Roma Program not just for Roma

Through our work we learnt that the practices of authorities, different judicial bodies, as well as public and local government institutions towards Roma people is often discriminative. One of the main goals of our Program is to encourage Roma people to stand up for their rights and enable them to enforce their own interests. In order to achieve this, we provide assistance in forming local communities and selecting and strengthening their own leaders and activists.

Our main activities:

Legal Aid

We have set up TASZPONTs in a growing number of areas in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Heves Counties. These legal aid stations are led by an active member of the local Roma community, ready to work with us. Our attorneys are available online at the TASZPONTs, and they provide free legal advice via Skype. In cases involving a particularly serious infringement of rights, we occasionally provide free legal representation as well. Our goal is strategic litigation, which means undertaking cases through which we can positively affect judicial practice and possibly legislation.


Our colleagues and volunteers frequently travel to  Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Heves Counties primarily to visit the TASZPONT operators and their communities.  If we are asked to get involved in a specific case, we visit other areas as well. Our activities include mediation in cases of conflict; through this we try to facilitate communication between Roma communities and local authorities.

Legal advocacy

The HCLU - just like in its other programs – takes a stand in Roma related judicial and legal issues when human rights are violated.

Communication, video making

You can follow our news and activities on the HCLU website and on our blog called “unlawfully” ( We also inform the press about our important cases or issues and journalists often take part in our field work mission as well. We try to make more and more of our local partners speak in our short films and video interviews and we spread their messages through our blog to a wider public.

Trainings for activists

The main goal of our “Make Your Voice Visible” project is to train Roma leaders and activists on issues regarding the right to participation and freedom of information. The TASZPONT leaders regularly take part in trainings in different fileds of law, which aim to provide them and their communities with legal knowledge and the ability to enforce their rights.


Related articles

UPDATE Hungary school incident: CCTV footage does not rule out suspicion of racist acts in Konyár

Hungarian and international NGOs have responded to police statements about a possible racist attack in front of a primary school in Konyár. The Hungarian Police force has stated that there were no human rights violations on 5 September when a busload of football fans stopped in front of the school. The police based their conclusion on an unclear, mute recording, which they recently released. However, according to human rights organisations, the legality of the police reaction is disputable, and the recording is not sufficient to explain what happened in Konyár.

The horse-dealing policeman

József was fined for 30.000 forints for a minor offence. He did not pay, because he had nothing to pay with. 3-4 days later, a policaman came, and told him that if he does not pay the fine, he has to go to prison. József then called to his neighbor, to tell him his horse was for sale. The policeman told him he shouldn’t sell the horse to the neighbor, and brought over his own friend, who was there in 10 minutes and took the horse worth 100 thousand for 30.500.


Civil Guard Association For a Better Future: We are not patrolling but observing

Under the guise of observations "in service of the residents”, uniformed men terrorize children and harass adults based on their ethnicity or national status in Magyarbánhegyes. According to this, it seems as if police did not defend locals against persecution. (The Civil Guard Association for a Better Future with other extremist anti-Roma groups – pretending to be militiamen and vindicating the right to maintain public order – have started a systematic campaign of intimidation against the Roma for weeks in Gyöngyöspata, Hungary in April 2011. They illegally patrolled the village and provoked the Roma adults and children.The HCLU published its Shadow Report and a documentary video about the events. The summary of the Shadow Report can be found here.