Working Visit by the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Two Deputies to Csongrád County
Carrying on with the practices of his predecessors, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights László Székely, Deputy Commissioner for the Rights of National Minorities Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, as well as Deputy Commissioner for Future Generations Gyula Bándi paid a working visit to Csongrád County on June 5 and 6, 2018. According to the traditions, the Ombudsman pays a visit to two counties each year, where he finds out about how the protection of fundamental rights is enforced locally, while his colleagues listen to the local complainants. Experience has shown that not everybody is capable to submit their complaints directly to the Ombudsman's office in the capital city in connection with their un remedied grievances caused by the procedures of public service providers.
The Commissioner and his deputies presented their activities and ongoing investigations at the meeting held for the county clerks. Then László Székely paid a visit to the child psychiatry department of the Pediatric Clinic of the University of Szeged (SZTE). At the meeting with the heads of the Clinic, he also explained that he identified nationwide problems concerning fundamental rights in the practices of mandatory and voluntary child psychiatry treatments.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights always visits the local prison establishments during his county working visits. In the Szeged Csillag Prison and Correctional Facility, where those who are sentenced to life imprisonment are held, he got the impression that it is possible to execute the gravest sentence safely and humanely even where the strictest rules apply.
On the first day of the county visit, Deputy Commissioner for the Rights of National Minorities Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay met with the initiators and partners of the strategic project called Colorful Cooperation at Mórahalom. In the framework of the Hungary-Serbia IPA Program, a Serbian cultural center with a capacity for receiving four hundred persons will be built by next January. In the village of Deszk, the Deputy Commissioner visited the Szent Száva Educational, Cultural and Religious Center run by the Bánát Serbian Cultural Non-Profit Association, and she met with the lecturers, mentors and students of the Szeged-based Christian Roma College for Advanced Studies.
The problem of the lack of national minority educators has been in the focus of attention of the Deputy Commissioner for several years. It is partly because of this that she paid a visit to the Juhász Gyula Teacher Training Faculty at the University of Szeged as part of her working visit to Csongrád County. At the meeting with the lecturers of national minority teacher training, several proposals were made for the improvement of the foreign language knowledge of the students who would like to study at the teacher training faculty, as well as for ensuring appropriate financial and professional rewards to the students participating in this training.
Deputy-Commissioner for Future Generations Gyula Bándi found out some details related to the amendment of the Forest Act with the heads of the Kiskunság National Park. He discussed the changes affecting the flatland forests, the challenges of nature protection, as well as the key activity of nature protection guard services. The Deputy Commissioner met with the heads of the water management directorate and he was glad to see that the authority had been able to meet the requirement of flood protection by preserving the old trees on the promenade along the River Tisza. Gyula Bándi pointed out that the preservation and utilization of flood waters and internal waters are of key importance due to the climate that is becoming increasingly hot and droughty.
The Deputy Commissioner spoke highly of the developments from tender sources at the archeological exploration of an ancient Roman Sarmatian settlement at the Ópusztaszer National Heritage Park, however, he was also faced with the situation that some important places of exhibition are going to ruin due to the lack of foreseeable and continuous state funding. The Deputy Commissioner held talks with the director of the Szeged Móra Ferenc Museum Ottó Fogas on the constantly changing statutory environment of the archeological tasks of museums.