Acting within his statutory competence, Ombudsman for Future Generations Marcel SZABÓ is going to initiate the amendment of Schedule № 1 to Act LXXXV of 2011 on Environmental Protection Product Charges (hereinafter the "EPPC Act") in order to have all electric and electronic equipment utilizing renewable energy exempted from such product charges.
The new system of handling public interest disclosures, introduced as of 1 January 2014, is working in accordance with the regal regulations and has met prior expectations – in order to encourage the disclosure of information of general interest and protect the whistle-blowers, the relevant act delegates the operation of the new system to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights. Through such activities, the Ombudsman and his Office contribute to the fight against corruption. The experience of recent months shows that public interest disclosures may uncover problems of different character as well.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has requested the Prosecutor General to launch a criminal procedure because of suspicion of mistreatment in official proceedings upon having inquired, together with his Deputy responsible for the rights of nationalities living in Hungary, into a complaint submitted by an almost 70 years old person of Roma descent. The police searched the complainant's house then arrested him. According to his complaint, he was mistreated at the Gyömrő Police Station, but neither the police station, nor the supervising police headquarters, nor the Pest Regional Investigative Prosecution Service would conduct a proper inquiry into the matter.
Today, it is commemorated in a number of countries of the world that the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders just 24 years ago, on 17 May 1990, freeing this way the sexual minorities of the stigma of an illness. This International Day conveys the idea of equality of human dignity, being a priority in all democratic states. All human beings are entitled to the basic right of human dignity without distinction, independently of skin colour, age, sex, health condition, sexual orientation or just gender identity. Respect for human rights is part of the European values system, and at the same time, it is also a fundamental condition for the creation of a tolerant and inclusive society.
According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, in its decree adopted last December upon the initiative of the districts, the General Assembly of the Capital specified an excessively wide range of public areas where residential habitation (occupying public places for living purposes) by the homeless would be illegal. Therefore, Ombudsman László Székely petitioned the Curia requesting the review of the annex of the "zone decree", drafted without due regards to the provisions of the misdemeanour act concerning authorization.
The secondary education of nationalities living in Hungary is facing numerous problems. The number of students and teachers is dwindling, material conditions are scanty. The new regulation of nationality education is neither flawless, nor unambiguous. The connection between the nationality education of the Roma and the right to equal treatment presents the biggest cause for concern. The following conclusions can be found in a joint report prepared by the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Deputy responsible for the protection of the rights of nationalities living in Hungary.
On April 3, 2014, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. László Székely visited Hungary's first Universal Design Information and Research Center (UDIRC), operated by the Budapest Association of Persons with Disabilities (BAPD).
The terms and conditions for application were not properly worked out, orientation was plagued by basic communication deficiencies. That is how it could happen that there were some settlements where mostly the relatives of the local government's staff members were offered job opportunities within the frameworks of the labour market program entitled "Promoting Summer Student Work" instead of the more disadvantaged young people. In their joint report, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Deputy in charge of the protection of the interests of nationalities living in Hungary requested the competent minister to clarify the terms and conditions and to improve communication.
"Declarations are not enough yet for gaining clean drinking water. Serious determination and actions are required from all stakeholders in order to use the finite water reserve as efficiently as possible, taking into consideration all legitimate needs as well as the interests of the future generations," referred Marcel Szabó, advocate for the future generations, the "green ombudsman," to the common responsibility on the World Day for Water. Almost one million seven hundred thousand EU citizens have just recently supported the first successful citizens' initiative with their signature, which started out as the recognition of the fundamental human right to clean drinking water.
The legal environment is suitable for coordinating theoretical education and practical training. While they are still studying, all young people should be given the opportunity to accumulate some experience in the world of labour; that is why more attention should be paid to maintaining good relations with employers offering practical training. Although there are several government programs in effect, the current systems of support and incentive in Hungary do not provide efficient assistance to fresh graduates and young people looking for their first job - pointed out Ombudsman László Székely.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights reiterates his position already set out in previous inquiries that living in public space shall not serve as an excuse not to comply with the rules; however, the legal title for the authorities' action against homeless people being in a vulnerable situation and the method of its implementation are of fundamental importance in a state under the rule of law. According to László Székely, a solution for the problems caused by the huts of homeless people, set up illegally a long time ago, can only be sought in co-operation with those concerned and the social profession, in parallel with providing real help and sufficient time.