Roma Rights Advocacy

Hungarian government creates the legal framework for segregating Roma children in schools

The government has already waged a full scale attack on fundamental rights and democratic institutions with the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law, Hungary’s new constitution. Now an amendment to the law on equal opportunity will open the door for segregation in schools under the paper-thin veneer of positive discrimination. The HCLU opposes both the constitutional provision which allows discrimination and the amendment to the equal opportunity law based on the former.

The HCLU's movies shared a Special Award at the Hégető Honorka Prize ceremony

The aim of the Prize is to acknowledge television and online video works aimed at highlighting the problems of marginalised groups, and raising public and media awareness. It is a big honour for us to be awarded this prize in 2013.

'He’s after me and won’t leave me alone'

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. 

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.

I am afraid to speak up

Roma travelling by bicycle in Kesznyéten are systematically fined for trivialities and receive disproportionate fines for minor offences. When our film crew visited Kesznyéten, they interviewed non-Roma cyclists as well. Out of these randomly chosen 10 individuals there was only one person who had received a fine for a cycling offence. Even though on average (as seen in the accompanying video), their bicycles were not in better condition or better equipped. Still, the Non-Roma travelling by bicycle are not even stopped by the police.

The police did not act appropriately, but fails to admit it

The police once again fails to properly classify cases, and instead of investigating the racial motivation and consider the recent incidents in Cegled violence against a member of a community, focuses on simple rowdyism – as it was made evident from the statement by the National Police.