Human life and human dignity know no national boundaries, but their promotion and protection is the primary duty of States. State institutions and their representatives have a special responsibility to act in all their activities with due regard for international and constitutional guarantees of equal treatment and to act in the public service with respect for the human dignity of all members of society, irrespective of origin, national or ethnic affiliation or any other membership of a minority group. The International Day of Remembrance of the Roma Holocaust reminds us that acting against extremist views is also our common responsibility, so that the horrors of the Second World War are never repeated under any circumstances.
General Comment 1/2022 of the Minority Ombudsman reviews the complaints relating to the application for war care benefits: war invalid allowance, war widows’ benefit and former war invalid dependants’ benefit.
The Minority Ombudsman, Deputy State Secretary Katalin Victor Langerné and Government Commissioner Attila Sztojka visited three settlements in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County, where they learned about the situation of Roma people fleeing from Ukraine, the services and challenges they face.
An NGO has requested the intervention of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights because of a disproportionate number of infringement proceedings for unjustified school absences in a municipality in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county. This practice, according to the organisation, has targeted families with many children, living in extreme poverty, most of them of Roma origin, who often have serious difficulties in paying the fines, and the conversion of unpaid fines into detention has also endangered the care and provision of their children. In addition to the general complaint, the petitioner also asked for an investigation into a family with several children, as the mother of ten children had been the subject of 17 infringement proceedings during the period under review.
The Minority Ombudsman launched an investigation into the case, which also raises systemic problems.
8 April is a worldwide celebration of the values of Roma culture. However, in recent years – and also this year – the whole world has experienced and is experiencing crises unprecedented in decades, and it is therefore essential that, in addition to highlighting the importance of Roma culture, we also draw attention to current social challenges on this day.
Since the beginning of my mandate as Minority Ombudsman, I have paid special attention to the local and national electoral procedures affecting the thirteen nationality communities in Hungary. As in previous years, I have focused particular attention to the 2022 parliamentary elections, including the first stage of the list-setting process, which closed on 31 January.
I would like to express my sympathy and support to the entire Ukrainian nationality community living in Hungary for the aggression against Ukraine and its consequences. I am convinced that only the preservation of our humanity, unconditional respect for human rights and cooperation without national and ethnic stigmatisation of our neighbours will enable us to overcome all difficulties!
The Roma Youth Conference, organized in cooperation by the European Youth Centre Budapest, Phiren Amenca and the National Youth Council, took place on 8 November, with the aim of strengthening the social participation and the participation in public life of Roma young people.
On October 12 and 13, 2021, the UN Human Rights Council and the Tom Lantos Institute hosted the European Regional Forum on Human Rights of Minorities and Conflict Prevention online, in which the Minority Ombudsman participated as a key professional participant.
The Minority Ombudsman attended an event organized by the Holocaust Memorial Center, the Roma Holocaust Memorial Committee and the Ministry of Interior on the occasion of the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day (August 2) and was the principal patron of the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day organized by the National Roma Self-Government.
The Minority Ombudsman also participated in the international conference organised on the occasion of the Hungarian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, where she gave a presentation on the current trends in the protection of the rights of nationalities living in Hungary and the possibilities for further action.