Disability Directorate of Office of Commissioner for Fundamental Rights to Commence Activities in Debrecen - Névtelen webhely
Disability Directorate of Office of Commissioner for Fundamental Rights to Commence Activities in Debrecen
The Disability Directorate of the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary commenced its activities in Debrecen. Since 1 January 2023, the Ombudsman has been performing the tasks of the independent mechanism of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), so beyond the activities that we have performed in this field to date, now we also help, protect and control the enforcement of the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities directly, as was stressed by Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary Dr. Ákos Kozma at the inauguration ceremony of the new office in Debrecen on 3 May 2023. The Disability Directorate moved to a new, larger, barrier-free building together with the Office’s Debrecen Field Office.
Hungary was one of the first to join CRPD, which was adopted in 2006, in relation to which it was specifically stipulated in the Act on the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights that, as part of his activities, the Ombudsman shall pay special attention to supporting, protecting and controlling the enforcement of CRPD, especially by conducting ex officio procedures.
“Ever since it started its operations, the Hungarian ombudsman institution has laid great emphasis on promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. Since I took office as the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary, I have regarded it as my key responsibility to promote the actual fulfilment of the principles of CRPD, as well as to contribute to ensuring the equality before the law, the fulfilment of the requirement of equal treatment and independent living for persons with disabilities in Hungary. It can be considered a milestone that at the end of 2022, the National Assembly passed a law according to which the independent mechanism helping, protecting and controlling the enforcement of CRPD became the competence of the ombudsman. Thus, in the framework of the Disability Directorate that was established as a separate organisational unit of the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights on 1 January 2023, we now directly support, protect and monitor the enforcement of the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities. We continuously monitor the operation of the entire range of Hungarian disability institutions, their statutory regulation, we comment on the reports and proposals on the enforcement of the disability convention. It is also our new responsibility to make recommendations to the members of the Government regarding the government decisions affecting persons with disabilities”, stressed Dr. Ákos Kozma.
So far, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has promoted the enforcement of the rights of persons with disabilities, their legal equality and equal opportunities by bringing up general problems with fundamental rights aspects, outlining the potential solutions, and remedying individual complaints. The Office continues to deal with specifically disability-related complaints and inquiries, as the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights is confronted with a high number of issues and problems in the course of monitoring education and health care which affect the persons with disabilities and their families.
“A new Disability Advisory Committee is being set up, with the participation of experts with outstanding theoretical knowledge and/or practical experience in the field of the rights of persons with disabilities. I would like to stress that in this body, the delegates representing persons with disabilities and civil society organisations are given a key role”, as the Ombudsman emphasised.
He added that, with the Disability Directorate of the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, such an organisational unit with strong authorisations has been established which represents a specific independent mechanism, compliant with the requirements of CRPD, in the interests of the rights protection of Hungarian persons with disabilities.