No favorable changes have taken place since the earlier investigations: one out of three children who are placed in child protection care continues to be removed from their families for financial reasons. Ombudsman László Székely thinks that this alarming measure, which violates the rights of the child, could be replaced by prevention, the strengthening of basic child welfare services and temporary placement, as well as the accompanying social policy measures. The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights turned to the Minister of Human Capacities with his recommendations.
It raises concerns that those children in a coerced situation who are caught in the act of prostitution continue to be threatened by misdemeanor procedures and sanctions, said Ombudsman László Székely in his follow-up report. The Commissioner thinks that rather than insisting on solutions involving law enforcement, the experts of the child protection system should be strengthened and better prepared to recognize endangerment in time and to take meaningful actions against it. In the report, it is not only a number of legislative and practical measures that are recommended but attention is drawn to best practices as well.
Incomplete and ambiguous domestic regulations and the authorities’ practices based thereon do not properly ensure the prevention of international child abductions. It infringes upon the rights of the parents concerned and their children, concluded László Székely. In the report on his comprehensive investigation, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights calls for the revision of the relevant regulations, the education of experts, providing more information to parents moving abroad, and the wider use of mediation.
On February 27, 2018, the Ombudsman for Future Generations, together with the Hungarian Clean Air Action Group, in partnership with the German Deutsche Umwelthilfe and the Danish Ecological Council organized an international conference on the problem of air pollution caused by domestic heating. Nearly 80 experts attended this event, representing the competent ministries, environmental authorities and non-governmental organizations.
More than six thousand languages are spoken in the world in our days, a large part of which are threatened with extinction. The languages spoken by indigenous people disappear from the ranks of live languages slowly but surely. This process seems to be unstoppable, this is why it is especially important to call the world’s attention to this sad phenomenon and also, to the unique role that the use of languages plays in preserving culture.
By default, Magyar Posta [the Hungarian postal service] allows the delivery of registered mail to blind and partially-sighted persons only in the presence of a witness of full age. According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, this practice is in violation of the right to equal dignity and the country’s international human rights commitments. Ombudsman László Székely has requested the competent ministries and the President & CEO of Magyar Posta to work out a solution that would respect the right of self-determination of those concerned.
Inquiring into an adoption case involving a same-sex couple, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has established the violation of the right to due process and the principle of equal treatment. According to László Székely, the child protection guardian has made an arbitrary decision, and the guardianship authority has made an omission. In the Ombudsman’s opinion, certain rules of adoption have to be revised, that is why he has requested the competent ministry to take the necessary measures.
Commissioner for Fundamental Rights László Székely thinks that children’s rights are not holiday decorations that should only be dusted off on the occasion of anniversaries but they are, if you like, “everyday articles for use”. The Ombudsman regards the universal message of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as one that is topical today, as the rights therein should be protected on as high a level as possible. For this, we need to be able to actively listen to each other, to learn from experiences and critical remarks, and we should also find the best compromises.
The Ombudsman for Future Generations deems it a key development in nature protection that the Constitutional Court has comprehensively examined, for the first time ever, the legal requirements of the preservation of biological diversity, in its decision concerning the legal issues related to the privatization of state-owned lands in the Natura 2000 network. Based on the earlier Constitutional Court decisions, the international treaties, as well as the joint professional opinion of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and the Ombudsman for Future Generations, by taking the latest findings of natural sciences into account, the Constitutional Court defined the framework of the state’s obligations related to nature protection, thus setting objective requirements for the nature protection activities of the state.
October 8, the Croatian Independence Day is an important holiday not only in Croatia but also, for the Croatians living all over the world, including those in Hungary. It was on this day in 1991 that a significant step in the disintegration of Yugoslavia was taken, i.e. it was then that the Parliament of the independent Croatia started working. Due to the one thousand years of intertwined history of the Croatian and Hungarian nations, this holiday also offers us Hungarians an opportunity to commemorate the close and brotherly relations between our countries and nations.