null Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Opens Miskolc Regional Office

The ombudsman institution, whose aim is to assist – with the legal instruments available – all those whose fundamental rights have been infringed in any way, receives nearly eight thousand submissions a year.

In 2022, the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights (OCFR) has opened field offices in six regional centres of Hungary, which is a unique achievement even in the international practice.

“In my view, our principal mission is to provide help to as many people as possible, and ever since I entered into office, I have been working on bringing my institution closer to the people. This is why I decided as early as in the spring of 2020, i.e. at the beginning of the pandemic, that I should personally monitor the implementation of the measures introduced in order to contain the coronavirus epidemic in as many places as possible. With that in mind, I launched a series of visits across Hungary, which has been pursued ever since. That is also the reason why I have been personally following the developments of the situation on the Hungarian–Ukrainian border section, as well as the circumstances in which people fleeing to Hungary are received and the measures taken in order to help them. According to my motto ‘Closer to People’, the next phase of my initiative has been the creation of regional offices allowing for more efficient contacts with citizens, as well as with persons fleeing to Hungary from Ukraine”, Dr. Ákos Kozma, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights stressed at the opening ceremony of the Miskolc Regional Office of the OCFR.

The Ombudsman attaches a special importance to enabling the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights to provide direct legal and humanitarian assistance to as many people as possible in these extraordinary times. Therefore, a couple of days after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the National Human Rights Institution accredited by the UN opened a temporary regional office at the Záhony railway station, and last week, it set up an information point at the reception centre in Beregsurány.

As the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights underlined in his talk, “Everybody can count on Hungary’s help. Our staff members have been continuously working on-site since the outbreak of the crisis, providing administrative assistance and legal counselling to those arriving in Hungary through Záhony, and to those accommodated at the reception centre in Beregsurány. Moreover, we also provide help to those turning to us through our staff members working at the regional offices in Debrecen, and now in Miskolc. And from April, our personal services will be available to those requesting the Ombudsman’s help not only in Budapest, Szeged, Győr and Debrecen, but also in Miskolc. By opening our regional offices, we have created something that did not exist before in the history of our institution: now people living outside the capital can also apply to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in person in locations close to their domicile in order to request the Ombudsman’s procedure. I think this is a shared and important value for all of us.”

Since 1 January 2021, not only has the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights been inquiring into police-related complaints, public interest disclosures and complaints related to their administration, but it has also been acting as an authority in discrimination-related matters.

The Ombudsman’s procedure may be initiated at the OCFR’s regional offices in each type of case free of charge; the costs of the inquiry are borne by the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights. Complainants will be received upon prior appointment. In order to be able to personally receive clients from April, the officer in charge of the Miskolc Regional Office of the OCFR will be available already from tomorrow by phone.