PROJECTS IN 2008
- Children's Rights
- Freedom of Peaceful Assembly
The Ombudsman office has organised several workshops with various actors ranging from social workers to representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs, having taken into consideration „Best practices" employed in other EU Member States. It also sought avenues of possible cooperation at international level. Debated topics appeared in Hungarian scientific journals.
The Office organised an exhibition with the paintings of homeless people which was open to the public. We invited to our first workshop, entitled „Being homeless", several experts dealing with homelessness, social workers working on a daily basis with homeless persons, representatives of the emergency service, the police, etc.. A second workshop was organised, called „Becoming homeless". In September, the Commissioner and the participants signed a document called Social Charta within inaugural frames, which stated the most relevant problems and the solutions, according to the Commissioner. The final conference, themed "The alternatives and solutions of homelessness", was very successful as many participants committed to our project.
Finally, the Commissioner issued reports that have resulted from his investigations conducted in the framework of this project and are as follows:
- parapeted benches
- attitude of the security guards/Budapest Public Transport Ltd.
- dept spiral
- procedures of court bailiffs
- begler's mafia
- accessibility of ID/cards
- personal bankruptcy
2. Children's rights
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights has a special responsibility based on theAct XXI of 1997 on Child Protection, hence, he acts as an ombudsperson for children.
In the first phase of the work, priority was given to the awareness-raising of children about their rights. This project involves both internal (in office) and international cooperation. A new website on children's rights was presented to the public and professionals, attracting high media interest. The site (http://gyermekjogok.ajbh.hu) is also accessible from the Office's main website. The content of the site is based on the UN Convention of the Right of the Child and the Hungarian Constitution in "children's language" with colourful cartoons. News, programmes, information about the projects, a complaint box and useful addresses can also be found on the website. The children's drawing competition about human dignity was organised with a nice ceremony and the participation of children from all over the country. Within the context of this project, several conferences and workshops were organised.
The Office announced a drawing/photo/essay competition about the human dignity and fundamental rights and took part in some music and other youth festivals.
The Commissioner is an associate member of ENOC (European Network of Ombudsman for Children) and the Office is also represented at conferences, training courses of the Council of Europe, UNICEF Hungary and Eurochild.
Pursuant to the general competence of the Ombudsman, the following investigations were completed in the field of children's rights:
- Child welfare basic provision and services
- Children's rights in the media
- Children's rights in the education system
- Employment of children
- Conditions of young persons in detention centres
3. freedom of assembly
In the context of this project, processes in the Ministry of Justice, the Police, etc, were investigated. Applying a new working method, the colleagues attended several public demonstrations on the spot in order to observe and analyse the action of the police.
The Ombudsman proposed to Parliament the enactment of rules to regulate parallel/rival assemblies and that would also determine the first date of the notification of an assembly. He also urged for further normative control of the Act of Freedom of Assembly and Government regulations of the offences.
Pursuant to the general competence of the Ombudsman, the following investigations were completed in the field of freedom of assembly:
- Enforcement of the right of freedom of assembly at the Gay Pride March on 5th July 2008.
- Enforcement of the right of freedom of assembly at various protest and public demonstrations (National Day 7-16 March/23 October; various left/right wing protests 6,15, 17, 20 September)
- Execution of dispersion of the crowd on the 20 th September 2008 protest.