null Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Holds Online Consultation with Head of PIRC

On 10 March 2022, Ombudsman Dr. Ákos Kozma held an online discussion with Scotland’s Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) Ms. Michelle Macleod on the issue of the situation of people coming to Hungary, fleeing the war in Ukraine.

During the consultation, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights provided information about the current situation at the Hungarian–Ukrainian border section, the circumstances of the reception of the refugees arriving in Hungary fleeing the war in Ukraine, and the measures taken to provide help to them.

Furthermore, Dr. Ákos Kozma informed Commissioner Ms. Michelle Macleod that the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights (OCFR) had opened a temporary regional office at the Záhony railway station on 3 March 2022.

The Ombudsman elaborated, among others, that the staff members of the OCFR, which is a National Human Rights Institution accredited by the UN, are working on-site in 12-hour shifts: two colleagues jointly provide administrative assistance and legal counselling to the refugees arriving in Hungary from Ukraine through Záhony.

The staff members of the OCFR assisted in the organisation of the transportation of volunteers, and they also helped refugees to find accommodation.

The participants of the meeting also discussed that the Hungarian Ombudsman Institution had opened regional offices in Szeged, Győr and Debrecen at the beginning of this year, and that additional regional offices would be opened in Székesfehérvár, Miskolc and Pécs in March – which is a unique achievement in the international ombudsman practice.

Commissioner Ms. Michelle Macleod assured the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of the continued support of the PIRC, and she invited Ombudsman Dr. Ákos Kozma to share his experience related to the regional offices.