Máté Szabó has found the circumstances in the Pécs and Szolnok prisons inhumane and humiliating and asked the Chief Commander of the Hungarian Prison Service to take steps. In both places there are plans for improving the situation but neither has the financial means to realise them.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has asked the Constitutional Court to examine the provisions of the Act on Public Education and to overview the Act on Vocational Training. Failing the necessary preparation period because of the short time until the entering into force of the two Acts the principle of the rule of law might be hurt. According to Szabó Máté the Act on Public Education limits the right of parents to upbringing contrary to the Fundamental Law and contrary to international agreements and concerning the date of starting school it does not take into account the expressed will of the parents.
In the Hungarian legal system there is no single definition for ‘person with disabilities'. Job centres use a broader notion of persons with reduced work capacity, a notion which includes both persons suffering from health problems and persons with disabilities. The support scheme does not provide incentives for employers to employ persons with disabilities. Máté Szabó Ombudsman has inquired into the domestic regulation and the employment opportunities of persons with disabilities.
The special children's home in Fót reminds the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of a law enforcement institution. On the basis of the on-the-spot inquiry and those laid down in the institution's documents Máté Szabó has found that in the institution, which cares for children with psychological problems, measures restricting liberty of the person are applied even in the absence of dangerous conduct as defined in the Child Protection Act.
It poses an imminent danger to or violates children's rights if the police take coercive measures against parents in the presence of their children. In the opinion of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights the police should take account of the mental development of the child and the requirements of child-friendly justice.
Máté Szabó welcomes the fact that the Minister of the Interior is going to initiate the amendment of a rule of law which allows the placement of babies with their mothers only until the baby reaches the age of six months. An amendment was proposed by the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights to lengthen this period.
With a view to deportation, alien policing authorities may take into custody for up to 30 days foreign nationality children together with their adult family members for illegally crossing the state borders of Hungary. According to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights this is unnecessary on the other hand, and, on the other, there is no legal basis and there are no legal guarantees for the detention of minors.
According to the rules of law in force, the disaster management authority and the environment protection inspectorate do not participate in each other's proceedings; they make their decisions in isolation, unaware of the activity of the other authority. The current cooperation system of specialised authorities does not adequately take into consideration difficult licensing cases of a complex nature which require the joint decision of several authorities. This is the conclusion Máté Szabó arrived at after he inquired into the background of the red sludge disaster.
On the 5th July 2012 in the Ground Floor Event Hall of the Office, the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Prof. Dr. Máté Szabó presented the Annual Report on the Activities of Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights of Hungary in the Year 2011. The annual report was introduced by Dr. Péter Darák, the President of the Hungarian Curia, the event was open to the press. The presentation of the President of the Curia can be reached by clicking here.
The Ombudsman has presented the Justitia Regnorum Fundamentum Awards
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights presented the Justitia Regnorum Fundamentum Awards on 15 June 2012, in Budapest. This year the following persons were recognised for their activities: university professor Csilla Kollonay-Lehoczky, environment protection lawyer György Kalas, and Judit Berki, expert in social policy, jointly with the After School Centre of Bátonyterenye directed by her.
The Commissioner for Fundamental Rights has asked the Constitutional Court to examine certain provisions of the ministerial decree on social security subsidies for registered pharmaceutical products. According to Máté Szabó Ombudsman the provisions regulating access of diabetic patients to analogous insulin violate their right to health and the prohibition of discrimination; moreover, they are contrary to the Fundamental Law from a formal point of view.
In 2011 the activities of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights had to be carried out under the circumstances of crisis tendencies, where crisis management often generated debates on the interpretation of fundamental rights. Issues of social and labour law became major concerns, and the realisation of the rights of assembly and of the free expression of opinions became topical again. The crisis extended to such areas as health care or disaster management as well. All this often made it difficult for society to solve its conflicts, the fundamental rights aspects of which gave a special meaning to the rights protection function of the Ombudsman.