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

 


Hungary Is Entrenching The Criminalization Of Homelessness


Hungary Is Entrenching The Criminalization Of Homelessness – UN Experts On Poverty And Housing

GENEVA (3 April 2013) – Two United Nations Special Rapporteurs on extreme poverty and on adequate housing criticized today a recent amendment to the Hungarian Fundamental Law that authorizes national and municipal legislation to outlaw sleeping in public spaces.

The human rights experts urged the Hungarian Government to retract this newly adopted amendment, in line with the Constitutional Court’s decision to decriminalize homelessness and Hungary’s international obligations, and expressed their concern about a “rushed amendment process, which left no time for public consultation.”

“Through this amendment, the Hungarian Parliament institutionalizes the criminalization of homelessness and enshrines discrimination against and stigmatization of homeless persons in the Constitution,” said the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda.

“Such legislation will have a disproportionate impact on persons living in poverty in general and on homeless persons in particular,” Ms. Sepúlveda said. “This will not only impede the enjoyment of human rights of homeless persons, but will also promote prejudice towards people living in poverty and homeless persons for generations to come.”

The Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, warned that “outlawing rough sleeping in the context of limited availability of housing solutions for homeless persons and low-income households is contrary to Hungary’s international human rights obligations of equality and non-discrimination.”

Ms. Rolnik noted that, according to the Hungarian Government, there are currently not enough shelters in the capital to service the existing homeless community. “Hungary does not have a National Housing Strategy or a long term homeless plan for the almost 30,000 homeless persons living in the country,” she added.

“Although I welcome the additional amendments to the Constitution which recognize the right to adequate housing and a commitment to provide access to housing for every homeless person, the full realization of the right to adequate housing is far from a reality in Hungary,” the expert said.

“We are particularly concerned that this amendment aims to circumvent the decision taken by the Hungarian Constitutional Court in November 2012, which annulled previous legislation that criminalized habitual living in public spaces,” the experts stressed. The legislation was deemed by the Constitutional Court as contradictory to the Fundamental Law requirements for legal certainty and the protection of the right to human dignity and the right to property.

The Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty recalled that the previous legislation reportedly led to more than USD 125,000 in fines being levied by different municipalities on homeless persons, before it was struck down by the Constitutional Court.

“It begs the question as to how the poorest and most marginalized in Hungarian society are expected to pay these substantial fines, which only serve to push them deeper into poverty,” she stressed.

--

Magdalena Sepúlveda is the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights since May 2008. She is independent from any government or organization. Learn more, visit:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/SRExtremePovertyIndex.aspx
In October 2011, Ms. Sepúlveda presented a report to the UN General Assembly on the penalization of people living in poverty:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/AnnualReports.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

Read the experts’ previous statement on the decision of the Hungarian Constitutional Court in November 2012:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12881&LangID=E

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

The world we want: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/MDG/Pages/MDGPost2015Agenda.aspx

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Iraq: Murder Of James Foley

Murder of James Foley Press Statement John Kerry Secretary of State Washington, DC August 20, 2014 More>>

Libya: UN Mission Condemns 'Grave Escalation' In Fighting

The United Nations mission assisting Libya today condemned the 'grave escalation' in the fighting in the capital, Tripoli and its suburbs and urged all parties to work to put an end to the security deterioration, which forebodes serious consequences ... More>>

ALSO:

Iraq:Security Council Approves Sanctions Against Militants

Expressing its “gravest concern” that parts of Iraq and Syria are now under the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL.)

.

Ebola: UN System Coordinator On Ebola Dispels Myths

INTERVIEW: UN System Coordinator on Ebola Dispels Myths, Pledges Support for West Africa’s Efforts to Halt Outbreak More>>

ALSO:

.

.

Al Jazeera: Amal Alamuddin Lays Down Law On Jailing Journalists In Egypt

Amal Alamuddin, leading human rights lawyer, and expert on Egyptian legal system, has detailed the injustices in the Egyptian trial of three Al Jazeera English journalists in an incisive opinion piece for the Huffington Post. More>>

Indigenous Tribes: Peru Criticized For Failing Its Most Vulnerable Citizens

Peru Criticized for Failing Its Most Vulnerable Citizens Several weeks after seven uncontacted Indians emerged near the Brazil-Peru border, more uncontacted Indians have made first contact with Brazilian government agents, reportedly fleeing attacks ... More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news