The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights reiterates his position already set out in previous inquiries that living in public space shall not serve as an excuse not to comply with the rules; however, the legal title for the authorities' action against homeless people being in a vulnerable situation and the method of its implementation are of fundamental importance in a state under the rule of law. According to László Székely, a solution for the problems caused by the huts of homeless people, set up illegally a long time ago, can only be sought in co-operation with those concerned and the social profession, in parallel with providing real help and sufficient time.
No real help to eliminate exposure has been provided - the specialists concerned have failed to realize in time that the child abuse victims of Szigetszentmiklós should be taken away from their family. Other than notifying each other, there has been no substantial cooperation between the actors of the child protection notification system. In his investigation report the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights emphasizes the responsibility of the press, too.
There is a contradiction between EU legislation and MÁV Start Co.'s rules of procedure for passenger transport. MÁV Start Co. does not always provide flat-rate compensation in compliance with the legal provisions. László Székely, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has concluded that this infringes on the requirement of legal certainty.
The obligation to protect foetal life is not a conceptual novelty in the Hungarian constitutional system. The rules of abortion are in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law on the protection of human life - pointed out the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights while inquiring into the rules of abortion.
According to the ombudsman, László Székely, it is not justified at the moment to challenge before the Constitutional Court the restrictive conditions on carrying out sterilisation with the objective of family planning. In his response to the floor leader of the Hungarian Socialist Party, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights justified his legal position with the specific criteria of the ombudsman for the initiation of an abstract review of norms.
Problem solved while investigated – The Ombudsman on designating a place of abode for foreigners leaving the shelter
Guaranteeing the constitutional minimum of the right to social security is the state's responsibility, pointed out the Ombudsman after his staff had visited a community shelter established for foreigners in Balassagyarmat. László Székely analysed the consequences of a legal provision according to which foreigners under immigration proceedings may stay at community shelters only two months instead of eighteen. The fundamental right issue generated by this change was solved while being investigated by the Ombudsman.
The transformation of the institutional system in charge of gauging reduced ability to work and establishing eligibility for benefits was not properly prepared. The new administrative bodies and their staff had not been prepared for the amount of cases they had to handle. The infrastructural background was not fully ready, either, and the lack of medical experts made things even worse. László Székely, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, has requested the Minister of Human Resources to tackle these problems.
According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, the requirement of legal certainty is jeopardized by the unpredictability of the disbursement of already approved operational subsidies. The ombudsman may not inquire into the amounts and their changes, as they are policy and economic policy issues. However, he calls the attention of the government to the fact that unpredictability and the prolonged non-delivery of state aid may ultimately endanger the provision of a constitutionally required public service.
According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, it is a moral and legal duty of both the state and society to lend a helping hand to those who are vulnerable and in need, no one should be without effective help and a roof above their heads on the cold days. László Székely has also pointed out that the winter crisis period always shows us if and how solidarity works, whether we can pay attention to those in constant danger, living on the streets or in any other uninhabitable place.
In the recent months the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has received several complaints concerning the wage system of social care workers. The complaints took issue with the fact that, as far as their remuneration is concerned, social care workers are not treated in the same way as those working in the healthcare system, who are licenced by the Office of Health Authorisation and Administrative Procedures and are members of the Chamber of Hungarian Health Care Professionals, although they practically do the same work and they are psychologically more strained due to the condition of their patients. Notwithstanding, they haven't received any raise, benefits or allowances in recent years. The complainants also indicated that, as the social care workers' wages are so low, many of them leave their jobs (usually migrating to the healthcare system) and, as a result, the quality of care in social service institutions is getting worse by the day.
Several MPs, civil organizations and private citizens have turned to the Ombudsman concerning the constitutionality of the Act on the Turnover of Lands used for Agriculture and Forestry. The complaints took issue in particular with the fact that the Act imposes a stringent regime on obtaining and possessing agricultural land.