1992, she was employed as a general practitioner at the Pomurje Health Centre; from 1983 to 1986, she specialised in psychiatry at the Psychiatric Hospital Vojnik near Celje. Her next employment was with the Clinical Hospital for Psychiatry in Ljubljana, namely with the Centre for Treatment of Alcohol Addiction; she headed the Centre in the period 1995 to 2000. From 2000 to 2004, she was the deputy head of the Clinical Department for Mental Health; in 2004, she was appointed the acting director of the Clinical Hospital for Psychiatry in Ljubljana.

Other functions:
Zdenka Čebašek - Travnik is a supervisory physician for the Medical Chamber of Slovenia; she has been a forensic expert for psychiatry since 1990; since 1991, she has acted as a counsellor and supervisor for the work with alcohol addicts; since 1994, she has been a coordinator of activities to reduce harmful alcohol use for Slovenia within the European Alcohol Action Plan, WHO; a supervisory mentor for the implementation of the secondment programme; a chief mentor for specialisation in psychiatry; and expert of the Pension and Disability Insurance Institute. She is a member of the expert group for liver transplantation, a member of working group for the preparation of guidelines on alcohol addiction treatment in Slovenia as well as of the international group and a member of the Alcohol Policy Council that is being set up with the Government of the RS. She is also a member of many other groups, committees, associations and commissions in Slovenia and abroad.

Other activities:
Dr. Sc. Zdenka Čebašek - Travnik publishes numerous articles in scientific and professional magazines at home and abroad. As a member of the Chair for Psychiatry within the Medical Faculty, she lectures to undergraduate students of medicine and dental medicine and postgraduate students of psychopathology. She is a lecturer on forensic psychopathology at the Faculty of Law and on psychopathology (substance dependence disorders) at the Faculty of Arts. She conducts seminars and workshops for experts in the field of prevention and treatment of substance dependence disorders attended by general practitioners, therapists treating persons addicted to alcohol and other psychoactive substances, nurses, phone counsellors for emotional distress, social workers, correctional officers and employees in economic activity.

In 2001, she was awarded a bronze plaque of the Association of Slovenian Cancer Societies.

She is fluent in English, German and Croatian.

Dr. Sc. Zdenka Čebašek - Travnik, the candidate for a new ombudswoman, meets all the conditions required by law and agrees to stand for the nomination.

In her activities so far, the candidate has shown a deep feeling for humans. Despite her narrow professional specialization – treatment of various forms of substance dependence disorders, she devoted considerable attention to social environment in which individuals called for her assistance. She equally devoted her work to a thorough research in detecting, comprehending and eliminating individual or social circumstances pushing young people or adults into a state of instability. Shaken human relations, be it in the family or society, often lead to or result from the violation of human rights, lack of respect for differences, different forms of intolerance as well as a lack of confidence in justice which a legal state and its bodies are to guarantee to each individual.

The candidate has a wide horizon of knowledge. Her every day work is complemented by a broad scientific and pedagogic work. Her cooperation with experts in other fields is excellent. She is a respectable forensic expert with a clear view of issues concerning the relations between the moral and the law, the pragmatic and the content-related, just and unjust, individual and society.

Her public initiatives and projects address human rights, human safety and healthy development. All this provides a basis of each legally regulated, socially sensitive and development oriented state policy.

Today's social and cultural circumstances pose a significant challenge to the candidate for the human rights ombudswoman to shape human relations of higher quality, at the same time taking account of the humanistic tradition and contemporary pragmatic understanding and enforcement of legislation in the field of human rights. This is the very reason why Dr. Sc. Čebašek - Tratnik is always and in every place, regardless of the counterpart's status, prepared to raise her voice and stake her word for the disadvantaged, the deceived or those in need. As a human rights ombudswoman she would, together with her co-workers, certainly make use of all powers and also carry out concrete activities that are a distinguishing feature of a successful human rights ombudswoman in any country.