Február 28-án a Nyíregyházi Törvényszék kimondta, hogy a Huszár-telepi görögkatolikus iskola szegregál. Az ítélet után a két peres fél reagál.
Hungary is under review by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
Hungary ratified the UN Convention on the rights of the child in 1993. For the third time - after 1998 and then 2006- the Committee reviews Hungary's compliance with the Convention. A coalition of NGOs- including the HCLU- has reported to the Committee.
Representatives of UNICEF Hungary, the Chance For Children Foundation and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union attended a pre-session hearing held on 5 February 2014. The NGO representatives provided detailed description of children’s rights in Hungary.
After the hearing the Committee has published the list of issues -a number of questions- which shall be answered by the Government of Hungary by 15 June, 2014. The Committee requested the Government to provide information about the content of the National Strategy “Making Better For Children” for (2007-2032) and about the independent body responsible for monitoring issues related to children’s rights. The Government is required to inform the Committee about measures taken to eradicate discrimination against Roma children, children with disabilities, migrant and refugee children and about steps taken to prevent institutionalization of children. Furthermore, the Committee requested the Government to provide information about the use of EU funds for desinstitutionalisation of children and measures taken to increase the adoption prospective for Roma children, children with disabilities or with chronic diseases. The Government of Hungary shall inform the Committee of measure taken to prevent and reduce the mental health problems among adolescents. The Committee further requested information about measures taken to integrate Roma children into mainstream schools and prevent further segregation.
A Roma child has twice and half times the chance of getting into state care than his non-Roma peers. More than two thirds of families raising children with mental disabilities live in poverty. These are only two statements from the presentation of UNICEF Hungarian Committee, the Chance for Children Foundation (CFCF) and Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) for the UN Child Rights Committee in February 2014.
Disability: poverty and isolation
In Today’s Hungary being a child with disability often means poverty and isolation. More than two thirds of families having a child with intellectual and also multiple and severe disability live in poverty. The reason for this is that there is no access to services for such families, such as personal assistance, transportation, or even education for the child with disability. Parents have to ensure these on their own, meaning they have to give up their jobs. The situation of children with multiple disabilities is especially critical: their education is compulsory, yet even special schools for disabled do not need to enroll them necessarily. According to official data every other child gets pedagogical development at home, which often means that there is no such service at all.
Families are often forced to enroll their child in an institution exactly because of the lack of community-based services. According to data 10,500 children with disabilities live in institutions. Every other child lives in a dormitory or student home. Many however get there because there is no school accessible for them in their community, and so the parents are forced to give up their upbringing at home. This type of social and educational system goes against Article 9 of the UN CRC, which asks states to do everything to ensure children are not separated from parents. The lack of community-based services violate Article 23 which calls on states to ensure the participation of children with disabilities in the life of the community.
Violation of rights in child psychiatry
The Hungarian child psychiatric system is critically under-developed. There were only 127 child psychiatrists in 2011 and only 27 outpatient psychiatric centers nationally. For children needing acute treatment had access to 130 beds in six hospitals: urgent cases are often placed either in general children’s wards or in the adult psychiatry department. Children are often separated from their parents. The most urgent issue is the under-development of prevention systems in child psychiatry: there were no school psychologists available in two-thirds of the schools in 2011 – while educational counseling services – according to the enquiry of the Ombudsman – could only provide limited assistance to children and families. The low capacity of the child psychiatric system violates the rights of the most vulnerable group of children to health care.
Discrimination, segregation = Roma children
The situation of Roma children was mentioned in conjunction of several articles of the Convention. Their discrimination in education was mentioned, as well as assessing them as disabled in high numbers, while they are over-represented in the child protection system as well as among victims of child trafficking. Youths in general are prejudiced against Roma and there have been hate-crimes committed against them.
According to estimates, 15% of children in primary school are Roma, and two-thirds of them are in segregated schools. Half of these children are in normal schools while the other half in “special” schools. In some normal schools they have separate classrooms “C” for them, and in several cities they have separate schools for them. Due to “white flight” there are small villages with one school where only Roma children go.
The rate of Roma children in special schools for the mentally disabled is much higher than their national representation would justify. Recently the European Court of Human Rights condemned Hungary for wrongly assessing two Roma youths as mentally disabled.
In summary one can state that only every third Roma child is educated in an integrated fashion. This is not only violates Article 2 on discrimination but also Article 28. on education. Segregated education goes together automatically with lower quality of education and with the drop-out of children. While generally speaking three quarter of students continue their education in secondary school providing a final exam, only one third of Roma students participate in such education and 7% of those will likely not finish their studies. The lowering of compulsory age of education to 16 is expected to lower the participation of Roma students in secondary education.
During the six-year period of the report the selective mechanisms of education have become stronger. Since 2004 the number of Roma-only schools have increased by at least one third. The current government has failed to use the opportunity of the recent centralization of education to close down segregated schools. Several segregated schools- e.g. in Kaposvár and in Győr- are still operating in the same manner, despite of binding judgements establishing segregation delivered in lawsuits launched by CFCF. Roma children in child protection services Roma children are over-represented in child protection services. Based on the 2011 research of the ERRC, 66% of children placed in children’s homes were Roma. A Roma child is two and half times more likely to end up in child protection services than its non-Roma peers. Still many of the children are taken out of their family due to poverty. Roma children are also over-represented among children living in poverty.
Children of Rainbow Families
There are several laws allowing the discrimination of LGBT+ people. These families are discriminated by the Fundamental Law of Hungary, when it defines marriage as that of a man and a woman, and defines the basis of family as relationship of a parent with a child.
While same-sex couples can form a registered partnership, they do not have the same rights as people in marriage. They cannot adopt children, they also cannot adopt each other’s children. Same sex couples are also discriminated regarding IVF treatment, since these treatments can only be accessed by married couples, different-sex common-law partners and not fertile single women.
The article in Hungarian was originally published here: