On September 28, 2017, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. László Székely and some experts from our Office (OPCAT experts Head of Department Dr. Gergely Fliegauf and Deputy Head of Department Dr. Katalin Haraszti) paid a visit to the Sopronkőhida Prison together with three experts from the Austrian Ombudsman Board (Volksanwaltschaft), in order to exchange their experience focusing on the OPCAT NPM.
On October 5, 2017, within the frameworks of his two-day visit to Hungary, Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), paid a visit to the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary. Members of the delegation headed by Director O’Flaherty included Adviser on Fundamental Rights Issues John Kellock and Legal Research Officer Tamás Molnár.
Hearing of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights at the Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly
The Judiciary Committee supported, with ten yes votes and two abstentions, that the National Assembly put the report on the activities of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in 2016 on the agenda of its plenary meeting.
Coordination meeting of the Ombudsman for Future Generations and the professional water management organizations on the protection of underground waters
The Ombudsman for Future Generations has already expressed his concerns, in agreement with the professional water management organizations, concerning the Government’s having submitted a bill, without any preliminary social or professional coordination, which would allow the establishment of household wells of a maximum depth of even 80 meters without the obligation to obtain any prior permits or make any such announcements. This directly jeopardizes the sustainable management of underground waters and the safety of water supply, and may also prevent efficient state protection.
The Hungarian Department of the International Federation of European Law, i.e. FIDE held its general meeting at the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, i.e. at its new headquarters. FIDE was established in 1964 and today it promotes that the national member associations in the European Union jointly research into and study the development of the institutions and law of the European Union. The Hungarian Department of FIDE was established after our country’s accession to the EU. The current president is Deputy-Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for Future Generations Gyula Bándi. In this position, he followed the President of the Curia Péter Darák. Thus, the headquarters of the Federation were also moved from the Curia to the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights.
On April 27-28, Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay paid a two-day working visit to Novi Sad, Serbia, where she had been invited by Ombudsman Zoran Pavlović and Deputy Ombudsman for National Minorities Eva Vukašinović. At the Office of the Vojvodina Ombudsman, the ombudsmen or deputy ombudsmen of Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Bosnia-Herzegovina met in order to coordinate the planning and establishment of a forum promoting the cooperation of the ombudsmen of the Central-Eastern European region. As part of this, as the first topic to be discussed, they shared their experiences on the current situation of the welfare systems, as well as the challenges posed by poverty and aging. The Deputy Ombudsman was accompanied to this meeting by Senior Legal Advisor Ms. Tímea Csikós.
Managed to save at work - The Ombudsman's Office in the national competiton of public buildings to reduce energy consumption
Under the patronage of Gyula Bándi, Ombudsman for Future Generations, the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has finished third in two categories in the domestic competition of the international project “Save@Work”, aimed at reducing energy consumption. In nine countries, 180 public buildings and some 17 thousand employees joined the project.
On the 22nd of March the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights hosted Equinet’s kick off project meeting on combating violence against women which was followed by the Working Group meeting on Gender Equality on 23rd of March.
Equinet, the network of European equality bodies, has initiated the formulation of standards applicable at both European and, subsequently, national level. Through their overall activities and as a key element thereof, the 46 member organizations, operating in 34 countries, fight against various forms of discrimination using often diverse mandates, powers and tools. Hungary is represented in Equinet by the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and the Equal Treatment Authority.
In some Member States, doctors still view homosexuality as a disease and transsexuality as a mental disorder, according to findings from a new report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Such negative views of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people in society, among professional groups and policy makers hampers efforts to counter discrimination and hate crime.