The role of the Ombudsman in the implementation of CPRD in Hungary

Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stipulates the establishment of a multi pillar control mechanism in order to fulfil national implementation and control. State Parties have to designate besides one or more focal points within government and the coordination mechanism within government a framework including one or more independent mechanism with regard to the legal status and functioning of national institutions for protection and promotion of human rights.

According to Section 1 paragraph (3) of the Act CXI of 2011 on the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights in the course of his activities the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights pays – especially by conducting proceedings ex officio –special attention to assisting, protecting and supervising the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, promulgated by Act XCII of 2007 in Hungary.

Provisions for disability, difficulties in parking, the situation of people living in residential care, the problems of freedom from obstacles, disputes related to employment, and generally the position of a child or adult with disabilities living in families raise several issues awaiting solution. During the past more than one decade (1998–2008) almost four hundred complaints of the fifty thousand submissions received by the Ombudsman’s Office were related to some kind of problems of disabilities. This is only 0.8 per cent of all the cases, and of those hardly one hundred contained some complaints related to working capability. Complaints were related to children living with disabilities in 30 cases, and parking by persons of impaired movement constituted 18 cases. The number of those complaints which were against some kind of monetary provision, contribution or fee was 113.

As the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights pays special attention to the rights and circumstances of the people living with disabilities in Hungary, besides investigating individual complaints, in 2009 the Commissioner carried out a comprehensive investigation concerning the social and legal environment of this vulnerable group.

Within the framework of the project “Differently with Dignity” – project on the rights of people with disabilities (2009-2010) the Commissioner inspected the situation and enforcement of the rights of people living with disabilities.

The basic thesis of the project was that no one can suffer any deficiency mainly because he/she lives with some kind of physical, communications or mental disability. The clumsiness of healthcare and social provision for people living with disabilities is commonly known together with contradictions in their employment and training. The main goal was to encourage a paradigm shift, global change of social attitude concerning their acceptance and inclusion.

We conducted several inquiries into the possible obstacles to participation in public life of persons living with disabilities, like problems related to the right to vote, challenges in daily and family life, forced mechanisms of guardianship that limits or bars legal capacity and the anomalies in the operation of residential mental health facilities, like psychiatric care institutions.

Other issues, like disability allowance, car parking difficulties, accessibility of public buildings and places, the hard difficulties of getting a job and the family life of adults and children living with disabilities raise several basic rights related questions and require attention.

The Ombudsman and his working group has had extremely fruitful cooperation with several civil organisations, among others with the National Federation of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SINOSZ), the Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC), the Hungarian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (MVGYOSZ), the Regional Central Hungarian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted, or with the Hungarian Autistic Society (AOSZ).