They should have a life, too!

Magdi and fellow mothers of children with severe-cumulative disabilities sued the Ministry of Human Resources with our help because even though the state is obliged to, it does not provide financially supported housing for these children in need of constant care.

The mothers meet regularly to provide emotional support for each other and get a little break from their 24/7 service. Magdi brought a nearly 30-year-old recording to a meeting, which we watched together. The mothers were surprised and touched to recognise fellow parents and their children on the footage.

It was not only touching, but a gruesome experience to hear the mothers speak on this recording from before the change of the system:

“Hundreds of thousands of parents confined at home, suffering, not knowing what to do, are losing their jobs…”

“Shouldn’t they have a life, too?”

This is how then, at the end of the 80’s, the anchor of the TV programme summarised the situation: “I can’t answer the parents’ questions, and what’s more, I couldn’t find any responsible person either, who would sit down with you and could give you an answer…”(1987)

This is hauntingly similar to the answer provided by the responsible government bodies this year:

“...I inform you hereby that neither state-supported accommodation services nor residential homes are available in the capital yet.” (a letter by the Institution of Social Affairs and Child Protection, 2018)

In the past 30 years, these parents have survived a change of system, raised their children living with severe-cumulative disabilities, stood ground despite the lack of nursing homes, kindergartens, schools and development in general, the lack of support services, the disintegration of the family in some cases, they have gone through being abandoned by friends and living in complete social isolation. They have dedicated the bigger part of their lives to the care of their disabled children, while trying to keep their families together and to spend time with their other children as well. Now, at the age of 60-70, they would finally like to see their adult children somewhere safe but, they still don’t receive any help from the responsible government bodies.

Instead, in the spring of 2018, the cynical response of the Ministry of Human Resources was that the desired residential homes would be available from 2036. Let’s just try to ignore the fact that these 70-year-old parents would be nearly 100 by that time. These governmental plans do not involve children in home care, they focus solely on the issue of children currently living in institutions. It appears that Feri and his fellows can’t expect much.

We hope that with our lawsuit we can prove that the current situation violates the rights of children living with disabilities and those of their parents, and the Ministry of Human Resources will finally be obliged to provide financially supported accommodation.

Six adults living with severe-cumulative disabilities and their mothers, represented by TASZ, have sued the Ministry of Human Resources and the Institution of Social Affairs and Child Protection. They hope to convince the jury that the lack of financially supported and humanely suitable housing in the capital is a serious violation of their and their parents’ rights to private and family life, furthermore, it is also a violation of the nationally and internationally recognised rights of disabled people. This situation forces parents to stay with their children 365 days a year. It should be the responsibility of the state to provide housing and services for all those concerned.

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