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UPR of Hungary: MRG and Idetartozunk Egyesület call on the government to secure the rights of Roma

23 March 2022

This statement was delivered by Eugen Berecz in the name of MRG and Idetartozunk Egyesület at the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Hungary, 49th Session, held on Wednesday 23 March 2022.

I speak on behalf of Idetartozunk Egyesület and Minority Rights Group, two organisations active in promoting achievement of minority rights, equality and non-discrimination of Roma in Hungary.

We particularly welcome the Government of Hungary’s acceptance of recommendation 160 to 171 put forward by 12 countries that called on Hungarian authorities to secure access to education and to combat segregation of Roma children in schools.

We call on the authorities in Hungary, and all those who are supporting them, to fully implement these recommendations, and to end all segregation in education faced by Roma children, and adopt policies to support reduction of the drop-out rate for Roma children in secondary education and higher education.

As of today, half of Roma students still drop out of the education system, and barely 24% complete secondary education.

We question and are concerned by the Government of Hungary’s statement according to which recommendation 66 from Peru has been already implemented. That recommendation calls on Hungary to strengthen efforts to eradicate hate speech against Roma. Incidents of hate speech against Roma communities in printed and online media is still widespread. We call on both the Government of Hungary and all international and national organisations – including those of the UN itself – to use the full force of the law to prevent and punish hate speech against Roma.

We also call for a critical review of the state response to the Covid pandemic, with the participation of Roma, to identify lessons learnt from recent shortcomings and ensure that Roma have the same access to health services as others, and promote the uptake of the vaccination through an information campaign.

We also call on Hungary to prevent and combat racial profiling practices in the police that were again documented in the context of fines related to Covid restrictions.

I thank you.

Watch the statement