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Joint Message of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and His Deputies on the Occasion of Human Rights Day

Showing respect for human rights and thereby paying attention to one another and our community have never been so important as during the current coronavirus pandemic and the challenges entailed by it. On the occasion of Human Rights Day, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. Ákos Kozma, Deputy Commissioner, Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, and Deputy Commissioner, Ombudsman for Future Generations Dr. Gyula Bándi emphasise that humanity, solidarity, setting an example, and supporting our communities big and small are those foundations which human rights can rest upon.

Each and every year the tenth of December is a red-letter day for us: we celebrate Human Rights Day across the globe. We commemorate the fact that it was on this day in 1948 that the UN approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This day marks a milestone even today for the Declaration, celebrating its 72nd anniversary this year, has had a pioneering importance in modern history: more than just a thing of the past, it remains a shared ideal that each nation should attain and bear in mind.

In all those countries of the world where Ombudsmen have become part of the constitutional system, they stand firmly as the bastions of the protection of fundamental rights, and their duties include the investigation of fundamental rights-related complaints and providing answers to them. 

A key priority of the Hungarian Ombudsman institution, of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Deputies is to watch over the rights of the vulnerable groups, children, persons with disabilities, the ill, the elderly, the socially disadvantaged, national minorities, and future generations. However, they not only watch over these rights in relation to the given cases, but in harmony with the Declaration, they also strive to enhance the creation of a common understanding of the nature of these rights. Their mission is to support the individual questions and problems by the permanent communication of their human rights-related interpretation, making it clear that showing respect for human rights is the benchmark of a community’s dignity.

The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Deputies remind that the existence and validity of human rights do not depend on prestigious documents but on our communities of all sizes – on the day-to-day exercise of human rights, which does not and may not set aside responsibility felt for our communities and respect for the rights of others.

Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. Ákos Kozma, Deputy Commissioner, Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, and Deputy Commissioner, Ombudsman for Future Generations Dr. Gyula Bándi call attention to the fact that in the present times of the coronavirus pandemic, respect for human rights is more important than ever. It is mostly on the basis of human rights that we can give adequate answers to the questions arising at the time of the current challenges: that is, through paying attention to one another and our communities, humanity, solidarity, setting an example, and supporting our communities on all levels.