It is a common occurrence in Borsod county in Hungary, that where the Gypsy settlements begin, paved roads end. There is no running water or sewage system, and the local government does not provide waste removal services.
Such areas are treated as if they were not public places, as though the communal and civil service obligations of the local governments stopped at the borders of the Gypsy settlements.
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Most people hardly hear or know anything about the living conditions and everyday
concerns of the Roma population living in extreme poverty, often in segregated
During their visits in North-Eastern Hungary, our colleagues interview locals
about the issues they are currently most concerned with. The aim of our new series
entitled “Make Your Voice Seen” is to deliver the messages of these people to a
Budai Gyula is a public employee in Ózd (town in Hungary). His job is to keep the recycling bins in order. He received a penalty for 10.000 HUF for scavenging, while he was doing his job. He acted correctly by not acknowledging his supposed offence by his signature. If he had done so, he could not argue against the decision. Do not sign anything if you have not committed what you’re being charged for!
How might the authorities use and abuse the law to harass somebody? Imposing fines for minor offences is an easy way. Especially, if the person involved is underprivileged, therefore has little capability to enforce his rights.