Discrimination | Magyar Helsinki Bizottság

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TAX NUMBER: 19013983-1-42
Human dignity is a core human rights value, which cannot be undermined. You have to be treated equally regardless your
  • gender,
  • ethnic origin,
  • skin colour,
  • your religion or
any other inherent attribute of your personality.

To mainstream discrimination the Hungarian Helsinki Committee organizes trainings, conducts researches and provides legal aid. We dedicate special attention to the Roma, the largest ethnic minority in Hungary, but we defend the rights of refugees, the disabled, LGBT and homeless communities as well.

In the past, we have represented homeless people before Equal Treatment Authority, whom were disproportionately stopped and searched despite the fact that they did not violate the law.

We won the case of a blind man who was not granted access to a supermarket with his guiding dog.

We fought before the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the accessibility of financial services.

Bicycle petty offence fines are almost exclusively imposed on Roma people in a village of Nógrád for lack of mandatory accessories (bells, headlights, and reflector prisms), even though bicycles used by the non-Roma are not significantly better equipped. The Equal Treatment Authority and Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) were notified of the discrepancies in treatment. The Authority launched an ex officio investigation into the matter. Later on the HHC stepped into the procedure as an organisation vested with the right to carry out actio popularis litigation. Statistically analysing the documentation of the fines, the HHC managed to substantiate that, 35 out of 36 fines imposed for lack of accessories were imposed on persons who (based on their name, mother’s name, address) are likely to be of Roma origin, whereas the Roma amount to approximately 25 percent of the population in the village of Nógrád. Through conducting field study and photographing on the spot, as well as other investigative means (e.g. going through internet advertisements of second-hand bicycles), it could be demonstrated that most bicycles in the area did not meet the legal requirements, thus unlikely that only Roma bikers committed transgressions in this regard.

In a proceeding before the Equal Treatment Authority, we demonstrated that the Roma people are disproportionately fined in the village of Nógrád for the lack of mandatory accessories on bicycles. The case ended in a friendly settlement between the Nógrád County Police Chief and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.


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