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.
The new legislation entering into force in 2014 does not rule out the possibility of electoral abuse at the nationality self-government elections. Taking into account the census data in certain localities means that the nationality communities may not be able to form a local government – concluded Ombudsman Máté Szabó.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has turned to the Constitutional Court because of the absence of legal guarantees for the so called rules of communal coexistence which would define the frameworks for the local governments' powers to impose fines. Ombudsman Máté Szabó has simultaneously called on the Curia to conduct a legal review of an ordinance issued by the 5th District's local government on this issue.
With little money to spend, inmates in residential institutions are compelled to be "crea-tive" – found the Ombudsman in the course of his inquiry. Máté Szabó proposed the review of the legal background as a possible solution.
The paediatrician has not fulfilled his obligation prescribed by the Child Protection Act, states the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in his report concluding his inquiries into the case of a child starved to death in the city of Agárd.
The content of the letters written by prisoners to the authorities cannot be checked, but such a situation occurred in Balassagyarmat Prison; furthermore, in one case a disciplinary procedure was launched because of the tone of a letter. The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has turned to the Director General of the Hungarian Prison Service to prevent similar incidents in the future.
According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, the authorization of local gov-ernments to control the living environment of persons applying for social benefits raises several concerns. Ombudsman Máté Szabó has also initiated that the Constitutional Court review the rules providing the automatic exclusion from community employment of persons who neglect compulsory school attendance or do not keep clean and tide their living environment.
Based on the complaint of MPs, Máté Szabó reviewed the disciplinary competences of the speaker of the Parliament. The Commissioner, analysing the European practices in a comparative method, decided not to challenge the pertaining provisions, however, he would follow-up the legislation and its application.