On 24 November 2020, the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) held an online conference entitled "COVID–19 and the Ombudsperson – Rising to the Challenge of a Pandemic". Within the framework of the webinar, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Dr. Ákos Kozma presented – in a video message – what were the activities that the Hungarian Ombudsman institution carried out in order to address the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the experience gained in these extraordinary times.
In their joint statement published on the occasion of White Monday, i.e. the first day of the European Week for Waste Reduction, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. Ákos Kozma and Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for Future Generations Dr. Gyula Bándi call attention to the importance of conscious consumption, the constitutional obligation of the careful use of our natural resources, and the key role of circular economy in achieving sustainable development.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights calls attention to the everyday struggles of the most vulnerable members of society, i.e. persons living with intellectual disability, during the coronavirus pandemic, thus to their difficulties in observing the rule of wearing masks and keeping social distance. On this occasion, Dr Ákos Kozma also welcomes the latest government decree of 19 November, which allows divergence from the general pandemic protection rules for persons with autism.
“In times of distress, epidemics and other sorts of crises, children’s rights and the mentality we adopt with respect to child-related matters become even more crucial”, Dr. Ákos Kozma underlines on World Children’s Day. The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights draws attention to the fact that children’s rights are not claims but constitutional norms that are prompted by the legitimate considerations and fundamental needs of the children.
Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Dr. Ákos Kozma, Deputy Commissioner, Ombudsman for the Rights of National Minorities Dr. Elisabeth Sándor-Szalay, and Deputy Commissioner, Ombudsman for Future Generations Dr. Gyula Bándi call attention to the multiple significance of the World Day of Sanitation, and its interconnectedness with life and human dignity, sustainability and climate change.