World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN experts urge Hungary to uphold Constitutional Court decis


UN experts urge Hungary to uphold Constitutional Court decision to decriminalize homelessness

GENEVA (11 December 2012) – Two United Nations experts on extreme poverty and housing today urged the Government of Hungary to uphold the recent Constitutional Court decision decriminalizing homelessness, to amend the anti-homeless legislation and to adopt a national housing strategy, which will take into account the needs and views of the homeless and those inadequately housed, in conformity with international human rights obligations

The UN Special Rapporteurs on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda, and on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, praised a recent decision of the Hungarian Constitutional Court, which struck down legislation criminalizing homelessness, and stressed again that Hungary is required to align its national legislation with its international human rights obligations.

The 2010-2011 legislation criminalized sleeping and other life sustaining activities in public spaces as a misdemeanor, punishable by incarceration or fine. It potentially affected more than 30,000 homeless persons in various municipalities in Hungary, including women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities

“We warned about the discriminatory impact of the legislation on those living in poverty and social exclusion,” said Ms. Sepúlveda, recalling that, in February 2012, both Special Rapporteurs had cautioned about the detrimental effects of this legislation on the rights of homeless people in Hungary.

“We also expressed our concern with the fact that the Hungarian Government chose to conduct costly policing operations to penalize homelessness, instead of seeking durable and adequate housing solutions for the poor, including those affected by the recent financial crisis,” Ms. Rolnik noted.

The Constitutional Court annulled the specific legislation provisions that criminalized habitual living in public spaces and empowered local authorities to confiscate property of homeless persons. These provisions were deemed by the Court as contradictory to the Constitution’s requirements for legal certainty, the protection of the right to human dignity and the right to property.

“The criminalization of rough sleeping and other life sustaining behaviours in public spaces is an infringement on the basic rights of homeless persons to liberty, privacy, personal security and protection of the family”, said the UN expert on extreme poverty, who in October 2011 presented a report* to the UN General Assembly on the penalization of people living in poverty.

“The Hungarian Government admits that there are currently not enough shelters in the capital to service the existing homeless community. It is therefore clear that homelessness in Hungary is not a choice, but a harsh reality,” stressed the UN expert on adequate housing.

“The recent decision of the Constitutional Court rightly highlights the fact that homelessness is a social issue, which needs to be addressed by the provision of adequate services and not by criminal proceedings,” she added.

(*) Read the 2011 report on the penalization of people living in poverty: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/AnnualReports.aspx

--

Magdalena Sepúlveda is the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights since May 2008. She is independent from any government or organization. She is a Chilean lawyer currently working as Research Director at the International Council on Human Rights Policy in Geneva. She has extensive experience in economic, social and cultural rights and holds a PhD in international human rights law from Utrecht University. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/SRExtremePovertyIndex.aspx

Raquel Rolnik was appointed as Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context by the UN Human Rights Council, in May 2008. As Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. An architect and urban planner, Ms. Rolnik has extensive experience in the area of housing and urban policies. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Housing/Pages/HousingIndex.aspx

OHCHR Country Page – Hungary: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/HUIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/UNrightswire
Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights
YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR
Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire

My voice, my right, my voice counts – Watch the Human Rights Day’s video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCnLOpUW7tY&feature=share&list=UU3L8u5qG07djPUwWo6VQVLA

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>


UN Lauds Role Of Family Farmers In Ending Global Hunger

A farmer at work in a dragon fruit field in Viet Nam (July 2013). Photo: FAO/Hoang Dinh Nam | See more photos More>>


Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts To Tackle Ebola & ISIS

Funding Gap Looms Amid Efforts to Tackle ‘Twin Plagues’ Ebola, ISIL, Warns UN Rights Chief More>>

ALSO:

  • The White House - Ebola: What You Need to Know

  • Egypt Sentences Another Al Jazeera Journalist

    In another disturbing move against freedom of speech and independent journalism in Egypt, one of Al Jazeera Arabic channel’s presenters, Ahmed Mansour, has been sentenced in absentia to fifteen years imprisonment by Cairo’s criminal court on the absurd ... More>>

    ISIL Advance On Iraqi Town Unleash New Flood Of Displacement

    Syrian Kurds from the town of Kobane seeking shelter in Iraq's Kurdistan region. Photo: UNHCR/D. Nahr More>>

    ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - U.S. Condemns ISIL Attacks in Iraq
  • U.S Announces Humanitarian Assistance For Palestinians

    Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced $414 million in U.S. assistance to the Palestinians. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news