The transformation of the institutional system in charge of gauging reduced ability to work and establishing eligibility for benefits was not properly prepared. The new administrative bodies and their staff had not been prepared for the amount of cases they had to handle. The infrastructural background was not fully ready, either, and the lack of medical experts made things even worse. László Székely, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, has requested the Minister of Human Resources to tackle these problems.
According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, the requirement of legal certainty is jeopardized by the unpredictability of the disbursement of already approved operational subsidies. The ombudsman may not inquire into the amounts and their changes, as they are policy and economic policy issues. However, he calls the attention of the government to the fact that unpredictability and the prolonged non-delivery of state aid may ultimately endanger the provision of a constitutionally required public service.
According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, it is a moral and legal duty of both the state and society to lend a helping hand to those who are vulnerable and in need, no one should be without effective help and a roof above their heads on the cold days. László Székely has also pointed out that the winter crisis period always shows us if and how solidarity works, whether we can pay attention to those in constant danger, living on the streets or in any other uninhabitable place.
In the recent months the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has received several complaints concerning the wage system of social care workers. The complaints took issue with the fact that, as far as their remuneration is concerned, social care workers are not treated in the same way as those working in the healthcare system, who are licenced by the Office of Health Authorisation and Administrative Procedures and are members of the Chamber of Hungarian Health Care Professionals, although they practically do the same work and they are psychologically more strained due to the condition of their patients. Notwithstanding, they haven't received any raise, benefits or allowances in recent years. The complainants also indicated that, as the social care workers' wages are so low, many of them leave their jobs (usually migrating to the healthcare system) and, as a result, the quality of care in social service institutions is getting worse by the day.
Several MPs, civil organizations and private citizens have turned to the Ombudsman concerning the constitutionality of the Act on the Turnover of Lands used for Agriculture and Forestry. The complaints took issue in particular with the fact that the Act imposes a stringent regime on obtaining and possessing agricultural land.
A complainant could not enforce his claim for damages against Magyar Államvasutak Zrt. (Hungarian National Railways Co. – hereinafter: MÁV) because he had failed to enclose his ticket with the "Request for Compensation" form. The reason of his failure to do so was that he had had to submit the ticket to his employer together with his monthly travel costs statement. He took issue with the fact that MÁV would not authenticate copies of the original tickets and compensate the passengers on the basis thereof for any damages that might have occurred to them.
The decision of the Town Council of Ózd to put a limitation on the use of public wells and roadside pumps has led to ethnic discrimination and infringed on the rights to health and to healthy drinking water, states the report concluding the joint investigation con-ducted by the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Deputy in charge of the protection of the interests of future generations.
Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. László Székely has nominated Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, habilitated associate professor, former dean of the University of Pécs, director at the National University of Public Service, as his deputy in charge of the protection of the nationalities living in Hungary.
The Parliament has passed the Act on Complaints and Public Interest Disclosure, which, as of 1 January 2014, provides a new task for the Office of the Commissioner for Fun-damental Rights. The Ombudsman's office has started to create the personal and tech-nical frameworks and conditions.
Jurist cum political scientist Prof. Dr. Máté Szabó was elected Parliamentary Commis-sioner for Civil Rights back in 2007. He was elected for six years, his mandate expires today, on 24 September 2013. During his tenure in office, in early 2012, the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights was established in lieu of the former fundamental rights protection system of four commissioners. Beside the Ombudsman, two deputies work in this new Office in charge of the protection of the rights of future generations and nationalities living in Hungary, respectively.
The number of people requesting asylum in Hungary from January to May this year is more than three times more than the total of last year. Compared to the same period of last year, the number of asylum requests is tenfold. Based on these data, the colleagues of the Ombudsman have conducted an unannounced inspection in the tent camp for refugees established on the premises of the Nagyfa unit of the Szeged Penitentiary and Prison. The on the spot investigation has not found any infringement of basic rights in connection with the arrest of illegal immigrants but it has uncovered some anomalies in the camp's management.