Submissions in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
Translation is available for this contentVáltás magyarra
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves the review of the human rights record of all 192 UN Member States once every four-and-half year. It was created by the UN General Assembly in 2006. The UPR offers an opportunity for the States to report on how they have fulfilled their obligations under the most important international human rights instruments. In addition, the UPR is a potentially powerful tool to improve the human rights situation in all countries and to address human rights violations wherever they occur.
In this review process, the UN pays special attention to the information submitted by non-governmental organizations. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee aims to assist the UN to better assess Hungary’s human rights performance by contributing to alternative reports within the framework of the UPR.
In 2021, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee contributed to seven alternative submissions in the framework of the UPR. In our submissions, we also assessed to what extent Hungary complied with the recommendations formulated in the framework of the previous UPR cycle in 2015.
Our one-pager briefs on the rule of law, criminal justice and hate crimes, and rights of refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless persons and other migrants.
1. In our individual submission, we focused on problems related to the criminal justice system and the performance of law enforcement agencies. (See an annex about the implementation of recommendations made in the previous UPR cycle here.)
2. The joint submission of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Menedék Hungarian Association for Migrants assessed the situation of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees. (See an annex about the implementation of recommendations made in the previous UPR cycle here.)
3. The joint submission of the Global Detention Project and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee focused on migration-related detention and border enforcement measures.
4. The joint submission of the European Network on Statelessness, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion covered the issue of statelessness.
5. The submission of the Working Group against Hate Crimes, which the Hungarian Helsinki Committee is a member of, focused on state authorities’ response to hate crimes.
6. Together with Amnesty International Hungary and the Eötvös Károly Institute, we prepared a joint submission on the rule of law, calling the attention among others to the undermining of the independence of courts, the deficiencies in the operation of the Ombudsperson, and the lack of consultation in the law-making process. (See an annex about the implementation of recommendations made in the previous UPR cycle here.)
7. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee was also party to a joint submission about shrinking civil space in Hungary, submitted together with Amnesty International Hungary, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, the Ökotárs Foundation, and the Power of Humanity Foundation.
In 2015 the Hungarian Helsinki Committee contributed once again to three alternative submissions concerning the UPR.
1. In its individual submission, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee focused on topics related to law enforcement and criminal justice, and the situation of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, with special regard to the recommendations formulated in the framework of the previous UPR which were not complied with by the Hungarian state.
2. The joint submission of the Hungarian NGO coalition including the HHC is available here.
3. The joint submission of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the European Network on Statelessness and the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion on statelessness is available here.
4. The submission of the Working Group against Hate Crimes of which the HHC is a member of is available here.
In the course of the first UPR process concerning Hungary, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee was involved in the preparation of three alternative submissions.
1. The first report focusing on six areas of human rights protection was written by a wide coalition of NGOs working in Hungary in order to address fundamental human rights issues in a unified manner. The cooperating NGOs are: Chance for Children Foundation (CFCF), European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), Foundation for the Women of Hungary (MONA), Hungarian Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability (ÉFOÉSZ), Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC), Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities (NEKI), Minority Rights Group International (MRG), People Opposing Patriarchy (PATENT), The City is for All group (AVM).
The alternative report focuses on the human rights performance of Hungary in the following areas:
- equality and non-discrimination;
- the right to liberty and security of the person;
- administration of justice and the rule of law;
- freedom of association and peaceful assembly and the right to participate in public and political life;
- the right to social security and to an adequate standard of living;
- and the rights of the child.
The submission highlights human rights violations against Roma people and other national, religious and ethnic minorities, people living with disabilities, women, children, asylum seekers and persons belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group.
The alternative report is available here. Participating NGOs recommendations to the Human Rights Council are available here.
2. The second alternative report, which addresses the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Hungary was prepared by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Menedék – Hungarian Association for Migrants. It includes the following issues: the inadequate detention conditions and the unlawfulness of the alien policing detention of asylum seekers, the lack of effective judicial review to contest decisions ordering alien policing detention; limited access of asylum seekers to international protection (the territory of Hungary and the asylum procedure); exclusion of Somali nationals from family reunification; insufficient access of refugees and beneficiaries of other forms of international protection to the labour market and to adequate health care services; and the lack of adequate housing measures for refugees.
The alternative report of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Menedék Association is available here.
3. The third submission was prepared by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee alone. It analyzes the consequences of changing the system of checks and balances of the constitutional framework in which human rights are enforced. The report criticizes the restriction of the Constitutional Court’s scope of authority and the imposition of limitations on public consultation preceding the enactment of new legislation. It further examines detention conditions, the treatment of prisoners, access to justice and the inadequate response by the authorities to hate crime.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s alternative report is available here.