Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

Hungary: Situation of Roma, including employment, housing, education, healthcare and political participation; whether Roma are required to pay a fee for health services (2013-July 2016).

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 18 August 2016
Citation / Document Symbol HUN105586.E
Related Document(s) Hongrie : information sur la situation des Roms, y compris en matière d'emploi, de logement, d'éducation, de soins de santé et de participation politique; information indiquant si les Roms doivent payer des frais pour les services de santé (2013-juillet 2016)
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Hungary: Situation of Roma, including employment, housing, education, healthcare and political participation; whether Roma are required to pay a fee for health services (2013-July 2016)., 18 August 2016, HUN105586.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/57dfa73e4.html [accessed 20 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Overview

Sources indicate that Roma account for approximately 7.5 percent of the population of Hungary (Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 25; Hungary 12 Feb. 2016, para. 51). The US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 cites the 2011 Hungarian census as stating there were 315,000 people who self-identified as Roma, accounting for 3 percent of the population, but that unofficial estimates range from 500,000 to 800,000 people (US 13 Apr. 2016, 44).

Sources indicate that Roma in Hungary face discrimination "in all fields of life," including education, housing, employment, health care (Society for Threatened Peoples 24 May 2013, 2; Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 25) and political participation (ibid.). The Hungarian Ombudsman reports that the "[d]isadvantageous social situation of Roma is aggravated by discrimination especially in the field of education, health, employment, housing and access to services" (Hungary 21 Sept. 2015, 6). According to their 2016 annual report, the office of the Ombudsman notes that Roma complainants "most often talk about prejudices present in society, discriminative treatment as well as severe social and accommodation problems" (ibid. 2016, 45).

2. Employment

Following a visit to Hungary in July 2014, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe stated that "concerning employment, direct and indirect discrimination prevents a great portion of the Roma population from breaking the vicious circle of poverty in which they are caught" (Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 27). According to the Council of Europe's European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), Roma "continue to occupy the most disadvantaged position in the labour market" (ibid. 9 June 2015, 26). The Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights also noted that Roma are overrepresented in informal work, which has an absence of legal protections (ibid. 16 Dec. 2014, 27).

According to a report by a UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice, which conducted research during a 10-day mission to Hungary in May 2016, "Roma young people who have completed tertiary education encounter discrimination in the job market and most of them fail to find employment at the academic or vocational level they have acquired" (UN 27 May 2016). The same source notes that Roma women, in particular, "are subject to intense multiple discrimination in their social and economic lives" (ibid.).

Country Reports 2015 states that unemployment rates for Roma are 3-5 times higher than for non-Roma (US 13 Apr. 2016, 45). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an official of the Embassy of Hungary in Ottawa provided statistics obtained originally from the Hungarian Central Statistics Office, which indicate that the employment rate for Roma was 25.9 percent in 2013, 33.4 percent in 2014 and 39.3 percent in 2015; in comparison, the employment rate for non-Roma was 60.1 percent in 2013, 62.8 percent in 2014 and 64.9 percent in 2015 (Hungary 25 July 2016). The same source indicated that the registered unemployment rate for Roma was 39.5 percent in 2013, 30.2 percent in 2014 and 28.2 percent in 2015; in comparison the rates for non-Roma was 9.1 percent, 6.7 percent and 6.2 percent respectively (ibid.). The official also indicated that 67.9 percent of Roma were at risk of poverty in 2014 and 63.1 percent in 2015, while 13.1 percent of non-Roma were at risk of poverty in 2014 and 13.7 percent in 2015 (ibid.). In addition, 78.1 percent of Roma experienced "severe material deprivation" in 2014 and 67.8 percent in 2015; in contrast, 22.1 percent of non-Roma in 2014 and 18.1 percent in 2015 lived in similar conditions (ibid.).

2.1 Participation in Public Employment Programs

According to ECRI, Hungary has developed public employment programs, such as the "Start Work Programme," which provides public work opportunities at a rate lower than minimum wage but higher than social service benefits (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 26). More than 300,000 people have participated in these initiatives (ibid.; US 13 Apr. 2016, 45; Hungary 12 Feb. 2016, Para. 56) and approximately 20 percent are of Romani origin (ibid.; US 13 Apr. 2016, 45). According to statistics from the Hungarian Central Statistics Office, as provided by the Official at the Embassy in Ottawa, 23,800 Roma and 108,000 non-Roma participated in public works in 2013, 31,800 Roma and 143,400 non-Roma in 2014, and 40,500 Roma and 171,100 non-Roma in 2015 (Hungary 25 July 2016). A joint report by the Chance for Children Foundation (CFCF), the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and the Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities (NEKI) [1] submitted to the UN universal periodic review (UPR), indicates that the Labour Code does not apply to public work programs, so participants do not benefit from all legal protections afforded to other Hungarian workers (CFCF et al. Sept. 2015, 4). According to the Hungarian Ombudsman, the public work programs do not adequately meet the requirements of the labour code; minimum wage is not provided to workers, and the programs also "fail to improve the employment prospects of participants" (Hungary 21 Sept. 2015, 7). Hungarian authorities report that approximately 12.6 percent of participants in public work programs obtained a job in the primary labour market within 6 months of completing their program (ibid. 12 Feb. 2016, para. 56). The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights cites the Ombudsman as noting that recipients of social assistance are required to have a registered employment status for 30 days, leaving those who cannot enrol in public work programs without social benefits (Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 27).

The Ombudsman reports that the public work programs create "discriminatory settings" for Roma (Hungary 21 Sept. 2015, 7). The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights further reports that Roma face discrimination in some municipalities when applying for and taking part in public work programs (Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 27). Similarly, NEKI expressed the opinion that the public work system "makes it possible for local councils, the most common public employers, to abuse their powers and take discriminatory actions in connection with Roma public workers" (CFCF et al. Sept. 2015, 7).

3. Housing

Hungarian authorities report that approximately 500,000 to 600,000 Roma live in "disadvantaged" regions of Hungary (Hungary 12 Feb. 2016, para. 51). ECRI reports that, according to the National Social Inclusion Strategy "Extreme Poverty, Child Poverty and the Roma" (NSIS), 60 percent of Roma live in rural areas, mostly in segregated residential zones in poor conditions (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 27). A copy of the NSIS is attached to this Response (Attachment 1). The same source indicates that there are 100 localities classified as "impoverished and overcrowded Roma ghettos, situated in areas significantly affected by social and economic problems" (ibid.). The Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights states that "around 130,000 Roma live in segregated settlements and several hundreds of these settlements lack basic infrastructure" (ibid. 16 Dec. 2014, 27). Country Reports 2015 states the following:

According to the Ministry of Human Capacities, 41,000 Roma lived in approximately 112 settlements where at least half the population was Roma. NGOs reported that the actual number of Roma living in segregated conditions was significantly higher. Segregated settlements lacked basic infrastructure and were often located on the outskirts of cities. (US 13 Apr. 2016, 47)

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights reports that Roma living in extreme poverty face homelessness (Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 27). Human Rights Watch also notes that Hungary passed a law in 2013 allowing municipalities to make it a criminal offense for homeless people to live in public spaces (Human Rights Watch 1 Oct. 2013).

According to the Hungarian Ombudsman, there is an increasing rate of evictions against disadvantaged people and a decreasing amount of social housing (Hungary 21 Sept. 2015, 7). The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights states that Roma often face discrimination in accessing social housing (Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 27). Citing Romani interest groups, Country Reports 2015 indicates that "municipalities used a variety of techniques to prevent Roma from living in more desirable urban neighborhoods" (US 13 Apr. 2016, 46). According to sources, municipal authorities in Ozd shut down public wells that were the only source of water for the Roma settlement (Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 27; BBC 5 Aug. 2013).

3.1 Housing Situation in Miskolc

According to Amnesty International (AI), authorities in Miskolc have forcibly evicted "hundreds" of Roma from the "Numbered Streets" neighbourhood of Miskolc between May 2014 and June 2015; the vast majority were not offered adequate alternative housing or compensation (AI 29 June 2015). ECRI similarly expressed concern "about planned evictions of hundreds of Roma families in the 'Numbered Streets' neighbourhoods of Miskolc" (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 27).

Sources report that a decree was passed in Miskolc stating that when rental agreements for "'low comfort'" housing are terminated, the tenant can receive compensation, but only if they use the compensation for housing outside Miskolc (ibid.; US 13 Apr. 2016, 46; OSCE 1 July 2015). ECRI states that the provision may be a form of indirect discrimination against Roma, since most of the tenants of "low comfort housing" are Roma (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 27). In response to Miskolc's decree, neighbouring areas issued their own decrees which ban people using financial aid issued from another local government from receiving social services (US 13 Apr. 2016, 46). The Hungarian Supreme Court [Curia], however, struck down Miskolc's decree (OSCE 1 July 2015; US 13 Apr. 2016, 46). The Equal Treatment Authority (ETA) found that the decree discriminated against the residents of the segregated area due to "their social status, financial situation and Romani origin" and fined Miskolc municipality US$1,800; the ETA decision was pending judicial review as of December 2015 (ibid.). For further information about evictions of Roma from Miskolc, see Response to Information Request HUN105180.

Country Reports 2015 indicates that, following the decisions by the Hungarian Supreme Court and the ETA concerning Miskolc's decree, "[t]he local Romani self-government body reported that authorities [in Miskolc] shifted to other discriminatory practices that included increasing evictions and doubling or tripling rents for social housing" (US 13 Apr. 2016, 46).

Sources report that the law enforcement authorities of Miskolc have conducted patrols in segregated areas of the city, including entering into apartments and inspecting rooms, toilets and bathrooms (Hungary 2016, 46-47; CFCF et al. Sept. 2015, 7), to ensure that residents were following local rules and maintaining order (ibid.). According to the joint report published by CFCF, ERRC and NEKI, the inspections, conducted by groups of 10-15 people, were "clearly targeting apartments rented or owned by Roma" and made inhabitants feel "harassed and intimidated" (ibid.). Hungary's Ombudsman states that the Miskolc authorities' "often raid-like, joint and mass official control activities conducted in segregated living areas are incompatible with the principle of the rule of law and the requirement of legal certainty" (Hungary 21 Sept. 2015, 7). In addition, the Ombudsman also submitted recommendations to the Miskolc self-government, including that "joint official controls be terminated and unlawful directions of local regulations to be annulled" (ibid. 2016, 47). However, after the Ombudsman's concerns were made public, the mayor of Miskolc stated that the raids will continue (CFCF et al. Sept. 2015, 7).

4. Education

4.1 Segregation

According to Hungary's Ombudsman, segregation of Roma in schools is "widespread" (Hungary 21 Sept. 2015, 7). Similarly, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) stated that there is "systemic discrimination and segregation of Romani pupils in Hungary's schools" (ERRC 26 May 2016). Some sources report that the problem of Romani segregation in Hungarian educational institutions has been increasing (ibid. [2016]; US 13 Apr. 2016, 37; Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 26). The Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights reports that there are problems with both Roma-only schools, reflecting housing segregation, as well as Roma being segregated into Roma-only classes within schools or in separate buildings within the same educational institution (ibid.). Sources note that Roma-only classes and schools have a lower standard than non-Roma places of learning (ibid.; US 13 Apr. 2016, 37; UN 27 May 2016). According to the ERRC, approximately 45 percent of Roma children attend schools or classes in which the majority of children are Roma (ERRC [2016]). The same source notes that, in 2014, 381 schools had student bodies with populations of more than 50 percent Roma students, but none of the schools were targeted for desegregation measures (ibid.). The ERRC also reports that between 2011 and 2016, the Hungarian Supreme Court ruled that Romani children were being unlawfully segregated in five cases, and the Equal Treatment Authority convicted two municipalities for segregation; however, the Hungarian courts did not order the desegregation of any schools (ibid.).

The Ombudsman expressed concern that an amendment to the National Public Education Act "gives authorization for the government to set up criteria for exemption from the prohibition of segregation in case of minority and religious education in [the] form of a government decree" (Hungary 21 Sept. 2015, 7). According to the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, segregation of Roma in education also takes place "under the pretext of education in a minority language" (Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 26).

Sources indicate that Roma children are disproportionally placed in special schools or classes for children with disabilities or special needs (ibid. 9 June 2015, 30; UN 27 May 2016). According to ECRI, this "constitutes another form of segregated education because activities in these facilities are separated and different from those associated with regular education" (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 30). The same source cites the Roma Education Fund as reporting that the percentage of Roma students in special schools ranges from 20 percent to 90 percent (ibid.). Sources indicate that "culturally biased" testing contributes to the misplacement of Roma children in special schools (ERRC [2016]; CFCF et al. Sept. 2015, 9).

In 2013, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on a case (Horvath and Kiss v. Hungary) involving two Roma students who were placed in a special school for children with mental disabilities and found that their rights were breeched under Article 2 of Protocol 1 (right to education) and Article 14 (prohibition against discrimination) of the ECHR (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 30-31). The judgement of the Court indicated that Hungary has "a long history of wrongful placement of Roma children in special schools" and expressed concern about "the more basic curriculum followed in these schools and, in particular, the segregation which the system causes" (ibid., 31).The ERRC states that, despite this ruling and other judicial rulings deeming school segregation in Hungary as unlawful, "no action has been taken by the authorities to promote inclusive education. On the contrary, the evidence makes it clear that the government intends to pursue policies that further entrench racial discrimination into Hungary's school system" (ERRC 26 May 2016).

Sources indicate that in May 2016, the European Commission launched infringement proceedings against Hungary due to discrimination of Roma in Hungary's school system; if Hungary fails to rectify the situation, they could be referred to the European Court of Justice, which could impose financial penalties (ERRC 26 May 2016; EurActiv 26 May 2016).

4.2 School Participation and Education Rates

ECRI's report states that of children aged 3 to 5 years old, 88 percent attend preschool nationally, while 42 percent of Roma children attend preschool (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 25-26). Sources indicate that in Hungary, it is mandatory for all children to start kindergarten from age 3 (ibid., 26; Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 26). However, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights notes that there are not enough kindergarten spaces for Roma children in segregated areas (ibid.).

Concerning statistics related to Roma rates of education, the ECRI report indicates that 51 percent of Roma drop out of school while it is still compulsory (before 18), and 20 percent take secondary school final exams (ibid. 9 June 2015, 26). According to statistics from the Hungarian Central Statistics Office, as provided by the Hungarian embassy Official, the maximum level of education obtained by 78.4 percent of Roma between 15-74 years old in 2015 was "basic education" [non-secondary], compared to 21.8 percent for non-Roma, and the rate of "early school leaving" was 59.9 percent for Roma and 8.9 percent for non-Roma (Hungary 25 July 2016).

According to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, there is a "significantly low" number of Roma who attend university (Council of Europe 16 Dec. 2014, 26).The statistics from the Hungarian Central Statistics Office indicate that the rate of 15-24 year olds attending post-secondary school for Roma was 0.7 percent in 2013, 0.4 percent in 2014, and 1.7 percent in 2015, while the rate for non-Roma citizens was 22.7 percent in 2013, 20.9 percent in 2014 and 21.8 percent in 2015 (Hungary 25 July 2016). According to the UN Working Group, Roma women have experienced "multiple [forms of] discrimination and hostility on university campus[es]" (27 May 2016).

5. Healthcare

The Hungarian embassy Official states that "[t]he health status of the Roma population suffering from multiple disadvantages is particularly poor" (Hungary 25 July 2016). He further indicated the following:

According to the assessment made by the National Social (Roma) Inclusion Strategy, 66.3% of the Roma population above 19 years of age is suffering from some kind of sickness, with 16.1% having more than one medical condition and 23% suffering from 3 or more chronic diseases. Among the most common groups of medical conditions the disease rate of Roma is at least double compared to the total population (e.g. malignant diseases), while in six groups it is more than fivefold (e.g. asthma, gastrointestinal diseases) and in three groups (vision loss, iron deficiency anaemia, infectious diseases of the lungs) it is more than tenfold. The higher prevalence of chronic diseases contributes to a great degree to the very high rate of disabled persons and ones receiving invalidity [disability] allowance (15.4 %) among the Roma. (Hungary 25 July 2016)

Further health statistics for Roma could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

According to the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), a Berlin-based international human rights organization that "advocates for threatened ethnic and religious minorities, nationalities and indigenous communities" (STP n.d.), Roma women "often lack access to medical services due to direct discrimination and degrading treatment at the hospital" (ibid. 24 May 2013, 2). During their mission to Hungary in 2016, the UN working group focusing on discrimination against women indicated that they received reports that some Roma women are being segregated in certain medical facilities (UN 27 May 2016). The same source reports that Roma girls who experience early pregnancies face "increased health risks of maternal mortality and obstetric fistula" (ibid.).

5.1 Whether Roma are Required to Pay a Fee for Health Services

Information on whether Roma are required to pay a fee for health services was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

According to the Hungarian embassy official,

[i]n Hungary every patient has the right to receive adequate and accessible (available in 24 hours a day) medical care with equal treatment, as considered necessary based on his/her health status, without regard to the ethnicity of the patient, in accordance with conditions laid down in the applicable legislation. Pursuant to the definition in Act CLIV of 1997 of Healthcare (Eütv.), a patient is a person using or receiving healthcare, and the scope of the law covers all natural persons living or staying in the territory of Hungary. No discrimination is made in the legislation on the basis of ethnicity when anyone is in need of medical care.

In Hungary the costs of medical care are covered in a mandatory social security insurance system. The persons covered by social insurance get and retain eligibility for their own and their relatives' free medical care through the principle of individual responsibility, by fulfilling their obligations of paying social contributions. It is important to stress that eligibility in the Hungarian health insurance system is not only based on the obligation to pay social contributions, but also extends to the statuses set in the legislation (e.g. persons receiving sick pay, maternal aid, child support, unemployment benefit and old-age pension). Accordingly, in Hungary there may be different bases for eligibility for health insurance.

Medical care is provided free-of-charge to anyone eligible for health insurance; however, there is a separate regulation containing the medical services that may be requested with partial, supplementary or full remuneration. (Hungary 25 July 2016)

The UN working group reports that people who are unemployed and cannot afford to pay an insurance premium do not have insurance coverage for health care, including preventative screening for breast cancer and ovarian cancer (UN 27 May 2016).

6. Political Participation

ECRI reports that Roma are one of 13 nationalities officially recognized by Hungary (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, para. 69). According to Country Reports 2015, the "law provides for the 13 national minorities, including the Roma, to vote for a national minority list in parliamentary elections; the Romani minority had a spokesperson in parliament" (13 Apr. 2016, 47). Freedom House states that national minorities can "register to vote for special minority lists-with a preferential vote threshold-in parliamentary elections, but they are then excluded from the general party-list voting" (Freedom House 2016). The same source noted that "none of the 13 minority lists won enough votes to secure a seat in 2014, meaning each is represented only by a nonvoting spokesperson" (ibid.).

According to Freedom House, "Hungary's constitution guarantees the right of ethnic minorities to form self-governing bodies, and all 13 recognized minorities have done so" (ibid.). Country Reports 2015 explains:

The law establishes cultural autonomy for nationalities (replacing the term "minorities") and recognizes the right to foster and enrich historic traditions, language, culture, and educational rights as well as to establish and operate institutions and maintain international contacts. The law stipulates that any municipality with 30 residents belonging to a registered ethnic group may form a "nationality self-government" to organize activities and manage cultural, educational, and linguistic affairs. The president of each nationality self-government body has the right to attend and speak at local council sessions. (US 13 Apr. 2016, 47-48)

Sources indicate that Roma are underrepresented in political offices (Freedom House 2016; OSI 10 Sept. 2013). A 2013 report by the Open Society Institute (OSI) notes that "in northeastern Hungary, the Roma 'minority' in some towns accounts for up to 50 percent of the population, yet the Roma have no voting representatives on elected local councils" (ibid.). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

7. Government Efforts to Integrate Roma

Hungary adopted a policy for Roma integration for 2011-2020, the NSIS, which includes chapters on education, employment, health care and housing, among others (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 23). The Hungarian embassy official provided a copy of a report entitled Measures of the National Social Inclusion Strategy, which is attached to this Response (Attachment 2).

ECRI cites analysis of the NSIS, as conducted by the European Commission and with input from civil society representatives, as indicating that

[i]n the area of education the strategy needed more focus on desegregation measures and integrated education. In employment and health care the strategy needed more concrete and measurable targets with a clear timeline for implementation. In housing, much more attention should be dedicated to tackling access to social housing. (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 24)

The same source states that the NSIS omits information on any efforts to reduce discrimination in the labour market and expressed the opinion that the strategy "has had little impact so far" (ibid., 26, 28).The joint report by CFCF, ERRC and NEKI indicates that "no specific measure has been adopted to decrease segregation of Romani children based on these strategies; combatting racial segregation is neither a priority nor a long term goal for the Hungarian government" (CFCF et al. Sept. 2015, 5).

According to the STP, "[m]ajor policy documents adopted by the Hungarian government to improve the situation of Roma have not yet resulted in substantial improvements" (24 May 2013, 2).

The Hungarian government indicated to ECRI that they have undertaken measures to address unwarranted placement into schools for mentally disabled children, including the "introduction of new tests to evaluate the learning abilities of Roma pupils; programmes promoting inclusive education of special-education needs pupils; the training of professionals engaged in their education; and legislative amendments on the diagnosis of mental handicap in children" (Council of Europe 9 June 2015, 31).

Regarding government efforts to improve education for Roma, Country Reports 2015 states that

[d]uring the 2014-15 school year, the government continued to operate Sure Start Children Centers that provided early intervention programs for disadvantaged, mostly Romani children below kindergarten age and parenting advice for their parents. There were 112 such centers that reached 12,000 children and their parents. The government provided scholarships for socially disadvantaged students, including 5,668 elementary and secondary school children and 858 vocational school students who declared themselves to be Roma. It also provided scholarships for socially disadvantaged higher education students, including 132 Roma. There were 178 "Tanoda" afterschool centers around the country providing tutoring and extracurricular activities for disadvantaged, mostly Romani children. During the year the Tanoda network assisted approximately 5,000 disadvantaged students. There were eight Romani special colleges across the country sponsored by the government using EU funds, five of which were operated by Christian denominations and three managed by universities. The special colleges provided housing and tutoring for approximately 235 Romani students enrolled in higher educational institutions. (US 13 Apr. 2016, 45)

Concerning efforts to improve health care for Roma, the Hungarian embassy Official provided information about the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperation Programme (2012-2016), which, by 2015, provided health examinations to 19,000 people in northern Hungary, 40 percent of which were from the Roma community (Hungary 25 July 2016). The program also reportedly facilitated healthcare mediator training for 48 individuals to act as "Roma health guardians" within Roma communities (ibid.). In addition, the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperation Programme included a "Roma mother-child health programme," in which district nurses provided counselling to mothers and health examinations to children in 13 of the "most disadvantageous settlements" (ibid.).

The Hungarian embassy Official also provided details about a number of programs targeting the general population and/or disadvantageous areas, from which Roma also benefitted, such as:

the development of health programs in 288 primary educational institutions, of which 30 percent of the students were "disadvantaged" or "multiple disadvantaged" (ibid.)

the development of 61 "health improvement offices," including 20 in the "most disadvantageous" areas and 18 in "disadvantageous" areas, which focus on health awareness and prevention of cardiovascular and diseases and cancer (ibid.).

Health screenings for breast, cervical and rectal health problems (ibid.)

Statistics or details on how these programs benefitted Roma specifically could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Note

[1] The CFCF is a Budapest-based Roma NGO that fights "structural discrimination against Roma and impoverished children in education"; the ERRC is "an international public interest law organization working to combat anti-Roma racism and human rights abuses through strategic litigation, research and policy development, advocacy and human rights education"; and NEKI is an NGO that provides free legal aid service to disadvantaged Roma and conducts anti-discrimination litigation (CFCF et al. Sept. 2015, 3).

References

Amnesty International (AI). 29 June 2015. "Urgent Action: Roma Families Remain at Risk of Forced Eviction." [Accessed 14 July 2016]

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 5 August 2013. "Hungarian Roma Affected by Water Supply Cuts." [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016]

Chance for the Children Foundation (CFCF), European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), and the Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities (NEKI). September 2015. Hungary: Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review. [Accessed 14 July 2016]

Council of Europe. 9 June 2015. European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). ECRI Report on Hungary (Fifth Monitoring Cycle). [Accessed 14 July 2016]

_____. 16 December 2014. Commissioner for Human Rights. Nils Muižnieks. Report by Nils Muižnieks Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Following His Visit to Hungary from 1 to 4 July 2014. [Accessed 15 July 2016]

EurActiv. 26 May 2016. "EU Warns Hungary Over Discrimination of Roma Schoolchildren." (Factiva)

European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC). 26 May 2016. "EU: Commissioner Probe Must Spell the End of Romani Segregation in Hungarian Schools." [Accessed 19 July 2016]

_____. [2016]. Submission to the European Commission. [Accessed 19 July 2016]

Freedom House. 2016. "Hungary. Freedom in the World Report 2016. [Accessed 18 July 2016]

Human Rights Watch. 1 October 2013. Lydia Gall. "Dispatches: Criminalizing Hungary's Homeless." [Accessed 18 July 2016]

Hungary. 25 July 2016. Embassy of Hungary in Ottawa. Correspondence from an official.

_____. 12 February 2016. National Report Submitted in Accordance with Paragraph 5 of the Annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 16/21. Hungary. [Accessed 18 July 2016]

_____. 2016. Commissioner for Fundamental Rights. Report on the Activities of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and his Deputies 2015. [Accessed 15 July 2016]

_____. 21 September 2015. Commissioner for Fundamental Rights.Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights in Hungary, NHRI Report, 2nd Cycle, April/May 2016. [Accessed 18 July 2016]

Open Society Institute (OSI). 10 September 2013. Chuck Sudetic and Zeljko Jovanovic. "Roma in Political Life in Europe: Introduction." [Accessed 26 July 2016]

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). 1 July 2015. Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). "Authorities Need to Promote Sustainable, Non-Discriminatory Housing Solutions for Roma, ODIHR Director Link says During Visit to Hungary." [Accessed 15 July 2016]

Society for Threatened Peoples (STP). 24 May 2013. Written Statement Submitted by the Society for Threatened Peoples, a Non-governmental Organization in Special Consultative Status. [Accessed 18 July 2016]

_____. N.d. "That's What We Do." [Accessed 3 Aug. 2016]

United Nations (UN). 27 May 2016. UN Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination Against Women in Law and in Practice Finalizes Country Mission to Hungary. [Accessed 14 July 2016]

United States (US). 13 April 2016. Department of State. "Hungary." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015. [Accessed 18 July 2016]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: ecoi.net; Factiva; Hungarian Helsinki Committee; ProAsyl; Roma Education Fund; Romea.cz; Transitions Online; UN - OHCHR, Refworld.

Attachments

1. Hungary. December 2011. Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, State Secretariat for Social Inclusion. National Social Inclusion Strategy--Extreme Poverty, Child Poverty and the Roma--(2011-2020). [Accessed 18 July 2016]

2. Hungary. N.d. Measures of the National Social Inclusion Stretegy. Provided to the Research Directorate by the Embassy of Hungary in Ottawa.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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