14/02 – In many countries, demonstrations are protesting against the Hungarian law that came into effect on 15 October 2013, criminalising homeless people who “reside habitually in public premises”. t is also the case today, in Brussels, at 11am, in front of the Hungarian Embassy. This law entails that homeless people in most of the districts in Budapest and in the adjoining communes are at risk of being fined, forced to do community-service or put into jail only for staying on the streets and squares of the city. EAPN supports these demonstrations and the Steering Committee of the Hungarian Anti- Poverty Networkhas also put forward a statement, calling on the Hungarian Government to withdraw this law.
The Hungarian Government states that all homeless people are ‘taken care of’, whereas, according to a survey done by the social services, street workers counted about 4000 homeless people who
sleep without shelter in Budapest alone. Even now while temperature is below zero. This new legislation violates homeless people’s rights to human dignity, physical and mental integrity, and the prohibition of discrimination, which are guaranteed to everyone by the new Basic Law of Hungary, the Charter of Human Rights of the EU, the European Charter of Human Rights and many other international agreements.
In protest against these measures, Gemeenschappelijk Daklozen Front Commun SDF, an organisation of homeless people, will hand over a letter to the Ambassador of Hungary to Belgium and addressed to the Hungarian Government at 11:00 today, before a press-conference on the sidewalk in front of the embassy.