Hungary: human rights NGOs demand consultation

23 September 2011. Human rights organisations are calling on the Hungarian government to consult civil society in relation to the effective implementation of the recommendations formulated by the UN Human Rights Council during Hungary’s Universal Periodic Review.

On 21 September 2011 representatives of several human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) met with delegates of the Hungarian Government at the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice to discuss steps of implementing the recommendations accepted by the government in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), an important human rights process conducted by the United Nations. The NGOs were critical of the government's demonstrated unwillingness to effectively consult with NGOs prior to deciding which recommendations to accept in the UPR process. The NGOs raised further concerns about some of the recommendations that were rejected by the Hungarian government. Finally, the NGOs proposed that the government set up working groups consisting of NGO and government representatives, which would regularly convene to develop steps and measures required to implement the recommendations accepted by the government, and to monitor the implementation process.

UN Member States recommended that Hungary’s cardinal laws as well as the new Constitution should not discriminate on the basis of disability and recommended to Hungary to fully respect the rights of persons with disabilities including the right of adults to vote and the right of children with disabilities to inclusive education.

The UPR process further recommended Hungary to ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT). MDAC considers the ratification crucial in order to prevent torture and other forms of ill-treatment against persons with disabilities in mental health and social care institutions. Ratification of OPCAT would mean Hungary would establish a “National Preventive Mechanism” to monitor all places of detention.

MDAC joins several human rights organisations in calling on the government to effectively and meaningfully involve civil society in the implementation process of the recommendations, including planning and monitoring. You can read the joint press release here

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