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Hungary gets praise for Roma inclusion efforts at UN hearing, says official

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 11th of May 2011   Source: mti


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Hungary received praise for its Decade of Roma Inclusion programme as well as the Hungarian EU Presidency's efforts to advance the European Roma strategy, state secretary for social inclusion Zoltan Balog told MTI after a United Nations' Human Rights Council hearing on Wednesday.

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"Roma inclusion is an important issue not only for Europe but the whole world," he said, adding that nearly two-thirds of the questions concerned this topic at the hearing.

 

Balog led a delegation of 20 officials at the hearing which forms part of Hungary's Universal Periodic Review (UPR). He answered questions about the situation regarding human rights in Hungary.

 

He said many delegates were interested in Hungary's experiences and nearly all countries praised Hungary for the achievements of its EU presidency and its human rights endeavours.

 

Balog said the international Human Rights Forum initiated in Budapest in 2008 was mentioned as an achievement.

 

He added that he had told the hearing that Prime Minister Viktor Orban was set to sign an agreement with the head of the Hungarian Roma self-government on a set of targets in Roma inclusion over the next three years. These include benchmarks for jobs for the Roma, for the number of Roma seconday school graduates and Roma recipients of university scholarships.

 

Balog said the hearing also focused on Hungary's new constitution and media law. He said the main concerns whether Hungary's constitution is in line with international commitments on human rights are due to a lack of information about the fundemental law.

 

"I hope that we were able to satisfy those requests for information," he said.

 

He added that Hungary supports the European Commission's initiative for a general review of Hungary's media regulations. He insisted that if the review uncovers any practices that violate a fundemental right or law, "we will naturally make adjustments".

 

Balog said questions were also asked about women's equal rights and human trafficking.

 

He said Hungary would review the one hundred plus recommendations made at the hearing and will respond regarding which of these the government can accept and incorporate.



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